I LLUSRAT IONS
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The Institute of Jamaica
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QUARTERLY OF THE INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
The BUSTAMANTE LETTERS 1935 .
Marcus Garvey, The Harlem Years . .
Kenilworth Ruins . . . .
Governments Expenditure on Education
Are the Priorities Right ? . . .
Flora and Providence, Adventure and Achievement . .
Politics, Pollution and Power, Part 2 . . . .
The Cadastral Survey . . . . . .
. . .. Dr. Trevor Monroe
. . .. John Henrik Clarke
. . .. T.A.L. Concannon
. . . .Dr. Errol L. Miller
SC. Dennis Adams
SDr. Trevor Byer
. . Phillip Rose
Interview with a Jamaican Master
Albert Huie discusses his life and art with Basil McFarlane . . .
The Prose Style of Roger Mais . . .. ..... Winnifred B. Grandison
The Two Millers and The Two Escofferys . . . . . .
Basil McFarlane, Bob Stewart, Basil Hanson Smith, lan McDonald . .
The Harrack Exhibition . . . . . . . . .
Front Cover Crotalaria verrucosa: Blue Rattleweed.
This now common plant was introduced
into Jamaica from the East Indies by
Hinton East and was growing in his
garden in 1793. Other local species
have yellowish flowers and some of them
(The name derives from the Latin
crotalum = rattle; Crotalus the Rattlesnake.)
Colour Transparency by C. Dennis Adams
Back Cover: The Good Shepherd (Hammered Copper) by Fitz Harrack
,-~~~A Ai t.I;rei~f r.i
by Dr Trevor Munroe
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.1144, F el
THE BUSTAMANTE LETTERS 1935
Crisis In World Capitalism
When Alexander Bustamante returned to Jamaica about
40 years ago, the colony in common with other dependent
territories, was feeling the effects of a deep and thorough-
going crisis in the international capitalist system. This crisis
affected all aspects of the world capitalist economy: industry,
agriculture, the banking and financial system, trade and inter-
national business relations. During a single year, from the end
of 1929 to the end of 1930,industrial output in the leading
capitalist countries fell 10-17 per cent. Capitalist economy
reached its lowest level in 1932 when industrial output was
46% below pre-crisis level in the USA, 47% in Germany, 16.5%
in Britain, 31% in France and 33% in Italy. In all industrial
output in the capitalist world during 1930-1933 shrank by
38%. Vast production capacities were standing idle. Lead
mines, blown-out blast furnaces, deserted factory buildings,
works turned into machine cemeteries, bore testimony to the
fact that capitalism was destroying its own productive forces.
In an attempt to reduce stocks of unsold products and check
the continued fall in prices and profits, the monopolies destroy-
ed vast stocks of commodities. In the United States for
example, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA)
entered into contract with thousands of producers of cotton,
wheat, corn, logs, tobacco, sugar etc. for the making of special
payments in return for curtailment of production. On July 3,
1936 the New York Times carried the story of the Brazilian
government subsidising the destruction of 30% of that coun-
try's coffee crop to create artificial shortages, stimulate prices
and recoup profits.
In the face of this crisis, the ruling class of the imperialist
states strove to shift the burden of the capitalist crisis on to
the backs of the workers in the advanced capitalist countries
and the peoples of the colonies and semi-colonies. In this
regard the monopoly capitalists placed severe restrictions on
the right to strike, tried to impose restraints on workers' wage
demands and, most importantly, embarked on policies of
planned cut-backs in employment and social security benefits.
In these circumstances, unemployment reached unheard of
proportions. Over thirty five million people were thrown into
the streets and became totally jobless. Of these 16 million were
accounted for by the USA, 5.5 million by Germany, 3 million
by Britain, over 2.8 million by Japan, 2.3 million by France,
900,000 by Czechoslovakia and 800,000 by Hungary. A still
larger number of workers found themselves in the position of
being partially unemployed forced in many instances to
work on four and three day weeks. In addition, the capitalist
governments on the basis of "retrenchment plans" systemati-
cally cut unemployment pay and other forms of social plans.
In the face of these sharp attacks on employment, wages and
benefits, and the rapid deterioration in their standard of living,
the economic and political struggle of the working class broad-
ened in scope and deepened in intensity. Between 1929 and
1932 nearly 19,000 strikes involving 8,500,000 employees
occurred in 15 of the world's largest countries.
The Crisis in the Colonies
This acute crisis in the world capitalist system had a pro-
found effect on the economies of the colonies and semi-
colonies generally. It heightened class exploitation, racial
discrimination and the suppression of political liberties.
From the mid 20's the London c.i.f. prices of sugar, coffee,
cocoa, logwood and bananas declined steadily though at a much
slower rate in the case of the last mentioned commodity.
(Eisner p. 286). Thus in Jamaica export earnings declined stead-
ily fromf3.4 milin 1931 to 2.7 mil in 1933. (Carnegie Cap. 3).
It brought about a fall in the value of colonial produce and a
drop in the demand for the agricultural commodities which
formed the mainstay of the dependent economies. At the
same time this downward trend in the price of export was
accompanied by increases in the prices of imported goods and
shortages in the supply of many items as a result of the fall off
in production in the advanced capitalist states. Hence in Jamai-
ca in the twenty years between 1910 and 1930 the price of
imported codfish had gone up 53%, butter 45%, beer 96%,
cotton clothing 76%, machinery 106% and oil 192%. (Eisner
p. 259-260). This rapid rise in the cost of basic necessities
coincided with a fall-off in employment opportunities and a
drop in wages conditioned by the close ties of the colonial
economy to the international capitalist system. In Northern
Rhodesia in the mid 1930's these reached a level of 5/6d per
week for each African worker in the Copper Industry, while
Nigerian tin-miners were getting 3/6d per week, equivalent to
l/7dof the value produced. (Palme-Dutt p. 57-60). In Jamaica
between 1927 and 1932, the day rate of labourers in the
country parishes fell from 2/ 4d to 1/ 9d, that of artisans in
Kingston from 7/- to 5/ 7d and that of female domestic ser-
vants outside of Kingston from 6/ Id to 6/- per week. (Orde-
Browne p. 97). At this time a 4 lb. loaf of bread cost about
1/7d and a quart of coconut oil 10d to 1/-. In addition when
work could be found, hours of work were excessive; in some
cases particularly on the docks in the 1930's evidence suggests
that stevedores and wharf labourers sometimes worked contin-
uously for 24, 30 and even forty hours. (Orde-Browne p. 76).
The Struggle of the Colonial Working Class
These conditions, worsened by the world capitalist crisis,
stimulated a rising tide of struggle against class exploitation
and the racial discrimination against the colonial people which
accompanied it. The people of India for example, the largest
British colony, embarked on a campaign of civil disobedience
against the British authorities. In 1930 an anti-imperialist
revolt broke out in Chittagong and Peshawar; the workers of
the big industrial center of Sholapur also rose up to struggle:
they drove the representatives of the British authorities and
the local police out of the city, set up organs of revolutionary
self-government and fought bloody battles with the troops,
which lasted several days; the popular uprising against the
colonialists spread to the North-West Frontier Province. The
liberation struggle of the Indian people was met with mass
repression by the colonialists. Over 60,000 patriots were arrest-
ed in 1930 including the leaders of the Indian National
Congress with Gandhi at their head. In the period 1930-1931
Burma was shaken by an anti-feudal and anti-imperialist
peasant war. During this period the demonstration of the
working people of Egypt against the British colonialists twice
developed into armed uprisings. The peasants of the Phillipines
rose in arms to free their country from American imperialism.
In 1933 unrest occurred among the Indonesian sailors in the
ships of the Dutch navy. In Latin America the anti-imperialist
struggle flared up in a number of countries. In Chile in 1931
for example the sailors mutined, hoisted the red flag and set
up revolutionary committees. The government shelled the
ships. The following year the insurgent workers attempted to
proclaim a workers state in Chile. New centres of struggle kept
springing up in the colonies and dependent countries.
Class Exploitation and Working Class Strivings
The rate of development and quality of the anti-imperialist
struggle varied from place to place however, because of the
uneven way in which imperialist exploitation developed
amongst different countries. In the West Indies where imperial-
ist penetration was as yet relatively underdeveloped, the striv-
ings of the working class and the peasantry to overcome
poverty and oppression had given rise to the Garvey movement
in the 1920's and was slowly entering into a new phase in the
early 1930's. Relatively small numbers, low concentration,
limited education, subjection to colonial racialist ideology,
newness to wage-labour, long hours, material impoverishment,
continued if unstable access to petty means of independent
livelihood, isolation from the main centres of proletarian and
anti-imperialist struggle all these objective and subjective
factors helped to retard the emergence of a mass revolution-
ary movement at that time. Evidence of growing struggle was
discernible by 1935 however. In May-July 1934, there were
disturbances on sugar estates in Trinidad and in St. Kitts in
January 1935. In May 1935 there was a significant strike of
wharf labour at Falmouth, Jamaica followed by disturbances.
Then towards the end of the year in September and October
1935, there were open clashes between estate workers and the
police in British Guiana as well as rioting in Kingstown and
Camden Park in St. Vincent. As yet however, these struggles
were limited in their scope and extensiveness. Ideologically,
the working people were concerned primarily with improving
their day to day economic conditions within the framework of
the colonial system of imperialism. Knowledge of socialism or
commitment to revolutionary-democratic ideologies was con-
fined to isolated workers and progressive intelligentsia. Organ-
isationally, the clashes with the colonial authorities were as yet
restricted to particular estates, towns or districts, which lacking
territorial support, was suppressed before giving rise to any
permanent organisational structures. In these episodes the
growing numbers of urban unemployed and semi-employed
workers were beginning to play a significant role and were
"the causes of growing concern to the Colonial Government"
(Moyne p. 195). By 1935 in Jamaica the problem had grown
sufficiently to prompt the appointment of a Commission to
look into the question. The closure of emigration outlets which
had allowed an average of 10,000 people to leave the island
annually between 1883 and 1935, the increased hardship
brought down on the peasant proprietor of export crops by
the world capitalist crisis, the relatively higher wages paid in
Kingston and an increase in the rate of population growth.
These factors worsened the plight of the working class and
pushed a significant section of the labouring population on to
the dumpheap of urban unemployment and underemployment.
Though there were no precise statistics kept in the early
1930's, in 1938 the colonial authorities classified 55,000
people or 23% of the employed labour force as "Miscellaneous
apd unemployed" and estimated that there were 12-14,000
unemployed in Kingston and St. Andrew alone. These were
the people, amongst them the ex-servicemen and war veterans,
whose protests and demonstrations played an important role
in advancing the mass struggle and winning reforms from the
These street marches were also beginning to attract the
attention of elements from amongst the educated groups in the
colonial society and provided the basis for the deepening of
progressive and anti-colonial sentiments amongst varied middle
strata. Because of the sporadic and underdeveloped nature of
these strivings however, the working class still appeared an un-
fortunate and suffering mass as yet incapable of sustained in-
dependent action in pursuit of its own class interests. The
pressure on the middle class'group to detach itself from defense -
of colonialism and go over to working class and anti-colonial
positions was therefore weak and relatively ineffectual. As
such, elements from amongst this class who spoke out in
favour of the poor and downtrodden were exceptional even
though their ideological stance was vacillating and centrist
despite its progressive content. One such individual was
Cipriani in Trinidad, another Bustamante in Jamaica.
According to Sylvia Wynter, Bustamante had returned
home to Jamaica in 1934 at the age of 50, had tried to set him-
self up in a beekeeping business and then turned to money-
lending to make a living. (Wynter p. 32). According to his own
testimony (cf. Letter 8 Mr. Alexander Bustamante's Reply -
Mr. S.W. Sharp Answered) Bustamante possessed "a fair
amount of wealth," had some investment in banana cultivation
and paid taxes. From these early days of 1935 Bustamante
declared himself an individualist "Bustamante is a lonely
fighter: he belongs to no organisation or club." This was the
man who in the year Garvey left Jamaica begun writing proli-
fically to the Daily Gleaner and other newspapers of the
day about the conditions prevailing in the colonial system of
imperialism. Among these letters were two published in April
1935 on the question of unemployment,one of the most harm-
ful consequences of the system of class exploitation developed
by monopoly capitalism in Jamaica.
Monopoly Capitalism in the Colonies
By the 1930's capitalism had developed out of its classical
stage of 'free enterprise' and monopoly had entrenched itself
in the main branches of the economies of Western Europe and
the United States. Competition had given rise to unequal rates
of growth among different enterprises, growing concentration
r,-n your issue of the Oth inst. it
is stated that a certain gentleman said
that tie unemployed should not stage a
demonstration d take part In a hun-
er march buf should retain at home
and send their leaden to the Corpora-
The latter method of calling attention
to conditions or grievances is a prper
one as a crowd cannot speak fr Itself
but must do so through leaders appoint-
ed by it, but it should not be suggested
that individuals have no right to form
themselves into a body, and provided
this is done in an orderly manner, call
attention to and give practical expres-
sion to their condition and needs.
When It was intended to give a wel-
come to our Royal visitor not only was
this done through the people's represen-
tatives and the representatives of Gov-
ernment by their presence and in the
form of addresses, but thousands of peo-
ple lined the streets of Kingston and
the roads in the country to add to, and
confirm the welcome given in their
name by the above named representa-
What is wrong is, that in spite of the
queslon of unemployment being made
the chief plank on platforms and rash
promises as to Ita relief being made to
the people when their suffrage was be-
ing sought, when no relief is apparent
or forthcoming the people on approach-
ing thoee who made the promises are
told that the relief of unemployment is
no business of theirs, but that measure
are being taken by some one else to
meet the situation.
It cannot be denied that the demon-
strators conducted themselves in an or-
derly manner and that the deputation
that waited on the Corporation Council
expressed themselves very nicely.
It is no good telling the people that
Government is not concerned with them.
for Government tells them what to do
and what not to do; where and what to
buy and how much to pay for it. Gov-
ernment poses as a paternal Govern-
ment. and as one looks to ones natural
parents, so the people naturally look Lo
Government when they are unable to
What is also wrong is that when peo-
ple seek the right of self expression that
force should be employee, not to assist
them, as is done in other countries, to
carry out an orderly demonstration and
to protect them but to intimidate. Force
is a dangerous thing: it does not always
protect, but when used to intimidate
sometimes irritates and becomes the
author of disorder. Those who possess
force should be careful how they use it.
Hungry men and women and children
have a right to call attention to their
condition and to ask of people fulfilment
of promises made to them. as long as
they do so without using violence or he-
Jamaicans are patient, trustful and
law abiding, and if properly advised
and treated no one has anything to tear.
The condllions existing to-duy have
not sprung up over night, but they
.have been left to grow worse till the
situation is now acute. No steps have
been taken for their amelioration,
What Jamaica needs is practical and
sympatlih'ti men interested In the rcun-
try and ite iWeuple and not charulatln
and self seekers making long speeches
about nothing; men who by their hland-
lng of the country's affairs will make
such things as hunger marches unne-
"Beware nof the Greeks when Ihey
bring gift" and when these gitis turn
out lo be toads, endeavour to climb up
Happily we have a few men like the
Hon. H. A. L. Simpson in whose hands
the interests 4n the people can be trust-
ed, and who will realize that hungry and
needy people will find a way of express-
ing themselves with the hope that sona-
thing will be done for their assistance.
I am, etc.,
18 Duke St.,
April 18, Isgg.
OCs= FOR1 EZLmX.
SLr,-In a recent letter t your valued
paper and which you were kind enough
'publish I commented on the right of
tae unemployed to call attention to by
hunger march or any other peaceful or
ojdely means, the tact of their condi-
*m h a view to the matter being
toe seriously by those in authdity
and means devised for their relief.
As I am interested in the matter of
Sunemployment, knowing that its exist-
ence Is a serious" setback to the pros-
ly of any country, I beg to give
some further observations in this cop-
SneOtla and to point out that any con-
tributon to its increase, even if done
unconsciously by employers of lab-
bour, is likely to return like a boomer-
ang on its authors.
Through selfishness on the part of
some and greed on the part of others
and "follow fashion" in others, there
has been a tendency lately to cut down
expenses by discharging persons in
their employment, not realising that
every man discharged robs the com-
munity of not only one potential buyer
but sometimes a whole family and
lessens the spending power not alone
to others but to those employers them-
selves, as the thing goes round in a
circle and must inevitably come back to
the place where it started, and no one,
however smart, can escape the effects
of a general condition created.
In connection with the celebration of
the Silver Jubilee of H.M. the King,
H.R H. the Prince of Wales has started
a fund for the youth of England, which
scheme is bound to include the ques-
tion of the relief of unemployment.
In Jamaica, committees have been
formed and schemes submitted includ-
ing one to check the spread of and re-
lieve those suffering from that dreaded
scourge of tuberculosis. This is an ex-
cellent and praiseworthy object, and
should meet with full public support,
although to my mind, this should be a
matter that should be taken care of by
Private citizens should wake from
sleep and realise that unless something
is done for the relief of unemployment
and that if the present conditions are
allowed to continue for any time the
following amongst other necessary
actions will be forced on Government,
which has to be supported by the peo-
ple, viz: dole relief, pauper relief, ex-
tensin of Poor Houses, hospitals, pri-
sons, -eformatories and lunatic asy-
lums. These institutions exist mainly
a the result of poverty and its attend-
ant consequences of crime and disease.
Take also Into cunt the incaculable
los in the degeneration, physically and
morally of the generations to come.
* Ia It not worth while to try to devise
something to prevent these evils hap-
pening and, to improve the country?
am suggesting that t s worth whi
for any one m position to regard the
matter seriously and to make some
I am making what I consider to be a
practical suggestion. I do not wish to
have to come to the conclusion that the
action on the part of those who are
now dispensing with peoples services
(often those who have served long and
faithfully In the past) is prompted not
by urgent necessity but with the desire
to grab all and heap up huge profits,
and I am appealing first of all to those
who are so doing to desist as they are
creating conditions that will eventual-
ly fall back on themselves.
It Is said that a proper element of
business thought is to obtain the maxi-
-mum of service for the minimum -of
cost, but there is a limit to all things.
I am further suggesting that in keep-
ing with the spirit of and the necessity
for sacrifice which is so often preached
and so seldom practised and especially-
at this time when so much is being said
of those who made the supreme sacri-
fice in the last Great War, and now
when the sacrifice of Him Who died up-
on the Cross for us and for the redemp-
tion of the whole World is being cele-
brated, let us stop awhile and see
what little sacrifice we can make to
make our country better and its people
I am suggesting that a movement
be started for each and every one in a.
position to do so to see if we could not
give employment and bread to some
one, even if we have to make some
sacrifice to do so. I am sure that the
aggregate result would not only go a
long way towards relieving the pre-
sent distressing conditions, but would
give us satisfaction n knowing that we
are endeavouring to fulfil the prayer
often said without meaning to "Our
Father" .... "Give us this day our
Let us start a "Silver Jubilee Em-
ployment Campaign," and let this idea
be put forward in the Press and preach-
ed from the pulpits and taken up by all
charitable and philanthropic institu-
tions, and let us see what will be the
result. Let us each make a pledge to
employ one extra person, however small
the wages might be, when we are able,
and give this a try for, say, six months.
Ma persons could find in their busi-
nes or elsewhere something one would
like to have done but have never given
same attention because it was not
urgent I ami of the opinion that effort
and money spent in this manner would
Jiot be wasted. I am, etc.,
A Duke Street,
of capital in large scale industry and the progressive ruin of
small scale business. In the United States for example the num-
ber of firms making motor cars shrank from 265 in 1909 to 44
in 1926 and 11 in 1937. In Britain in 1914 there were 130 rail-
way companies, after 1921 there were four giant monopolies.
(Bernal unpublished). Accompanying the tremendous concen-
tration of capital which took place in the first two decades of
the twentieth century was the rapid growth in the importance
of the 'export of capital' for the economies of advanced
capitalism. The expansion of investment in the colonies and
semi-colonies and the extension of burdensome loans to de-
pendent territories were important features of this process. In
this regard British investment in Latin America (Government
bonds and economic enterprise) had grown by almost 600%
between 1880 and 1913. (from 179.5 million to 999.2).
At the same time, as Britain lost industrial supremacy in the
last quarter of the 19th century, U.S. investment in the region
(including the West Indies and Cuba) grew at a similar rate'
from $308.1 million in 1897 to $1648.7 million in 1914.
These figures reflected the growing penetration of colonial
and dependent territories by foreign capital and the increasing
subjugation of the most varied branches of the local economy
by imperialist monopolies. Certain sectors of the backward
ecofiomies particularly transport, communication and utili-
ties provided specially attractive fields of investment for
British and American finance capital. In these spheres U.S.
capital was responsible for completing the construction of the
important Panama Canal between 1904 and 1914 and, reflect-
ing the changing alignment amongst the imperialist powers on
a global basis, begun to squeeze out British capital as the dom-
inant force in the region. Thus North American capital bought
out and extended the Jamaica railway to Montego Bay in the
1890's, and by 1925 enjoyed monopoly control of the provi-
sion of electric lighting and tram-way services in both Port of
Spain and Kingston.
The transition from free enterprise on the basis of national
ownership of a number of small holdings to concentration of
capital and competition amongst monopoly concerns was also
evident in agricultural production. In Jamaica a combination
of British finance, local capital and guarantees of interest on
investment by the colonial state in 1902 facilitated the amal-
gamation of sugar estates and the establishment of a system of
central factories. This process brought about a decline in the
number of sugar estates from 111 in 1900 to 39 in 1930 at the
same time as the average size of estates grew from 196 to 661
acres. (Eisner). This combination of British investment and
local capital put the cane sugar industry in Jamaica and the
other West Indian colonies on a sounder footing but was
incapable of matching the rapid strides being made by Ameri-
can finance capital in this area. In 1894, four years before the
Spanish-American war heralded the expansion of the USA as
an imperialist power, American investment in the Cuban sugar
industry had grown to about $30 million and brought about
the dominance of that island's economy by massive estates and
the most modern factories. This meant that the output of the
Cuban sugar industry was over four times that of the West
Indies and partly explains the fact that by 1896 "foreign cane"
had a larger percentage of the British market than that grown
in the British colonies. (Williams).
It was in the Banana industry however, that the advance of
monopbly and the competition amongst monopolies, which
characterises the imperialist mode of production on a global
scale, asserted itself most dramatically. The banana, until the
year 1866 was virtually unknown in Western Europe and the
United States. In 1870 Captain Lorenzo Dow Baker,command-
er of the fishing schooner Telegraph out of Wellfleet, Massach-
usetts, loaded as extra cargo at Port Antonio 160 bunches
of bananas for which he paid the peasants of Portland a shilling
a bunch. Eleven days after the purchase,the Telegraph docked
in Jersey City where the bananas sold at $2.00 a bunch. In the
following years Baker expanded the trade on this exploitative
basis and utilised the huge surpluses earned from the Jamaican
peasantry to incorporate the Boston Fruit Company in 1885.
Fourteen years later the total importation of Bananas from the
West Indies and the Central American region had expanded to
16 million stems as the rapid expansion of U.S. capitalism
increased U.S. demand for food imports of all kinds. This in
turn encouraged the consolidation on a corporate basis of
companies engaged in the banana trade and in 1899 Boston
Fruit merged with the Keith group of companies which had
been engaged in shipping bananas from Colombia, Costa Rica,
Panama and Nicaragua to New Orleans.
This merger produced the United Fruit Co. and inaugurated
a new period in the penetration of Latin America by U.S.
finance capital and accelerated the further take over of the
economies of the region by foreign monopoly capitalism. (May
& Plaza p. 67). The concentration of capital in United Fruit
was massive. At the time of its incorporation United Fruit Co.
had an authorised capital of $20 million of which $11.2 million
was subscribed within a year, 112 miles of railroad and 212,394
acres of land of which 61,263 acres were in production. The ex-
pansion of United Fruit Company throughout Central America
proceeded rapidly lands were bought in Santo Domingo, Hon-
duras, Guatemala, Panama and Cuba, additional acreage acquired
in Nicaragua, Jamaica and Columbia, and hundreds of miles of
railroads built to facilitate rapid transportation of the fruit
from hinterland regions. Between 1900 and 1930 through a
series of mergers United Fruit was able to control between
60% and 75% of the North American and United States
markets. By 1930 on the basis of unequal arrangements and
one-sided agreements with governments and suppliers, surplus-
es earned in the exploitation of the region, allowed the Com-
pany to expand its capital to $215 million following the pur-
chase of Samuel Zemurray's Cuyamel Fruit Company in 1929.
In Jamaica and other dependent territories which had been
traditional preserves of British capital, the growth of this and
other U.S. monopolies initially encountered resistance from an
alliance of forces including the colonial state and semi-indepen-
dent national capitalist interests. This latter group centered in
Jamaica around Jewish, Syrian and mulatto family groups
which by the turn of the century were beginning to divert pro-
fits earned in professional and merchant activity from the
sugar industry to the relatively profitable business of banana
cultivation. In 1899 this embryonic local capitalist class cen-
tered around four major groups the Pringles with major
holdings in the Atlantic (later Jamaica) Fruit and Shipping
Company; the Charles Johnson-DeMercado holdings; the De-
lisser-Lindo group; and J.E. Kerr and Company of Montego
Bay (Robotham p. 32). This class entered into fierce but ulti-
mately futile competition with United Fruit Company which,
held over 7,500 acres of Jamaican land when it was incorporated
With its reserves of American finance capital and its control
of the U.S. market United Fruit Co. gradually subjugated its
competitors in the "Banana Wars" which followed and expand-
ed its interests into sugar, coconuts, citrus, penkeeping and the
newly emergent tourist industry. Despite efforts by the colon-
ial state to shore up the efforts of the local capitalists class in
resisting U.S. penetration, United Fruit Company rapidly grew
to monopolise the banana trade by 1910 with the absorption
of Elder, Dempster and Co. which represented an alliance of
British capital and the Pringle group and which had enjoyed
some success in reclaiming a portion of the trade from United
In the 1920's the last Tamaican-British attempt to compete
with the United Fruit Company for the local trade resulted in
the formation of the Jamaica Banana Producers Association.
In 1925 the Imperial Economic Committee had recommended
the setting up of a Jamaica Cooperative Association and of a
direct shipping line between Jamaica and Great Britain. To-
wards this end, the Committee, the Jamaica Government and
the Colonial Development Fund all made contributions. In
1927 the Jamaica Banana Producers Association was formed
as a Cooperative and two years later the Jamaica Direct Fruit
Shipping Line Ltd. was established by the JBPA in association
with a corporation named Di Georgi Fruit. (Eisner).
The Producers Association represented a broad alliance of
predominantly African small and middle peasantry, local big
landholders of light-skinned complexion and British capital
Supporters of Mr. Ashenhiem; Red, White and Blue neckties were fashionable at
the collegiate Hall yesterday. They represented the colours of Mr. Louis Ashenhein.
In the picture can be seen (left to right) Mr. A. A. "Doctor" Mends, Mr. J. I. Denniston,
Mr. Roy Hammond, Mr. V. Pinto, Mr. T. B. Stephenson, and Mr. S. Alex. Smart. These
gentlemen were all optimistic regarding the chances of their candidate.
Left SIR EDWARD DENHAM, Governor of Jamaica during 1935...FEB.20th.
1 ANOTHER JAMAICA PROVERB.
Cookie Willy say when Bickle soon ready Belly Bottom never stan steady.
still intent on. arresting its world-wide decline in the face of
U.S. competition. In the economic sphere the challenge was
relatively successful in its early years within six months of
the formation of the Association, contracts for fruit were
signed with over 7,000 growers covering more than 36,000
acres of banana cultivation. A year later the JBPA was hand-
ling nearly 24% of exports and two years later in 1931 this had
risen to 34%. At the same time the competition was intense
enough to penetrate the sphere of colonial politics where in
the 1930 elections to the Legislative Council, candidates sym-
pathetic to the JBPA convincingly defeated the representatives
of the United Fruit Co. (as well as the anti-imperialist national-
ism of Garvey's PPP) who stood for election, (R. Lewis p, 34).
The latter however responded to the challenge of the JBPA by
utilising the tactics characteristic of wars amongst monopoly
associations it raised the price it offered to Jamaican pro-
ducers at the same time as the Company embarked on a aam-
paign of discrediting the JBPA in the UK market. The relative
success of this counter-attack prompted Association interests
to call for the division of the Jamaican market on a fixed
quota basis. Bustamante entered into the controversy surround-
ing this question.
I I Il i
Quota For Bamsa
Sir,-There is quite a lot of discus-
sion over the proposed quota for ban-
There is a strong defence in favour
of the Jamaica Banana Producers As-
soecition, that unless such a system is
established the company will have to
Now let us analyze the situation from
an impartial point of view. The writer
has no axe.to grind. Let us return to the
time when there was no banana com-
It s a matter of history that the late
Captain L.D. Baker saw the po wbillty
t bananas taking the place of the then
dying sugar industry, and started the
shipment of bananas to the United
States of America on his own account,
by schooners. Later the Boston Fruit
Co. was founded, and as the venture
succeeded, eventually their interest
was absorbed by the United Fruit Co.
which was formed and grew to be one
ot the biggest companies in the United
States of America.
A subsidiary Company-Elders and
Fyffe Ltd., was founded for the ship-
ment of bananas to the United King-
dom and the Continent.
Notwithstanding all that has been
said about the activities of this mighty
octopus, it cannot be gainsaid that
this company aside from dennitely
placing Jamaica on the map, has done
more than any other company to de-
velop the Island's resources and to im-
prove the condition of the labouring
people by instituting medical services,
better houses and living condition, and
at the time when thi was sorely need-
ed. There might not have been the large
class of peasant proprietors that exist
to-day had it not been for the activities
of this company.
The Jamaica Banana Producers As-
sociation was formed as a co-opera-
tive movement amongst the planters
themselves, and as a native concern
and to create competition so as to pre-
vent the business falling entirely in the
hands of thi foreign concern, and it is
therefore right that it should consider
taking such steps as may be necessary
to preserve its existence, especially that
the Jamaica Banana Producers Asso-
ciation is guaranteed by tax-payers'
Care should however, be taken that
in such actions the claim of the United
Fruit Company should be considered
and that one monopoly should not be
destroyed for the setting up of another,
and we should not place ourselves in
the position as being regarded as an
What is required is that the affairs
of this Association should be enquired
into, and things re-adjusted, so that
what is stated as the original intention
of the Association should be preserved,
that is the benefit of the producers
themselves especially the smaller ones,
The time has come when the top-
heavy OraKslatlem with a few people
absorbing such a huge proportion of
the profit should be altered to a more
equal base oAdistributid;,
Everything possible should be dons
to conserve the interest of the Associ-
atlon without creating undue friction
and also without hurting the United
Listen folks, never forget an old
hore that served you faithfully.
I am, etc..
la Duke Street,
Kingston, June 27. 19315.
Mr. F. H.Robert r Aswered
NO NEED OF QUOTA. WFITR SATS.
Sir,-In your issue of the leaner of
even date, Mr. Robertson in some parts
of his letter has given a very vivid illus-
tration of the great economic depression
that exists to-day. In short he tells us
that thousands of banks, business hous-
es-large and small-have closed their
doors, in other words gone broke.
The producers oa Brazil by Govern-
ment order have been burning millions
of bags of coffee which they have not
been able to sell. Ten million bags
have been destroyed last year.
I want to correct Mr. Robertson In
the latter and not through a feeling of
chastisement, that it was not last year
that ten million bags of coffee were
burnt in Brazil, but nearly three yuear
Mr. Robertson goe on to say, "Think
of it? Ten bags of coffee for each man,
woman and child of the million .9 mnis
in Jamaica being burned flstead of sod
Now may I ask Mr. Robertson: What
is he trying to lead up to with this com-
parison? For we know as a tact dist
if we were even to cut down all the
trees of coffee in this country and bag
them we would not export ten million
bags; and if the people of our country
would drink more coffee, which I am
not advising from a dietetic point of
view, we would be able to drink all our
coffee ourselves instead of exporting
same. This should make it very clear to
the public that they should not have the
slightest fear that our coffee will ever
be burnt. If Mr. Robertson means to use
the illustration of what is happening to
coffee in Brazil to cause an earthquake
of fear through the minds of banana
farmers that the same would happen to
bananas in this country, that would be
worse than a Judas' kiss, for the entire
world does not produce sufficient ban-
anas, and will not produce sufficient
bananas for such a condition as that
which exists in Brazil In respect of
coffee. For there is not enough banana
lands of fertility to produce such a de-
If Mr. Robertson feels that we too
might have to burn bananas here, or
that as many good bunches of bananas
would be rejected after the spider had
destroyed the Ja. B. P. Association, then
it seems to me that this Association
would be able to get sufficient good fruit
out of the rejected good ones. If he is
sincere in his belief why does he want
a banana quota? Some people write
things so that the public should believe
in something that they themselves do
It is unfair and unjust to the other
fruit companies, it is unjust to the
Government, it is unjust to everyone in
this country, except to the few who are
drawing this unheard of profit from the
Ja. B. P. AssocIation, for anyone to pro-
pagate any such vile things as that the
other fruit companies intend to des-
trdy the J.B.P. Association so that
bananas might return to the 9d. and I/
per bunch, and that they would reject
every six or seven bunches out of
Could anyone believe that any such
insinuation could come from a right-
eous person or. is uttered for the good
of( the country? I sy no. It is a deplor-
able, monstrous and vile propaganda to
the detriment of the masses. And yet it
is said: "Do to others as you would like
- I I ..... -...
It one unto yourself The st
wrds re those of Mr. Roberon. Doe
he mean that he t doing unto the few
man In the J.B.P. Association who
have made their company top-heavy
owing to their enormous profit at the
expense of the banana farmers, more
the smaller ones, what he would like
done unto him by the banana farmers
It he were in the place of thee few big
There Is room here for the other fruit
companee and the J.B.P.A. without
b" a nana quota. We
DO NOTr N ANY mAANA QUOTA
for this island. What we need is more
firplay more Justice, more open maru-
ket within the Iland, more competition
amofu ourselves, and lem week-kneed
.manaera and proprietors, so that
there may be, les need of asking the
Gernor for protection, thus drawing
him into mre hot water.
With all this a akin for protection, al
though the Governor surrendered at
Ume*, to such requests, I wonder If he
has not been thh in in his heart of
hearts that we are similar to a bunch
of under-fed eak-need school boy'
r. RbertMon continues by demon-
traing his knowledge of aai in ior-
eign countries-in Canada, Australia,
U.S.A. and Argentine-by saying that
million of bushels o wheat in these
countries are awaiting buyers. This is
u, but where is the connection be-
tween that and our bananas in Jamai-
ca, when our banana farmers cannot
supply shipper with the amount of
banana they need? If he wer writing
to the Moors o Rio del Oro In the
uthern Part of Morocco I could un-
derta that, for they being Ignorant
Uv=lg cannot compare one thing with
noe. e goea on to say that hun-
d of s of rubber grown in C-..
o, Sumatra, Java, India and other
untri are unmarketd. Millions of,
galon at dehicou milk produced by
the' ow of countless farmers have
Ibrout no return. What has all then
todo th banana question? Let us
he has not tasted this delicious
or he might become like "Pay-
eholoiat" who Mr. Turvill claims is a
nweab.e 1ut1n for swallowing up
$6 0@nlft" "Farmers in AUA .
Swondr leqsd ases of Netle'
hbee wp .0._ W
Whatba t *af do wIft tIiheot
dkma, b aras m__
tiae, anof obtinns pier5 banana
tim pls destruction through bmum
My rifdste c you the right
naction of an these thinss in the diff-
nt ctio with baeanas heref
Robertoun as the quatlo: "Wh. has
happMaed to us? I ill answer that
e have an got we-kned regarding
competition and would like to st the
In a pararaph Mr Robertson
states that theIJ.B.P. Assoca
crossing the tream. To that I ay
whbesver rational managers notice
their cpany a stream
is ikelly to get gdr n ely
throw of their impedi t to sa-
their burden so as to give them more
opportunity to swim. Will the Bord
of Management of this orgnisattoB
show their interet in their company
and the producers b lessening
pros, thereby stemming the tide 0
discontent that is arryag the A.so-
Mr. oberton, your abuse of thoee
who have had the temerity to er"tie*
the management o the J.3.P.A. lik-
ening the people to Judas, fools, spid4-
a, etc., shows that you have eache
your last weapon, and you must by thu
know. that the only effect abuse can
have it to alienate the sympathy o
those who are viewing the question in
an Impersonal. light
There are aome among the Associa-
tion's critic who do not own a banana
root, and are not directly finaencially in-
terested, but who view the mater In a
fair and impartial manner which they
are able to do, owing to the absence of
financial interests, and are only inter-
ested in the welfare of the country and
the pobr producers.
If I may be so bold as to advise you.
let me suggest that you realize that
whit it is poeible "to fool soae o the
people some of the time," it is impos-
sible "to fool all of the people all of the
time," that people are becoming
thoughtful, and instead of telling the
Irrelevant things about other countries,
apply yourself in setting your own
house in order, reclaiming lot confid-
ence for the preservation of the Aaseci-
ation, the good of the banana industry
and the benefit of the producers, epe-
cially the samaler ones.
This can only be done by facing the
facts squarely; by asme people being
willing to make sacrifices to remove the
weight from on top and to allow the
Association to continue on a firm and
Mr. Alex. Bustamante'a RepIt
Ma w. sw.HA ANSWURWa
Sir,-One Mr. S. W. Sharp wants to
know who is Bustamante. I wa born
in Hanover. At a very tender age Spain
became my home. I served in the Span-
ish Army as a Cavalry officer in Moroc-
co, Northern Africa. Subsequently J be-
came an Inspector in the Havana Pol-
ice Force. Recently I worked as dieti-
cian in one of New York's largest hos-
Bustamante is a lonely fighter: he
belongs to no organization or club. He
fight on the side a fairplay. Not only
that, he rights on the side of his enemy
if he is on the side of justice, without
fear of any consequence whatever. It
is characteristic of him to always put
his address with his name when writing
to the Press. I have not seen Mr. Sharp'
address in his letter of to-day's date-
makes me wonder!
Bustamante enjoys the privileges of
possessing an irreproachable character,
excellent health and a fair amount ol
wealth. He pays taxes and license and
does not work for 'anybody. He has a
little banana, but they are on the open
market, and are going to stay there-at
least until the Jamaica Banana Pro-
ducers' Association is well organized,
and until the people have sufficient
sense to make such a contract that the
pockets of a few will not absorb all
the profits, so that we should not be
like their beasts of burden, af is the
With regard to my authority for mak-
ing the statement I did in a previous
letter, I did notet it by sitting in my
office at No. lA Duke Street, but by
spending my own money travelling by
motor car from Port Morant to Negril
Point investigating the conditions ofthe
land in which I was born.
In Mr. Sharp's last paragraph he
writes: "Finally, if he has no good au-
thority for making the statement he
did, he eight remain silent This i
what I hav e done all my lfe, remain
silent in things I know nothing about.
But how can I remain silent when this
top-heavy organization Is being tilted
over at the expense of the banana farm-
ers' Why, Mr, Sharp,, you. would not
keep my mouth closed- ven If you pad-
In Spain I wrote of love and nature's
beauty. In Jamaica, can only write of
the miseries and injustices, and of thoee
persons who are endeavouring, to de-
ceive their countrymen and women,
and of those who are using their evil
minds, their wicked hearts to instil in
the public that other fruit companies'
intention is to destroy the Jamaica
Banana Producers Association. That is
The great Lord might have John the
Devil closed up in some pen, but He
certainly has let loose a lot of devils
in Jamaica, sowing the evil seeds of in-
justice for their own personal benefits
and their friends,' while the masses suf-
fer more and more, too weak to fight for
themselves, praying to Almighty God to
liberate them from these aigels of the
Devil, some of whose writing make me
feel that they could better occupy their
time by becoming theatrical clowns.
I could write forever of the stupidity
of the last paragraph of Mr. Sharp's
letter, but the best way for peace is sa-
I am a taxpayer, but so many stupid
people of this Island believe that un-
less a man is a taxpayer he has no right
to open his mouth, but to become a
member of thArmy of th mase
be voiceless so that evil ropas-
like some of those who belong to
Fruit Company whose voices ea
that ever man who is a citizen,
there by bth orby naturalization., i
perfect right to open his mouth and
his voice be heard just as strong l
he were a taxpayer.
Good luck, Mr. Sharp. We Med
do, for you seem to be comicilay
I am, etc.,
1A Duke Stret,
- Juwo a i yar.
soad s U a i tor wn none, you
would ind that the value andl u ul-
nos o th rganiation would be fully
redalsed and appreciated. that it would
obtain the full support of the public,
and there would be no ecesity for
talk, campagning, quota or anything
else to keep It in existence.
I am, etc.,
!A Duke Street,
July 1, If*
Colonial Public Finance and Monopoly Capitalism.
The monopoly capitalist form of economic organisation,
advanced rapidly though unevenly, throughout colonial econo-
mies after the turn of the century and was becoming the pre-
dominant form by the 1930's. The colonial and dependent
states were inextricably involved in defending and advancing
this trend on a world-wide basis. Regressive and pro-imperialist
tax policies was one method of favouring the penetration of
the monopolies. In the early years of the United Fruit Com-
pany operations for example, low export taxes on bananas and
tax exemptions of various kinds were a characteristic feature
of the contracts signed with various countries. Its contract of
1900 for example with Costa Rica, remitted export taxes
entirely for a period of ten years and for the following 20
years set the banana export tax at 1 cent per stem. In most
cases the company gained exemption from import duty on
heavy equipment and materials for the construction and opera-
tion of railroads, wharves, electric plants, communication
facilities and in some instances exemption for materials and
supplies for irrigation and drainage works. In Guatemala also
the pro-imperialist nature of the government reflected itself in
the fact that, under the original contract, the United Fruit
Co. was required to pay only $14,000 per year to the Central
Government and a paltry export tax of 1 cent per stem.
The practise of relatively favourable treatment for the
foreign monopoly corporations and local capitalists was gener-
al throughout the colonies and dependent territories. In the
West Indies as a whole the exemption of the ruling class from
taxation was particularly evident.Even the Moyne Commission
in an apologetic and grudging manner had to concede the
point. "It would be 'difficult to resist the conclusion .....
that the sacrifice required from the limited class now liable to
income tax in the West Indies is not as onerous as that made
The Government's Policy
THE QUESTION OF INCREASED
Sir,-You wrote-"Laugh or Weep."
Quite appropriate, but I would rather
say "Groan or Kick";' but whether we
laugh, weep, groan or kick, we might
not do much good, unless there was a
Constitution where we could ask for
the immediate resignation of the gov-
ernment, Then, it we succeeded we
I have' oa God, one soul, one life,
and no matter what happens, as long
as tlife lats and as long as the
failure of this government continues,
I shall continue to write painting out
its weakngis-not because I love to do
so, but it is a duty to my people and
The Bible says there are two places
for the soul of man-Hell or Heaven.
With a merciful God, I can look for-
ward to heaven. Can il those of the
present government say so? They who
are finishing the last drop of blood 4o
the poor of th Island with extra taxes
and child-like suggestions of how the
money is to be spent-not invested-
should only have the privilege of ex-
pecting the wrath of God.
Quoting the Attorney General's re-
mark, he said that those business peo-
ple who cannot pay 41d. or did. per
week should get out of business. This
was in reference to the hole in-the-
corner business man and woman, who
sells little ice, a few eggs and Badoo
I say no Government Official should
be allowed to make such a statement.
I go further, that they too should get
out of the business of the government.
Has the Attorney General any sug-
gestion as to where these people must
go after getting out of business? Has
he failed to understand that nearly
every one of these little business men
and women have to contribute to the
support of some of their unemployed
relatives, or does he understand any-
thing at all regarding the deprivation
that these unfortunates of .this Island
are undergoing? Does he realize that
some of these same hole in-the-corner
business people must live on one Gd.
to 1/ along with their family for a
long period of three or four days?
I do not write fiction; I write facts,
as I can prove what I am saying.
Then if a sixpence to a shilling must
serve a family for a period of three to
four days, from where must they get
this 4ld. per'week to pay taxes? And
entey get out of business, the only
places for them to go are the Mad
House, which carries more mad people
than any other country I know in com-
parison to its size; to the Poor House
which is a disgrace to civilization, or
on the Pauper Rol. That was a very
undignified and unfortunate remark
from such a distinguished gentleman.
The poor will shudder greater under
the strain of this undue and cruel tax-
ation, but the rich too will feel t. for
there is a depression in business which
affects all. Besides, it is reasonable
for me to. presume that they too are
carrying the burden of supporting unem
played relatives and helping friends
and giving to charities.
I am not trying to defend the rich
for they are capable of doing so, but
at the same time I have not gotany-
thing against them, and many of us
who are In more fortunate positions
than the unhappy ones, and laugh at
the Idea of people not being able to
pay id. a week taxes, have people,
here or there, of their own, in the same_
The Governor has travelled around
the Island to see things, and perha
to do things. He has seem with -hs
eyes the peoi in their SuSnq dress-
es, but Bxecutves reqI
conditions beyond th.gight o *
If he has done this, can Iu td
Mr. Editor, how could hi ba
up to 400 per cent BKe :te thlani,*t
the people used to pay' S '
enough Bankrupley'. t a m
Ar the people aot shl
enough from hunger Is the wetrn-
ment p blind as not to se" Ut a*.
unhappy ones are returning I' si
statMe frotm h ll-b an e. 9,
world-nude? Does not the Govern--
ment understand that extra taxes will
only tend to increase Government In-
stitutions? Must I ask if the govern-
ment has no respect for the feehngs of
the poor, and no regard whatever for
Hundreds of thousands of Pounds
should be used on Agriculture so that
we should get financial returns in the
years to come. We have heard nothing
of that, but we hear that gold is to be
sunk in some of the harbours of the
Mr. Editor, I cannot intrude any
further on your generosity, but I must
conclude in saying that the whole mat-
ter looks to me that the business of the
island and the welfare of the
people have been thrown in
hands of unbusinesslike people.
Can there be a greater calamity? Not
even the Ethiopian war! What shall we
do? And what can we do? We can only
wait and expect all nights in this
through indirect taxation by the less prosperous sections of the
community" (Moyne Chap. VI p. 79). The working class and
poor peasantry were in fact called upon by the colonial state
to bear the burden of taxes which came overwhelmingly from
indirect sources while the ruling class and monopoly concerns
got off relatively easily. In Jamaica this reflected itself in the
fact that the proportion of revenue drawn from direct taxes on
property actually fell between 1910 and 1930 while the share
of indirect taxes increased. In 1930, twelve years after income
taxes were introduced, people with incomes of over 10,000
paid 2/- in the . Partly because of this only 5.5% of govern-
ment revenue was obtained in this manner. (Eisner). Added
to low wages, unemployment, underemployment and long
hours of work, colonialist and pro-imperialist policies forced
the masses to bear the brunt of taxes.
At the same time the pattern of government expenditure
revealed a similar bias against the poor. Between 1910 and
1930 over a quarter of the taxes paid by the' mass of the
people were spent on administering the colonial state, while less
than 10% went to education. In addition the Government
contracted substantial debts as a result of loans used primarily
to finance public utilities and railway expansion. These pro-
jects reduced transportation costs and brought benefits pri-
marily to the owners of the banana plantations and sugar
estates. The consequence of this borrowing policy was that a
significant portion of tax revenue was consumed in repayment
of loans. In 1910 the share of debt charges in Public Expen-
diture was approximately 28% while in 1930 it remained at
15% or almost twice the expenditure on Health at the time.
The pro-monopoly and anti-popular character of colonial
Public Finance was a source of grave hardship for the masses
and provided one of the more important bases for the crystalli-
sation of Bustamante's liberal democratic outlook.
This extra taxation and the ungod-
ly suggestion as to how the money
is to be spent at this time, is a moral
It is to be fully understood that
when I say the government,. I am net
including the majority of the Elected
Members, most of whom are doing their
best by protecting against the unheard
of rise of taxation at such a time as
this. I am. etc.,
October 18, 1935.
How The Loan Money
Should Be SDen
THE VIEWS OF A CORRESPONDENT
ON THE PROPOSALS.
Sir,-Jamaica, my land, a place of
sample and show, as you know a loan
of two million pounds is expected. The
Council of the Corporation suggested a
20,000 Slaughter House, a 30,000
Fire Brigade Station, market, School,
the clearing up and rebuilding of the
slum areas, roads, bridges, etc.
If my memory serves me right, not
one of these gentlemen has shown bust.
ness sense of suggesting that money
should be invested in agriculture-an
Agricultural Loan Bank; and nearly
everyone of them in referring to the
Loan always used the words "use" or
"spend" which makes me feel that most
of them are lacking in that business
sense to know that the money is not
just for spending like throwing wild
oats into the deep blue sea, but to be
invested in a way that the Government
should get some financial returns, thus
lessening the burden of the taxpayers.
Money invested in the slum areas in
the building of houses will be sound
investment, and all the Governor needs
to do now is to have the matter decid-
ed upon as to the class df buildings to
be erected and costs, and to start
building immediately it and when the
money is obtained. When this has
accomplished that will be the right tim
for the Governor to name a Commi'-
to see that the investment, apart irom
health noint of view and happiness to
the poor, brings financial return; for the
Governor has already been through the
slums, and if his visits meant anything
materially, he must have grasped the
A suitable market is to be commend-
ed, for there would be a financial re-
turn to the Government, if illicit mar-
kets outside are not permitted to oper-
ate with the new market at the same
Roads and bridges should be built
for the. comfort of all, farmers-will be
better able to transport their product
which would ensure better handling
and thus command better prices.
Before a wild goose chase is taken in
the dredging of harbour, they should
get down to cold mathematics to cal-
culate if it would be an investment or
just money spending which could be
invested otherwise with profit. The un-
fortunate part with most Governments
when spending money is that they so
often think of spending, and never stop
to think of it in the form of investment.
A Slaughter House is badly needed in
Kingston; good slaughtering means bet-
ter meat and better health, but it is not
far from madness to have suggested the
spending of this huge amount for a
slaughter house for such a small com-
munity. This Is spending in truth, for
there would be no better financial re-
turn than what they are receiving to-'
day from that.source. I have had tihe
opportunity of being J
IN MODERN SLAUGHTER HOUffw
and have had the knowledge of the
of some! and if they cannot build.
slaughter house for this conmmunty
somewhat around 9,900, then we
should do without one. Were these men
investing their own money, I venture
to say that not one of them would sign
a cheque for 15,000 or 20,000 to
build a slaughter house, for they would
not run the risk of losing their money.
Money borrowed is feather-weight, but
when to repay is lead-weight.
A Fire Brigade Station now: an ex.
pensive one, gigantic, magnificent in
appearance, grandeur in itself, a great
show, a show that to hungry people and
over-worked farmers who are deprived
of the necessities of life, is but an extra-
vagant and stupid suggestion. I will be
told that there is insufficient accom.
modation at present to house the Bri-
gade. My answer to this is-buy one of
the nearby houses under an Act of the
Government Land Acquiring Law. I
wll be now reminded that the Fire
Station must be up Orange Street, so as
to give St. Andrew better fire protect.
tion, and in fact to have a better dis.
tribution of fire protection throughout
the entire Corporate Area. My answer
: Erset a small fire Station at 'Half-.
is: Erect asmall fire tation at'
way Tree, and it you want to get at
another strategic point, erect another
small one tt Vineyard Pen. Generals
are men who think soundly before
they suggest or act, and it is our poor-
ness of such quality why our ship, Ja-
maica, is capsizing.
We have a great show here to be
remedied-the show of raggedness and
hunger. It is very obvious in prominent
thoroughfares and it is just as obvious
behind the doors of thousands of fami-
lies who are too timid and too afraid
with shame to let the public know
their sufferings. The sight behind
doors of motherslwith many children I
You might ask-How does the writer
know? Well, he has penetrated the
doors of several of these unfortunates
who are his fellow-citizens, and has
quietly divided his Shillings into Pen-
nies with them so that they can bite on
something beside water while he eats.
I say to all those who have made the
wild suggestions to which I have al-
ready referred, this is no time to spend
money foolishly which we all have to
nav by extra taxes. and these will sure-
The colonial state advanced the interest of monopoly enter-
prise not only by its financial policies. On occasion it resorted
to direct action and passed laws which had the effect of
strengthening the hold of big capital over the colonial economy.
The granting of exclusive rights and monopoly franchises for
considerable periods in different spheres of the economy was
one way of bolstering up these'interests and guaranteeing them
against competition. Another way of accomplishing the same
end was to provide the levers, through a system of' licences,
to regulate specific areas of economic activity in the interest
of groupings favourably disposed towards colonialism and
One such measure was the Native Industries Bill proposed
by the colonial government in Jamaica in May 1935. This Bill
sought to give the Colonial Governor power to prohibit the
erection of factories, manufacture for sale or trading in certain
articles except on Specific License granted by the government.
Among the local interests which benefitted from the measure
was the Jewish Henriques family, owners of the Match Factory.
The racial and class bias of the measure did not go unnoticed
and a section of the press asked "shall Jamaica's ... popula-
tion become serfs to ... an alien race?" (cited in Carnegie Cap. 3).
THE GOVERNMENT'S BILL.
Sir,--ermit me a space in your very
useful paper to express my opinion re-
garding the industrial dictatorship
which our Governor intends directing
The writer of 'his letter has lived
in many countries that are ruled under
some form of dictatorship, and from
his experience, each kind has had the
most disastrous effect unon the middle
class of the population, and the masses
--the very poor ones.
The Industrial Native Protection Bill
which the Government is about to im-
pose upon us, is nothing short of dic-
tatorship, except that it is robed in a
very beautiful colour.
I am not saying that there is any in-
tention to deceive.
The suffering of the mass of the peo-
ple is intense. They are reaching the
state of desperation. Hungry women,
children and men, are crying out in
their humble, peaceful ways for help
from their father-the Government.
Is the Governor going to answer their
prayer by restriction of industries and
trades and thus lessen their opportun-
ity of obtaining work?
The streets of Kingston, the parks
and other places are beseiged with
beggars; most of them indulge in beg-
ging through dire need and poverty.
We who make it our duty to help
these unfortuates in the streets and in
their homes, and realize the need of the
people, appreciate the need of unre-
stricted industries and trades amongst
the natives, more than any one that is
at the helm of our ship.
One only has to recall the coconut oil
industry to see the damage that is be-
ing done by monopoly. Before this mon-
opoly, those who were fortunate to own
a few coconut trees could make a little
oil. get a few pennies for it and make
use themselves of what is commonly
known as the "custard". Their pigs
and poultry were also fed froyi the by-
Can they do these things to-day
without risking their freedom'
The result of monopoly is always the
increased suffering of the unfortunates.
Industrial dictatorship suits but two
classes who are much in the minority,
viz: a few large privileged capitalists,
and some smaller traders who have al-
ready established themselves in some
form of industry and would rather
Sbear the punishment of the Devil des-
troying the entire world if he could,
than to have their own country-man
start similar industries.
Let us not consider the two classes
above mentioned, but the mass of the
people. Let the Elected Members go
hand and heart together, using every
possible peaceful means of protesting
against the passing of any Bill which
partakes of the nature of 'Hitlerism.'
Let every native whether rich or poor,
who possesses the sense of justice, raise
his voice of protest in a peaceful and
constitutional manner to submerge this
so-called Protective Bill or any kind of
such Bills which in effect could starve
any section of the community.
I firmly believe that the Bill is not
intended for that. Nevertheless, how-
ever, Ingeniously the power of restric-
tion is used, no man, however astute he
may be, is capable of preventing de-
teriorating results upon unfortunate
Were I one of the Hon. Nominated,
Members, I would not make my will
the desire of the sponsor of the Bill.
Rather than submit to something
against my conscience just to please, I
What we need in this Island is not
mere men, but more men with courage,
with the spirit of fighting for justice
for all, and moreso for the less fortun-
ate; independent men who will sacri-
fice their own interests for their unfor-
tunate sisters and brothers; well-think-
ing men who will speak straight from
their shoulders according to the dictates
of their conscience, and not submit and
say "Yes" when conscience says "no."
I am, etc..
aI Duke Street,
May 16, 1935.
ly come If you insist on orcmig a
these reckless spending upon the Gov-
ernor-he who has already been climb-
ing too many hills, and he will no doubt
succumb to your pressure, to the detri-
ment of the Island.
A Message to the Government: In-
vest plenty of that money on agricul-
ture. Establish an Agricultural Loan
Bank so as to induce the people to re-
turn to the soil, as you cannot send
them to the land with 10/ and an acre of
land as someone recently suggested in
the Gleaner, unless you want them to
live on a quart of corn until their acre
of corn is harvested. Put a man outside
of the Government in charge; pay him
a good salary-for his knowledge. Our
ship, Jamaica, is capsizing. The mast is
one-sided, and unless we use wisdom
and prudence she is likely to submerge
like a submarine with a badly defective
machinery. Thn, need, he will n
a wrecker. You should do your u
to pwrvnt this. I .O
A I K e.tc.,
This aspect of the measure together with the extension of
government power which it entailed provoked considerable
controversy and provided an occasion for what must have been
one of the clearest statements made by Bustamante in regard
to his outlook on monopoly capitalism.
National and Racial Oppression
The advent of imperialism not only heightened the econo-
mic exploitation of the working class but in addition deepened
the social and racial oppression practised by colonialism against
all classes of colonial people. Economically the path of the
small proprietor class was blocked by the coming of the mono-
polies and masses of peasants were ruined in unequal competi-
tion with foreign finance capital in agricultural production.
Politically and administratively finance capital required the
extension and strengthening of the colonial state in order to
guarantee security, stability and generally favourable conditions
for the exploitation by the monopolies.
Thus the emergence and consolidation of monopoly capital-
ism on a world-wide basis was accompanied by determined
struggles to crush anti-colonial resistance and consolidate the
colonial state. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century,
in Africa (Basutoland 1880-1883), Asia (India 1857) and the
West Indies (Jamaica 1865) the British colonialists had to re-
sort to military force to put down revolts and clear the ground
for extended colonial domination.
The governmental systems which carried forward this dom-
ination in the imperialist epoch were characterized by racial
discrimination against the non-European colonial peoples.
Headship of departments and all senior positions in the expand-
ing colonial state were reserved for Europeans. This was not
disguised or covered up as late as the 1930's recruitment to
His Majesty's Colonial Service required satisfactory evidence
of European descent as a condition of entry (Hamilton p. 7).
The mass of educated local people were confined to the clerical
and manual grades of the bureaucracy. A West Indian with
high school education would take over 20 years to rise to the
position of Principal Clerk within the racialist structure of the
Crown Colony Public Service. Under these conditions there
was an objective basis for outspoken criticisms against many
British officials as being anti-black and in the case of Jamaica
anti-Jamaican. (Carnegie p. 68).
The embryonic intelligentsia which bore the brunt of dis-
crimi natory pay plus promotion practices in the public service,
was outspoken in expressing its grievances. Moyne found in
1939, "ample evidence . .. that in all responsible quarters in
the West Indies there is a widespread feeling that colour preju-
dice is seriously on the increase." Imperialist economic and
governmental relations demanded discrimination in regard to
salaries and conditions of employment against local people and
encouraged racialist contempt among the high colonial officials
for the educated blacks and small holders. (cf. A. Carris). Though
he himself was unlikely to have suffered at the hands of British
racism, Alexander Bustamante spoke out in 1935 against some
of the incidents of discrimination against Jamaicans which
characterized the colonial state.
Discrimination was not however confined to the importa-
tion of expatriates to do jobs which Jamaicans could perform.
It was also ingrained in social conditions which benefitted the
racial minorities and the colonial ruling class whilst ignoring
the African majority and oppressing the mass of the working
people. This was pronounced in the area of food consumption
levels. An official report on the efficiency of African labourers
on the Kenya and Uganda railway referred to "malignant mal-
nutrition" due to starvation in childhood, which is "probably
incurable" in Sierra Leone.
"In the seventeenth century the people were of fine physi-
que and lived on a mixed diet and apparently had a sufficient
animal food. In the early and niid-eighteenth century it would
seem that they still had a satisfactory diet.
The present dietary of the people is surveyed and the evi-
dence shows that it is ill-balanced with an undue proportion of
carbo-hydrate, resulting in malnutrition and disease".
Above THE ITALY-ABYSSINIAN DISPUTE MARCH 8
The mobilization in Italy of two divisions of war strength, renewed the attention of the
world In the dispute which has been going on between Italy and Abyssinia, Unless
the two countries can come to an early understanding, there is imminent danger threatening
world peace. Italy has lodged protests with regard to the recent fighting at Afdub, where
five Italian soldiers were killed by natives. The Emperor Selassi Ras Taferi of Abyssinia
in the uniform of Commander-in-Chief at the parade in Addis Ababa, the capital of
Below THE MARCH OF THE UNEMPLOYED IN THE CITY YESTERDAY Y' APRIL 9th.
A party of men, women, and children numbering about 300 marches to the cor-
poration premises in Church Street yesterday forenoon shortly before the meeting
of the Council began in an effort to bring home to the Councillors, they said
their suffering. The marchers had however disobeyed the instructions of their
president, Mr. N. Currie, who had instructed them to wait at the Victoria Park,
where they had assembled, until a deputation of five led by him return from the
Council. The procession to and from the Council premises was orderly, and was not
without some amount of levity, there being many children and seekers after a
thrill in the party.
The deputation was heard by theCouncil, and assured that within a fortnight
a large number of unemployed would be given work.
Hon. J.A.G. SMITH. K.C. on his way to Council...FEB.20th.
.z ~ ..
Promotion In Police Forem
AND THE PAT OF IECRUIT.,
Sir,-I am returning to the question
of promotion for our native police to
the position of Inspector, and the re-
duction of pay Of the recruits who must
work for three shillings per day for
the first year.
I say that this deplorable act to the
latter, on the part of the Government, to
my mind is due to but one thing. and
that ii, taking advantage of the unem-
ployment situation, as men must work
for any pay that ls offered them or
Three shillings per day can only en-
able them to obtain a half starvation
diet, as they are men who do a tedious
work. Out of that three shillings, apart
from food, there are many other things
to be paid for, such as fnes, and as-
sistance in the support of some mother,
or other relative dependent on them.
The Police too at times become thirsty,
and it Is reasonable for me to presume
that often their hungry stomachs beek-
on for food.
Police require health and vigour.
With givingg so high in this country,
even the ones who get a little more
than the Police must find It very trying
to make two ends meet.
I've been informed that the Hon.
Member for Kingston years ago suce
needed In getting a raise for these men.
At least this shows that Mr. Simpson
has a heart, and that he is really not
one of'those big men who like to see
his stomach growing out more and
more day after day like a pumpkin un-
til it ripens, whilst the stomachs of
others are shrunken hke a strainer.
The life of the Police is not a bed of
roses. Why mix it with more prickles?
Why not do something for them so that
they can love and respect you for your
action? Love and respect cannot be had
by abuse, but'Justice is a great factor
in obtaining them. Is it justice to have
reduced their already meagre pay?
Promotion, the pride of every well
thinking native, whether he Is socially
or financially protected, should be
based on the knowledge that Jamai-
cans, irrespectlve of colour should hold
some of the best positions in the land
of their birth. In some departments of
the Government, this is not the case.
Then why is it not so? I can prove it.
The police force is a striking example
of this discrimination. Why should the
Government discriminate against peo-
ple in their own land? This discrim-
ination can be stopped and should be
stopped, and must be stopped, if not
It is not all the Government's fault.
It is the people's fault, moreso the fault
of those who are financially and social-
ly protected, because if they have any
nerve in them or backbone. they have
(Reviewof Present knowledge of Human Nutrition
Report of Senior Medical Officer, Sierra Leone, Session-
al Paper No. 5, Freetown 1938 cited in Palme Dutt p.
In the West Indies another official report recorded in 1939
that "malnutrition owing to the absence of certain essential
constituents is undeniably widespread" (Orde-Brown p. 20).
This condition, brought on by the one-sided and exploita-
tive nature of colonial production, was aggravated by the pro-
vision of social services on an inadequate and discriminatory
basis. In the case of Public Health, the colonial state could
devote in the more important West Indian colonies (cf. Moyne
p. 141 Chap. VII) little more than 10% of its revenue to medi-
cal services. The professional staff of the colonial medical
departments were allowed to engage in private practice thus
encouraging reduction in the service provided for the working
people and disproportionate attention to the classes who could
pay for the required treatment. In addition, most of the medi-
cal institutions suffered from overcrowding, "the buildings...
frequently old and in disrepair ... the arrangements for the
nursing staff inadequate." The main sufferers from the inade-
quate facilities and relatively high cost of medical treatment
were the working class and the poor peasantry.
Compounding the discriminatory public health system was
Housing which Moyne was forced to characterise as "generally
not anything to be frightened of.
It is not always necessary to draw a
steel sword to get justice-"The pen is
mightier than the sword". Then why
be afraid to use it? It will carry your
resentment of this abuse against the
native not only throughout Kingston,
but in every region of this Island, and
so be not afraid, do your duty towards
your countrymen. towards humanity.
They will thank you at least in silence.
and at the right time when the good
Lord sees fit. He will bless you, even
though you might not be aware of it
for the good you have done.
There is no greater good than the
good one can do for the weak. Disci-
pline prevents the cops asking for jus-
tice, so you can see that there Is a weak
link which prevents these guardians of
ours blowing their own trumpets.
Let us all, each and everyone, sound
the trumpet on their behalf, not alone
to-day or to-morrow, but until our
voices are heard by the Government,
and we should not stop until the Gov
ernment has seen eye to eye with the
men's need for a little more pay, and
with the rights of those who have
worked for promotion.
The Government will not be lacking
In respect for courage, on the part of
the people, but whatever their feeling
might be with regard to courage, let
courage ride supreme. Fear not conse
quences, for the worst consequences we
can have we are now having, fi
strangers are riding in our saddles
where we should be sitting.
I am. etc.,
une 24, 1935.
Plumber For Water Board.
Sir,-I notice in your issue of 8th
inst. where you do not accept the re-
commendation of the Chief Engineer
of the Water and Sewerage Board for
importing a plumber, as a very palat-
able drink, and that it is a rejection
Honestly I had to re-read that editor-
ial for nearly everybody in Jamaica,
inclusive of your paper, merely sit
and take such things of vital import-
ance to this country with as much noise
as can be got out of a green bean pod
on a breezeless day.
SThe recommendation for importing
a man for a plumber's job is not alone
a reflection against Jamaica, but a darn
bit of impertinence.
Some people in Jamaica, judging cer-
tain importations by their performances
since their arrival in this island, are of
the opinion that even a plumber's job
is too big for some of them.
I would suggest that when the au-
thorities are making up the list for de-
portation, they should see me with re-
gard to the mclusion of certain names.
I am, etc.
la buke Street.
Kingston, July 20, 1935.
Drugs.In Public Hospitals
SUGGESTED ECONOMICAL USE.
Sir,-In your issue of the 17th inst.,
an article appears in which It is stated
that the Governor has raised the ques-
tion of the exorbitant cost of drugs,
etc., used in the Medical Service of the
Island. A suggestion to curtail drugs
for the use of unfortunate people who
must seek the aid of government insti-
tutions through absolute necessity is
It has come to this: those in affluence,
which include the Governor of Jamaica,
can get nearly everything that money
can buy, but the unfortunate sick of the
colony are not even supposed to be pre-
scribed for according to the knowledge
and conscience of the hospital doctors.
Why? Because if the Hospital doctors
were to accept the Governor's sugges-
tion seriously, after diagnosing they
could not prescribe accordingly, but
would have to think of the cheapest
drugs or the nearest substitute. Then, if
they were to do this just to please the
Governor, they would be violating med-
What does the Governor know as to
the quantity of medicine the unfor-
tunate patients seeking medical aid in
Jamaica's hospitals require? What does
he know about the different kinds of
medicine or their relative value or the
relation of medicine with food? If he
knows as much about the relation of
food and medicine and the cause of the
greater part of the illness in this coun-
try, he could, not even imagine that too
much money is spent on medicine for
the poor .f Jamaica, and I understand
that the majority of the people are not
even getting the medicines free as is the
case in America and other civilised
There would be 50 per cent. less medi-
cine used if there were less poverty,
better housing conditions and better
sanitation, not alone in Kingston, but
throughout the entire Island. Swamps
alone are the cause of thousands of
bottles of medicine used annually, if not
hundreds of thousanlis; and what about
anemia, tuberculosis, stomach and other
troubles the chief cause of which is
poverty and ragged tenement houses
with filthy surface drains instead of un-
If these things were to be regulated,
the hospital doctors would not be so
worked to death through the unreason-
ably large proportion of sickness and
disease in this country: thus the large
sum of money that is beipg spent, and
in many cases not to cure but .merely
to relieve for a time, would not be spent
and unless the Governor finds ,a way
to relieve the already mentioned con-
ditions, instead of spending less. on
medicines it will be more medicines,
more government institutions, more
cemeterjes, more physical and mental
pain among the inhabitants, and more
mad houses. In the latter of course, they
do not need much medicine, they only
need more salt-fish, and so If all the
people could be got in the Lunatic Asy-
lum, the Governor's desire of economy
on medicine would be fully realized.
Before a suggestion is given for fin-
ncial economy to a place like the Hos-
pital, the person making such sugges-
tion should first think of the cause of
the alleged high cost of drugs used. Did
the Governor think of that?
The writer is in no way connected
with any hospital in this Island, but he
has seen hundreds of people in the out-
door patients' ward of the Kingston
public hospital, so many that the sight
makes him feel time and again, that it
s t worth w e .them t w t.a
auer a.y wi st..s _aYssa quaIPss- i-
ation of medicine. Thlr Is through no
fault of the hospital staff, for .judging
from my experience 'in a New York
Hospital where I worked as a dietician
and was privileged to go throughout the
hospital including the dispensary and
out-door wards wherc there were thou-
sandsy of patients daily, it "would seem
to me that the length of time the unfor-
tunate ones must wait here, is due not
to the hospital staff but through the
hospital being understaffed. It is a crime
which the Governor could employ his
time to have rectified, thus doing some
good for suffering humanity. The cur-
tailing of medicine for the poor
WOULD TEND TO INCREASE
their sufferings, and that would not be
kindness; that would not be right gov-
eining, but a gross advantage; and if
the doctors were to omit necessary
drugs from their hats and substitute
therefore cheap drugs just to avoid criti-
cism of their Department by the Gov-
ernor, they should not be doctors. They
would be weak-minded indeed,
After eleven years experience among
hundreds of doctors I should have
knowledge of .the working of their
minds, and I want to say there is not
one doctor who would be so stupid as
to allow a layman to dictate to him in
his professional capacity.
A chef knows just how much cream
to be mixed with milk to make a palat-
able cream soup, and a novice who
knows nothing about it could not right-
ly presume to tell the chef that he is
using too much valuable materials.
However, its the way of the world-
everybody believes that he knows more
about the other man's business.
It is to be hoped that all the lists of
drugs that have been sent by the
S. M. O. at the request of the Gov-
ernor were sent in Latin.
Whether the Governor realises it or
not, he has not done himself any good
by his criticism of the cost of drugs to
the Island Medical Service, and the
psychological effect of it upon the un-
fortunate sufferers of this country to-
day, who cannot afford to seek private
medical aid, does not help to strength-
en their faith in hospital treatment:
Does the Governor think or does he
realise that most of the people pay
something for treatment and that.those
who do not pay, we the taxpayers are
paying for, and that no just person
would begrudge them the little medi-
cine they get? For after all, they are
not .even always cured by it, for with-
out the corresponding fool to each par-
ticular case, medicine can only relieve
plus a good psychological effect. What
will' be the next suggestion from the
Governor? This last one has left me mi
a whirlwind of fear.
In conclusion, Mr Editor, I think the
following lines ought to serve as an in-
"What greater good can man attain,
Then conquest over human pain?"
This can only be obtained by allow-
ing the doctors a sufficiency of proper
materials, drugs, etc., irrespective of its
I am, etc.,
la Duke Street,
Houses Without Baths.
Sir,-In speaking of Africa so many
people believe that they are savages.
We, who know better, must excuse
them for such ignorance; but how
tan we excuse our olwn Jamaica Gov-
ernment for passing buildings erected
as complete without baths? If this is
not an action of uncivilization, what is
It Is an alarming disgrace to see the
deplorable" and sanitation often primitive in the extreme.
In its report for 1935 the Sanitation Unit of the Jamaica
Hookworm Commission found that in the relatively advanced
Montego-Bay "certain tenement yards which housed approxi-
mately 40 to 50 had only one latrine" (Ja. Annual Rep. 1935
p. 38). In Jamaica this form of social oppression was aggravat-
ed by the progressive ruin of the peasantry and the impoverish-
ment of the rural people with the development of capitalism
in agriculture. This stimulated immigration into the urban areas
and with the accompanying closure of outlets to Cuba and
Central America the population of Kingston grew by 73% and
that of St. Andrew including much of suburban Kingston by
135% between 1921 and 1943. These conditions facing the
masses prompted Bustamante to speak out against poor hous-
ing, deplorable sanitation and a suggestion by the colonial
authorities to cut back even further on the meagre medical
services provided for the masses.
number of premises in this City with-
out a bath of any kind which can be
built for about 5 with a shower.
I am not referring now to just the
lum area of broken down houses, but
places with decent houses and all in
good condition. One would think that
one of the first things a person who is
erecting a house would think of would
be a bath. This is a condition that
should be brought to the attention of
the Governor himself, as apparently
the Departments responsible for such
conditions are unmindful of their
Health Sanitariums, Hospitals, etc.,
will never be able to accomplish those
things they are intended for unless the
Government takes an active part in
modern sanitation. Dirty water flowing
in some of the sidewalks of certain
areas, bathless houses, just one small
kitchen for the use of sometimes more
than a score of tenants is a disgrace to
civilization and a reflection against the
ability of those administering the af-
fairs of this, or in any other Govern-
I have never seen such like condition
that is existing here to-day in any pre-
sent Republic, and yet we are always
condemning the Republics. Dirt and
fith is what I class the sanitation of
many areas of Kingston with-it is the
We hear so much of many of our
Councillors wanted a little light on a
certain corner, or a branch of tree cut
away from across a street or some such
minor thing--which, are of course
needed, but greater things of much
more importance which are required,
are forgotten, or, are not noticed,
either for the want of knowing their
business or or r the want of sight.
Those who cannot see might be able to
I I I I
- . ... .. ...-- ~
The Colonial Political System
The political system of colonialism in the imperialist epoch
gave expression to and reinforced class exploitation as well as
racial and national discrimination. After the outbreak of the
Second World War, the emergence of socialism as an inter-
national system and the upsurge in the struggles against colon-
islism aggravated the general crisis of imperialism and hasten-
ed the dismantlement of the colonial empires. In the 1930's
however, the dictatorship practised by colonialism still retain-
ed an appearance of impregnability.
The Governor and the British Crown concentrated in them-
selves almost total power over legislation and administration.
Basic civil rights and political liberties were denied by the col-
onial state. The white minorities, the capitalists and small
sections of the upper middle class monopolised the right to
vote in the West Indian territories where average annual per
capital income probably rarely exceeded 20 per annum.
In Jamaica per capital income declined steadily from 19.2 in
1929 to 14.7 in 1934 (I.L.O. 1952. p.7.). Salary and income
qualification for voters generally exceeded 50 per annum or
equivalent Property and Tax qualifications (Moyne p. 318).
These requirements disenfranchised over 90% of the people,
and combined with other factors encouraged little active parti-
cipation in politics even amongst those who enjoyed political
In Jamaica in the General Election which was held to the
14 elected seats in the 25 member Legislative Council in 1925
only 15,359 votes were cast out of a total registered electorate
of 54,103 in a population of over 850,000. Qualifications for
election to office were even higher and tended to restrict the
small property-owning electorate to choosing its representa-
tives from amongst the upper strata of the colonial ruling class.
Under these conditions it was no accident that in Jamaica
before 1900 no African could gain election to the Legislature
and it was not until 20 years after that the first black man
could be selected by the governor to fill a nominated seat in
the Council. By the 1930's however, the better off Atrican
class had expanded sufficiently, primarily through activity in
the professions to allow for a significant non-European ele-
ment in the Legislature. This element was however in a
contradictory position. In terms of its economic interests,
cultural aspirations and conditions of life it was generally
divorced from and, in some cases, in contradiction with the
mass of peasants and working people. At the same time it be-
longed to an oppressed race and often suffered discrimination
mell, for the odour o om of these
yards as they are termed here, should
be sufficient to knock them dead, as
It nearly does that to .-t but I sup-
pose some people--secentlds and sight-
less, they cannot feel nor smell the ob-
noxious odour from some pits in the
Corporate area for which regulations
for their periodical cleaning should be
W speak so much in Jamaica of
"CIV Pride," to which I agree there
hboul4 be, but why not speak of bath-
lea and kitchenle4 homes? How can
anyone expect civic pride under such
undesrable and uncivilized state o
We hear so much in Jamaica how
coloured people are treated in the
United States of America, but if the
Americans were to peep through our
key-holes they would ay: "Hey mis-
ter, why doesn't the Jamaica Govern-
ment clean up their dirty yards before
they refer to things they profess to
know more about of America than we
America is the black man's paradise.
He lives under the same condition
which his brother white man lives; he
Is a king in his own way. The white
man's kingdom might be in a separ-
ate region, but both regions are fit
places for any one to live.
We are far behind time in this coun-
try. When I visit some of these places
referred to above, it gives me a creepy
feeling. I wonder how we escape the
bubonic plague, not because of the
presence of so many rats, but from the
absence of cleanliness so necessary to
good health. I am, etc.,
IA Duke Street, Kingston,
Action of Some
Sir,-I certainly had to laugh
this morning, a laugh of sorrow.
His Excellency the Governor is a
tactician, and the majority of our
legislators are fit subjects to his
kind of tactics.
As you know, nine Elected
Members voted against the final
reading of the Tax Bill, and just-
ly so. The Governor's retaliation
was. "No Tax, no Loan." What
should have been the outcry of
the Elected Members? An agree-
ment with the Governor of "No
Loan", with a smile. Mr. Editor,
do you know what the reaction
would have been on the Govern-
nient's side? A submission, not to
the Elected Members, but to jus-
tice. The Governor would have
been left in despair, like a man
lost in the great Russian forest,
knowing not what to do. The
Elected Members' action would
have created a sensation through-
out the Government. They would
have demanded the Government's
respect. This mighty Government
-not mighty with justice of
course, but with power-would
have changed their views as to
how the suggestion of the Elect-
ed Members should be treated,
and would have changed their
words-"No Taxes, no Loan"-for
that was just a bluff.
Governments may be able to
rule with might in Central Europe
for a time. In Jamaica it is being
done, too, but Briksh subjects
won't stand for it for long, for it
is not British justice, and the
sentiment of this country will
soon change the view of this Gov-
ernment if they continue to ig-
nore the people's right, not by
sword, but through legal constitu-
Nine of the Elected Members
yesterday had gained the respect
of nearly every man and woman
in this country, just to loe it not
many minutes after in a private
conference with the Government.
Six of them, it is said, intend to
sign a contract with the Govern-
ment to vote for new taxation
next Spring Session. I was not be-
hind the screen, but I can visualise
the scenery. It is not the sight of
a big stick hanging over their
heads in that room, but a glorious
view of suaveness with pleasing
smiles and strategy. The whole
scene from the Legislative room to
the Chamber is like a mother
giving castor oil to all -her. chil-
drn, but nine of them realeted,
and the mother threatened that
unless they did this they would
get no lunch. The children being
grown ups, still resented such
treatment in public, but this is an
experienced mother who has tra-
velled a ereat deal in different
parts of the world. She changed
her tactics, and invited them in a
little private room and in her own
mind says to herself, "Now. I'm
going to compel you to drink, not
by force, but by love and
strategy," and the children suc-
cumbed to the mother's desire.
But, Mr. Editor, when one stops
to think that the people do not
send children to the Legislative
Council, the picture becomes spec-
tacular-a spectacle that the same
people who sent them to the Leg-
islative Council must pay for.
Some will go to prison for taxes
through the agreement which the
legislators intend signing or an-
nouncing to inflict more taxes on
them early next year. What ah
action from big men! We could
forgive them if they were chil-
dren, but their size represents
adults. We could pardon them if
they were not trifling with the
freedom and the properties of the
poor, but the only thing we
should do, and which I will do, is
TO EXPOSE THOSE WHO MERIT
exposure to their parish so that
they might never have another
conference in the private chamber
in the Legislative Council after
their present term is ended. But
when the writer stops to think
that we might have to bear them
for three years more, it makes
him feel as if an elephant with
its trunk full of water is riding
upon his back.
We elected adults. I wonder if
we would not have done as well
to elect babies! The matter is
very serious, so serious that I just
have to hold myself back with
my pen, can't turn it loose, other-
wise I would/be turning it loose
against the lAw.
Mr. Editor, can you tell me
what can be done to some of these
legislators to put better sense and
more manhood in them? I do not
say that all of them suffer with
lack of courage and inferiority
complex. I have been in the Coun-
cil, and did see a few who show-
ed man's courage; and I want to
say here that the day we lose
J. A. G. Smith, K.C., it will not
be alone an irreparable loss to
Clarendon, but to the entire island.
One very seldom hears him speak
of the people of Clarendon alone,
but speaks as it he represents the
entire island, and after all, in the
island his people lives.
If the Government do not want
to continue with the loan because
the legislators refuse to vote for
taxes, let the bluff continue. It
will not succeed more than Musso-
lini will succeed in wiping out
Ethiopia. The majority of the
members of the Legislative Coun-
cil have only parochial experience,
and that's where their failure
lies. Their hearts, I believe, are
in the right place: they are for
the people, but what is the use
f heinn for thle neonle unless you
at the hands of the colonial officials and the local racial
This ambivalent position encouraged instability in the Leg-
islative behaviour of this class and meant that they often
abandoned and assumed positions depending on the predom-
inant influence at any given time. With the mass of the work-
ing people unorganised and lacking avenues for exercising
systematic pressure on the black politicians in the Council,
invariably the latter subordinated racial and national anti-
pathies to the interests of colonialism. One such notorious
case occurred in October 1935 where the Government intro-
duced a Trades and Licenses Bill to raise money to cover a
proposed loan of 2,000,000. Initially elected members of the
Legislature adopted a democratically inclined, stance and
vetoed this measure which would have increased the tax bur-
den on the colony and on the mass of the people. Denham the
Governor, then called in some of these members to a private
conference with him. Following the conference seven of these
members pledged their support in writing to a reintroduced
tax measure. This incident and others similar to it prompted
Bustamante to ridicule the spineless, anti-popular practices of
the elected members as well as put forward some of his own
conceptions of more democratic representation.
-'~--~ ---~ ~`~ -~~~~~~~~~'-
know how to act with the people
and for the benefit of the people.
Compare that parochial experi-
ence with astute men who have
lived among astute and shrewd
business people, and who even
know the way of the world to get
their ends, right or wrong, to sat-
isfy their own desires, even it
only by saying. "These people
think they could out-manoeuvre
or beat me."
Before a people elect represen-
tatives. the voters should have
sufficient sense not just to choose
men because they can get up in
a village and say some big words
and make promises, should not
throw their votes until they are
fully decided in their minds that
the would-be-elect has the per-
sonality and the brain to compete
with those on the Government
I sat in the Legislative Council
some days ago, when I heard the
Governor order a certain mem-
ber to sit, while he was on his
legs speaking on a subject tnder
consideration. Do you suppose
that a man of wider experience
would tolerate such treatment? He
would use his constitution and
tongue to defend himself. The
Hon. J. A. G. Smith, K.C., was
courageous enough to defend his
brother elected member who was
treated in that fashion. The Mem-
ber from St. Mary, who was or-
dered to take his seat, was mere-
ly doing his duty by protesting
against the undue taxation,
through a sense of justice and love
for his people.
I am, etc.,
la, Duke Street,
Oct. 10, 1935.
Incident In Council.
Sir,-In reference to my letter in
your paper, in which I stated that the
Governor ordered the Member for St.
Mary when he was speaking upon a
subject that was being discussed in
the Legislative Council, to sit down,-
I noticed in the Gleaner recently
wherein Mr. Vernon, referring to my
statement, wrote:."I am bound to say
tht in fair play to all concerned t is
incorrect. The Governor did not,
could not, and will not at any time be
able to tell me to take my seat, for the
reason that I was not on the occasion
mentioned by Mr. Bustamante, drunk,
rude, or out of order."
Mr. Editor, I am sorry that Mr. Ver-
non possesses that strange courage of
contracting an absolute fact; more
sorry am I, because Mr. Vernon is one
ao the very first men I met when I re-
turned to this country a couple of years
ago, and in fact' I considered hi a
Before I penned the letter which Mr.
Vernon referred to, I recalled our ac-
quaintance. Of course, in public life I
cannot and will not be. influenced by
anything but the truth and fac. I must
again confrm my statement that it is
definitely true that whilst Mr. Vernon
was speaking on a subject under con-'
ideration in the Legislative Council,
the Governor imperatively ordered'
him to sit down. The Governor's order
waa so pronounced, that although I was
not the person addressed, I feit it. It is
an absolute fact that Mr. Vernon weak-
ly retorted to the Govaenor: "I did not
know YOU could do that", (meaning to
order me to sit down). The Governor
replied, "Yes, I can", and Mr. Vernon
then sunk into his met as if he were
lifeless, which made me feel like 'a
Turkish Bath hot and cold, at the lack
of spirit for slf-defence.
The Hon. J.A.G. Smith, .C., came-
In about thread minutes before the in-
cident, and took up a defensive atti-
tude towards Mr. Vernon,, and told
him he had a right- to speak.
In the letter of Mr. Vrnon in ques-
tion he writes: "The Governgr vill
not at any time be able to order me to
take my seat for the reason that I was
not on the occasion mentioned by Mr.
Buitamante drunk, et., I know Mr.
Vernon as a sober person, not alone on
that occasion but on every and all oc-
casions I have seen him. But when he
writes as he has written, "will not at
anytime order me to take my seat," he
must have meant that the Governor
will not duplicate his order, and if Mr
Vernon pretends that he kn6ws what
the Governor will do, then I can only
compare his wisdom with that of Solo-
- In referring to the Governor in the
last paragraph of his letter, Mr. Vernon
writes-'It's human to err, and whilst
I am not going to say the Governor Is
free of mistakes, I honestly believe that
he has the best interests of the Island
at heart". I will not state that the
Hon. Member is not correct in that, for
I agree that the Governor is badly ad-
I am against encouraging children
who continually commit unwise acts,
then how foolish would I be or anyone
else for that much, not to criticise the
action of this Governor and his govern
I say as I have said a-ready, that it
Is one thing to perform soap box ora-
tion to obtain votes This does not
need so much skill in this country, for
the people forgot so often of the baits
that have been thrown out in the past,
and although they have been caught by
them, they still allow themselves to be
caught by even oare hooks without any
food upon them, and that is why some
of these, aimless, meaningless Legislat-
ors have again caught our people to
the detriment of our country.
We would be better off without most
of our present Legislators.
35,000 I understand have been put
aside to build a new Legislative House.
I wonder if a little room in the Gov-
ernor's house would not be a little
more suitable so that the Governor
Might have them not alone under his
thumb, but under his eyes.
I feel that Mr. Vernon would co-
operate with the Governor for the best
of ou r country, for I hestly believe
that he is with the people and for the
people, but rulers-I amy riders, not
Governors, do not invite oo-operation,
they order as how Mr. Vernon was or-
dered to sit down. Then how can Mr.
Vernon co-operate for the greatest
good for the greatest number. This
bye expression "for the greatest good
for the greatest number" might be true
in the Corporation Council, but it does
not apply to.the Legislative Council.
Mr. Vernon is not in accordance with
the harsh treatment levelled against
His Excellency by destructive critics.
May I ask Mr. Vernon if he too Is help-
ing to deceive.the public, for when he
esys "destructive critics" it is an Im-
plication that the greater number of us
Jamaicans who are eriticising the Gov-
ernor and his Government are doing
so deliberately which means that we
are deceiving our people. I personally
have no axe to grind out of the Gov-
ernment and that is the reason why I
can criticise freely.
I am, etc.,
November 25. 1935.
This dominant trend however did accommodate the pre-
sence of anti-colonial and liberal democratic currents which
though subordinate, persisted in the Legislature throughout
this period. The basis of this tendency lay of course in the
extreme degree of national and racial oppression economic-
ally, socially and politically brought on by the imperialist
stage of colonialism whilst its subordinate position derived
from the relative weakness economically of the propertied
blacks. This viewpoint which found expression in most of
the British colonies in the inter-war period, surfaced in Jamai-
ca through the political activities of J.A.G. Smith and to a lesser
extent H.A.L. Simpson, both lawyers. Both men, though sub-
ject to the strong sentiments of personal rivalry encouraged by
the conditions facing the Jamaican educated class, sought to
develop more democratic relations with their constituencies
and played active roles in attempts to curb the power both of
the colonial administration and of foreign and local monopoly
#vppe bir* Of Ra X L.
iTHE f s A. 7 I
sar.-t is w-th pulaasu1 state tha
'toi Island of rsi Japmai, s l0
fortunate ai hanr ng W A. A. L.
&tmpsn us ned e a IZs Kln amd
St. Andrew CorporaI0 HI Iena
in doing the right thil for (1a Jat-
r. good of the greater a *
Via Is very obvious.
O cant hielp Qut observe the aa-
wtk ah h od of the COrpora ems
th tearut he has dhown in t a wtse
have pt him there.
Whatever his faults Nh1t b1. I bd
that his good outwelati I- and, a1 -
ter all. there a not on perfect betag
i earth, and I would not Se to is
hi baome perfect for that wmald mane
tht we would be loaitg his M se
bera for he would be a his wo
benr and although a soul wou h
glid there, he world be a eIs t Nio
o Jamaica as a statesman, ad a amr
whose heart belongs to thiao who a
I certainly admire his foarul pr-
iamity his outspoken ea isehea
the f he way in which be speaks e
-.d tackles delicate and arioht pt-
m sto our country's lnseti-
Iaderna are not oaly men whob win
but rma who come to a dehite dd-
lom and act. even though tbe y mKagt
he. Whi I think of H. A. A p-
in I always remember ROsevel4 Wr
both persons' characteristic, In s
opinion are very similar. a
President Roosevelt is a wen wio
speak out straight from the leouir
He ha a ktsdea heart and be at h ad
H Ah L. Smpro is oljt such a P5 De
Good luck with health and long hlfe
to Mr. Simpson. dt alone for his per-
soogl happlma but ao for the harp-
pin r of ihoe for whom be undertoo
the rote o Citry tab er
Let it be clearly undeood that this
letter is wttt without self-nterest.
When a man merits a blow I bounce
him. Whel his conduct maRnh prais
I take It as a duly to may a kind word.
The world In general to toe redY so
condemn its enemies. Some are always
too willing to lay a good word for thelr
frtieid when they do not merit it.
through self-interest or rough hyno-
The writer lives in a rdff'rmnt world
to that in which this type of pel.
I!ve. He speaks kindly evrn his es-
mies when they deserve it. and 1f hi
friends need to be kno-ked down.
when they merit It. that's just what he
does He belongs ao no paty or group.
and this world would be a thetr one
to live in we"r it not forl :he presence
of a number of hypocrites
1A Duke Street,
Election Of Mayor.
MR. BUSTAMANTE SUGGESTS THAT
MR. 8IMPSON BE GIVEN
Sir,-As you know the Hon. H. A.
L. Simpson has been promised the
erection of a statue as a token of ap-
preciation of his good work. I do not
believe in letters behind people's
name such M.B.E., O.B.E., etc. How-
ever, a statue to my mind is a very
appropriate token for good work done.
Next month the term of office of the
Mayor will be terminated. The Cor-
poration Council can also show a great
token of appreciation of the Mayor's
work by re-electing him for another
term, for although his present term
will soon be ended his work has ,not
yet been completed.
As we all know, we are going
capitalist interests. (cf Carnegie Chap. IV passim). Smith who
represented Clarendon continuously in the Council from 1917
to 1943 when he died, was responsible for introducing legisla-
tion favourable to the working class in the form of the Work-
men's Compensation and Trade Union Laws of. 1919. Simpson,
a solicitor lost his seat in the elections of 1925 and failed at the
polls again in 1930, on the latter occasion running as one of
the candidates endorsed by Garvey's PPP. During this period
he served as Mayor ofKingston in the Kingston and St. Andrew
Corporation which had been set up in 1924 as a result of the
amalgamation of the two parishes. In writing favourably of
both Smith and Simpson, Bustamante set out some of the
qualities which he most valued in popular leaders.
through great crisis of unemployment,
etc., but hills cannot be brought down
to plains overnight. The Mayor and
his Council have been faced with a
great problem. They have no doubt
been able to diagnose them, but diag-
nosis without treatment does not mean
anything materially. The Government
has not got the money that is needed
for the treatment. Soon they might
obtain part of the expected loan which
will open an avenue to reduce unem-
ployment. The task, of course, is as
high as the Alps, for Jamaica prosper-
ity depended to a great extent upon
our people emigrating to other lands,
which is impossible now, and will be
for years and years to come. You can
there see our sad plight. It should
be obvious that the Government can-
not afford just to spend money to re-
lieve unemployment without getting
some financial return from money in-
vested. For that reason, the people
must be induced to return to the soil.
In the time of crisis we need great
leaders. Mr. Simpson is a good lead-
er in so far as the requirement of this
Island is concerned, and that is the
reason why I claim that he
SHOULD BE RE-ELECTED.
It Is bad policy to change leaders who
give result in the time of crisis. It is
more than that: it is nonsense and
idiotic. It has been my experience
that the reason why most Govern-
ments do not accomplish the amount of
good that they could accomplish is due
to few things: petty jealousy, selfish-
ness and a mind that is not big enough
to be a public servant. An example:
H.A.L.S. is a strong, strict leader,
very outspoken and perhaps very im-
pulsive. Some of his subordinates
might not like him for that. This would
be very unfortunate, for real he-men
like strong outspoken leaders.
Again, there might be some in the
Council aspiring to become Mayor,
thinking only of the position of honour
and forgetting entirely the interest of
the people. Such aspiration often leads
to underground work to undermine
people's mind. I am not saying, how-
ever that thi Is the as, for I do not
know that this is so, and let us hope
that our Councillors are patriotic en-
ough to overrule any such feeling that
they might have and think not of Mr.
Simpson, but of the people and re-
elect Mr. Simpson as Mayor.
We can take Mr. Lewis Ashenheim
as A monument of unselfishness dur-
ing the Legislative Election. These
two men were not kind to each other
with words, yet months after Mr.
Simpson was elected, we find Mr.
Ashenheim praising him through the
Press for supporting and fostering a
Bill in the Legislative Council-which
Bll course the writer is thoroughly
opposed to, but it does not alter the
fact that Mr. Ashenheim was man
enough, with a sufficient
BROAD AND UNSELFISH MIND,
to commend the same man to whom
he was but recently politically opposed.
Since then I felt that a few more men
of Mr. Lewis Ashenheim's type would
be a great asset to this Island.
The system of election of Mayor in
this Island is atrociously wrong. He
should not be elected by the people
through their Councillors, but should
be elected directly by the Voters, and
I am sure it won't be long before a
Law will be enacted to change this
Sstemut now give you my reason for
this statement: In a group in any or-
ganization throughout the world, you
will find that there are men who re-
sent discipline and even their chiefs
unless they can use them, and unless
you are a real patriot to a cause, i
your boss' vote depends on you to keep
him in his position, you will not re-
member his good work, but will re-
member and use your feeling of
antagonisi against kim. Then is it not
obvious that the system of electing
Mayor in this Island is wrong? What-
-ever your feelings, if any might be
against his personality, re-elect him for
the sake of our people-please.
I am. etc.,
Ki gstonR ALEX BUSTAMANTE.
October 14. 1035.
The 1935 letters of Bustamante suggest an active interest
in the main issues of public life, and indicate an outlook in
advance of the mainstream of the various classes of the Jamai-
can colonial society at that time. On the economic structure
of colonialism in the period of imperialism, Bustamante adop-
ted a stance critical of monopoly capitalism but favourable
towards free enterprise competition which normally gives rise
to monopoly domination. In regard to matters of fiscal policy
- taxation and public expenditure his standpoint in 1935 was
less objectively contradictory and manifested a consistent
hostility to measures harmful to the poor. On questions of
social and racial oppression Bustamante appeared to have freed
himself of some of the more racist myths concerning Africa to
which most of the Jamaican colonial society of the period
stubbornly adhered whilst himself showing some sympathy
towards the neo-fascist attitude of the Papacy towards the
Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.
I I I I-I -
The Pope And Mussolini
Sir,-One Mr. Thompson and many
others believe that the Pope could pre-
vent Musolini going to war with Ethio-
pia, Rome being the seat of the Papacy.
Every man has a right to his opinion,
but opinion which is not backed up by
reasonable thinking, must be considered
as foolish. They should know that the
Papacy does not any longer rule govern-
ments. Once upon a time when the Cath-
olic Church ruled supreme over many
governments, Mussolini or any other
Latin Ruler would have thought it a
mortal sin to act contrary to'the Pope's
wishes. Spain, Italy and Mexico to-
day are not ruling under the influence
of the Church as was the case once.
Mussolini being sin himself would not
tolerate the Pope's intervention.
I am positively certain that if the
Pope could prevent Mussolini on his
hell-bound determination to extermin-
ate Ethiopians he would, just as he
would prevent that lunatic Hitler from
destroying a peaceful and useful race
as the Jews are.
It is to be firmly understood that this
letter is not written because I am a
Catholic, for although I visit all re-
cognized churches, I belong to none.
All churches believe in one God, and
whatever their different teachings
might be, they are working for the
same end-Heaven, and I believe in
the same God in whom they believe.
But in fairness to the Pope, I will say
that that criticism against him is un-
fair, unjust and unwarranted, for every
Christian, I am sure, has a desire to
prevent Mussolini, and the Pope is a
Mr. Editor, all recognized religions
are serving good purposes, and it is
not a nice thing to get fantastic ideas
in.our heads and write ill thing
against the Pope or any one elde.
The accusation against the Pope is a
serious and sad one, and I do not care
of mixing a wise crack in the matter,
but to show how impossible it is for
any one man to prevent Mussolini from
his impending assassination of the
Ethiopians. I will say that any one man
-holy or unholy-who can prevent
Mussolni would be able to ride a grass-
hopper, and Mr. Editor, you know how
difficult the latter would be.
I am, at.,
la Duke Street,
September 20. IM.
In regard to the political rights and freedoms of the colonial
people Bustamante did not call for an end to British colonial-
ism but then, hardly anyone did at this time in the relatively
backward West Indian colonies. What he advocated was firmer
opposition to the more unjust and harmful aspects of the
colonial system. Similarly the condition of labour had not yet
come to dominate Bustamante's outlook nor the struggles of
the working class.to consume his activity. These steps forward,
like the advancement economically, politically and culturally
of Jamaican society as a whole, would have to await the further
development of the independent struggles of the working
people. In 1935 these were just around the corner.
G. Eisner Jamaica 1830-1930
R. Palme-Dutt The Crisis of Britain and the British Empire
C. St. J.Orde-Browne Labour Conditions in the West Indies (Cmnd 6070)
Lord Moyne Great Britain. West India Royal Commission 1938-1939
Report. (Cmnd 6607)
Sylvia Wynter Jamaica's National Heroes
Richard Bernal Imperialism and Underdevelopment (Unpublished
Paper U.W.I. Dept., of Economics)
Eric Williams History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago.
Stacy May and Galo Plaza The United Fruit Company in Latin America.
D.K. Robotham Class Structure and Community Structure in Jamaica
1830-1930 (Unpublished M.A. University of Chicago).
R. Lewis "Political Aspects of Garvey's Work"Jamaica Journal March
7 June 1973 Vol. 7 No. 2.
J. Carnegie Aspects of Politics in Jamaica 1918-1938.
B. St. J. Hamilton Problems of Administration in an Emergent Nation.
*A. Carris Jamaica Journal Sept., 73 Vol. 7 # 3.
International Labour Organisation 1952 Labour Policies in the West
A.I. Sobolev et. al., Outline History of the Communist International.
The author is also grateful for the assistance provided by the staff of tne
West India Reference Library without which, this work could not have
Portrait SIR ALEXANDER BUSTAMANTE- 1935
"Plain Talk Newspaper"
in m -
There isnow a renaissance of interest in the life of Marcus
Garvey. The African Independence Explosion, that started in
1957 when the former West African colony called the Gold
Coast, became an independent country, now called Ghana,
helped to set this renaissance in motion. Some of Marcus
Garvey's dreams about African redemption were being realized.
In his life time, he was a man who had a stubborn belief in the
impossible, and came close to achieving it. During the uncertain
years that followed the First World War, he built the largest
Black mass movement that this country has ever seen. There
was never a leader like him before or since. His popularity was
universal, his program for the redemption of Africa and the
return of African people to their motherland, shook the foun-
dations of three empires
In nearly all matters relating to the resurgence of African
people, in this country and abroad, there is reconsideration of
this man in his programme that seemed impossible in his life
time. His prophecy has been fulfilled in the independence ex-
plosion that brought more than 30 African nations into being.
The concept of Black Power that he advocated, using other
terms, is now a reality in large areas of the world where the
people of African origin are predominant.
Marcus Garvey's principal areas of agitation were the Afro-
American struggle in the United States, his native Caribbean
Islands and the universe of Black humanity everywhere. From
the year of his arrival in the United States in 1916 until his
deportation in 1927, the ethnic community called Harlem was
his window on the world. From this vantage point he became
one of the great figures of the 20th century.
It is no accident that Marcus Garvey had his greatest success
in the United States among Black Americans in the community
called Harlem. He came to the United States and began to build
this movement at a time of great disenchantment among Afro-
Americans who had pursued the "American Dream," until
they had to concede that the dream was not dreamed for
them. They had listened to the "American Promise," and also
conceded that the promise was not made to them. Marcus
Garvey gave them the vision of a new dream, a new promise,
and a new land. He restored hope where hope had been lost.
This is the real relevance of Marcus Garvey for today.
In the years following the end of the First World War, when
America's promise to us had been betrayed, again we looked
once more toward Africa and dreamed of a time and place
where our essential manhood was not questioned.
A leader emerged and tried to make this dream into a
reality. His name was Marcus Garvey. The personality and
the movement founded by Marcus Garvey, together with the
writers and artists of the Renaissance period, helped to put the
community of Harlem on the map. While the literary aspect
of the Renaissance was unfolding. Marcus Garvey and his
Universal Negro Improvement Association, using Harlem as his
base of operation, built the largest mass movement among black
people that this country had ever seen. This movement had
international importance and was considered to be a threat to
the colonial powers of Europe which were entrenched in Africa.
This magnetic and compelling personality succeeded in
building a mass movement after other men had failed. This may
be due to the fact that he was born and reared in an age of con-
by John Henrik Clarke
flict that affected the world of African peoples everywhere.
The appearance of the Garvey movement was perfectly
timed. The broken promises of the postwar period had produced
widespread cynicism in the Black population which had lost
some of its belief in itself as a people. Adam Clayton Powell,
Sr. wrote of Garvey: "He is the only man that made Negroes
not feel ashamed of their color." In his book, Marching Blacks,
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. wrote:
Marcus Garvey was one of the greatest mass leaders of
all time. He was misunderstood and maligned, but he
brought to the Negro people for the first time a sense
of pride in being black.
The Garvey movement had a profound effect on the political
development of Harlem and on the lives of both the Adam
Clayton Powells. The fight to make Harlem a Congressional
District began during the Garvey period.
In his book New World A-coming, Roi Ottley (1943) ob-
Garvey leaped into the ocean of black unhappiness at'a
most timely moment for a savior. He had witnessed the
Negro's disillusionment mount with the progress of the
World War. Negro soldiers had suffered all forms of Jim-
Crow, humiliation, discrimination, slander, and even
violence at the hands of a white civilian population. After
the war, there was a resurgence of Ku Klux Klan influ-
ence; another decade of racial hatred and open lawless-
ness had set in, and Negroes again Were prominent among
the victims. Meantime, administration leaders were quite.
pointed in trying to persuade Negroes that in spite of
their full participation in the war effort they could expect
no changes in their traditional statusin America.
This attitude had helped to create the atmosphere into which
a Marcus Garvey could emerge. In many ways the scene was
being prepared for Marcus Garvey for over one hundred years
before he was born. There is no way to understand this without
looking at the American antecedents of Marcus Garvey, i.e.
the men, forces and movements that came before him.
During the eighteenth century there was strong agitation
among certain groups of Black people in America for a return
to Africa. This agitation was found mainly among groups of
'free Negroes' because of the uncertainty of their position as
freed men in a slaveholding society. "One can see it late into
the eighteenth century," Dr. DuBois explains in his book Dusk
of Dawn, "when the Negro Union of Newport, Rhode Island,
in 1788, proposed to the Free African Society of Philadelphia
a general exodus to Africa on the part of at least free Negroes."
The Back-to-Africa idea has been a recurring themeinAfro-
American life and thought for more than a hundred years.
This thought was strong during the formative years of the
Colonization Society and succeeded in convincing some of the
most outstanding Black men of the 18th and 19th centuries,
such as: John Russwurm, the first Black college graduate
(Bowdoin, 1820), and Lott Carey, the powerful Virginia prea-
cher. Later the Society fell into severe disrepute- after an argu-
ment with the Abolitionists.
Marcus Garvey was not the first West Indian to play a vital
role in the Afro-American freedom struggle.
* This article was extracted from a forthcoming book, Marcus Garvey
and the Vision of Africa, scheduled for publication by Random
House, in New York City.
West Indians have been coming to the United States for
over a century. The part they have played in the progress of
the Afro-American in his long march from slavery to freedom
has always been an important factor. More important is the
fact that the most outstanding of these Caribbean-Americans
saw their plight and the plight of the Afro-American as being
one and the same.
As early as 1827, a Jamaican, John B. Russwurm, one of the
founders of Liberia, was the first coloured man to be graduated
from an American college and to publish a newspaper in this
country; 16 years later his fellow countryman, Peter Ogden,
organized in New York City the first Odd-Fellows Lodge for
Negroes. Prior to the Civil War, West Indian contribution to
the progress of the Afro-American life was one of the main
contributing factors in the fight for freedom and full citizen-
ship in-the northern part of the United States.
In his book Souls of Black Folk, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois says
that the West Indians were mainly responsible for the manhood
program presented by the race in the early decades of the last
century. Indicative of their tendency to blaze new paths is
the achievement of John W.A. Shaw of Antigua, who, in the
early 90's of the last century, passed the civil service tests and
became deputy commissioner of taxes for the County of
Queens in New York State.
In 18th century America, two of the most outstanding
figures for liberty and justice were the West Indians Prince
Hall and John B. Russwurm. When Prince Hall came to the
United States the nation was in turmoil. The colonies were
ablaze with indignation. Britain, with a series of revenue acts,
had stoked the fires of colonial discontent. In Virginia, Patrick
Henry was speaking of liberty or death. The cry "No Taxation
Without Representation" played on the nerve strings of the
nation. Prince Hall, then a delicate-looking teenager, often
walked through the turbulent streets of Boston, an observer
A few months before these hectic scenes, he had arrived in
the United States from his home in Barbados, where he had
been born about 1748, the son of an Englishman and a free
African woman. He was, in theory, a free man, but he knew
that neither in Boston nor in Barbados, were persons of African
descent free in fact. At once, he questioned the sincerity of
the vocal white patriots of Boston. It never seemed to have
occurred to them that the announced principles motivating
their action was stronger argument in favor of destroying the
system of slavery. The colonists held in servitude more than a
half million human beings, some of them white; yet they
engaged in the contradiction of going to war to support the
theory that all men were created equal.
More than a hundred years of struggle, agitation and disen-
Blindfolded new recruits are
sworn in to the Ku Klux
Klan in the early 1920's by
Klan members in their hood-
ed disguises, while the tradi-
tional fiery cross burns above
them. During the night hours,
the Klan was accustomed to
take action against those indi-
viduals who did not conform
in race or thinking to a Klans-
man's idea of Americanism.
From 'Marcus Garvey'
By Daniel Davis
chantment would follow this period. When Marcus Garvey
began his organizational work in the United States a large
number of Black Americans were willing to listen to him.
In Philosophy and Opinions Marcus Garvey would later ask
himself: "Where is the black man's government? Where is his
king and his kingdom? Where is his president, his country and
his ambassador, his army, his navy, his men of big affairs?" He
could not answer the question affirmatively, so he decided to
make the Black man's government, king and kingdom, presid-
ent and men of big affairs. He taught his people to dream big
again; he reminded them that they had once been kings and
rulers of great nations and would be again. The cry "Up you
mighty race, you can accomplish what you will" was a call to
the Black man to reclaim his best self and re-enter the main-
stream of world history. When Marcus Garvey came to the
United States in 1916, World War I had already started. The
migration of Black workers from the South to the new war
industries in the North and eastern parts of the United States
was in full swing. Dissatisfaction, discontent, and frustration
among millions of Black Americans were accelerating this
migration. The atmosphere and the condition was well prepar-
ed for the message and the programme of Marcus Garvey.
He came to the United States in 1916, one year after the
death of Booker T. Washington. He had exchanged correspond-
ence with Booker T. Washington with the hope of securing
some means to build, in Jamaica, a school similar to Tuskegee
in Alabama. Unfortunately, Booker T. Washington had died
the previous year.
Marcus Garvey's plans for the self-determination of his
people are outlined in the following excerpts from "Aims and
Objects of Movement for Solution of Negro Problem" issued
by Marcus Garvey as President-General of Universal Negro
Improvement Association, 1924:-
The Universal Negro Improvement Association is an
organization among Negroes that is seeking to improve
the condition of the race, with the view of establishing
a Nation in Africa where Negroes will be given the oppor-
tunity to develop by themselves, without creating the
hatred and animosity that now exist in countries of the
white race through Negroes rivaling them for the highest
and best positions in government, politics, society and
industry. This organization believes in the rights of all
men, yellow, white and black. To us, the white race has
a right to the peaceful possession and occupation of
countries of its own and in like manner the yellow and
black races have their rights ... Only by an honest and
liberal consideration of such rights can the world be
blessed with the peace that is sought by Christian teach-
ers and leaders.
The Spiritual Brotherhood of Man. The following
preamble to the Constitution of the organization speaks
for itself: The Universal Negro Improvement Association
and African Communities League is a social, friendly,
humanitarian, charitable, educational, institutional, con-
structive, and expansive society and is founded by per-
sons, desiring to the utmost, to work for the general
uplift of the Negro peoples of the world. And the
members pledge themselves to do all in their power to
conserve the rights of all mankind, believing always in
the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God.
The motto of the organization is: One God! One Aim!
One Destiny! Therefore, let justice be done to all man-
kind, realizing that if the strong oppresses the weak,
confusion and discontent will ever mark the path of man,
but with love, faith and charity toward all, the reign of
peace and plenty will be heralded into the world and
the generations of men shall be called Blessed.
The declared Objects of the Association are: To
establish a Universal Confraternity among the race; to
promote the spirit of pride and love; to reclaim the
fallen; to administer to and assist the needy, to assist in
civilizing the backward tribes of Africa; to assist in the
development of Independent Negro Nations and Com-
munities; to establish a central nation for the race; to
establish Commissionaries or Agencies in the principal
countries and cities of the world for the representation
of all Negroes.
The early twenties were times of change and accomplish-
ment in the Harlem community. It was the period when Harlem
was literally put on the map. Two events made this possible: a
literary movement known as the Harlem Renaissance and the
emergence in Harlem of the magnetic and compelling personal-
ity of Marcus Garvey. He was the most seriously considered
and the mostcolourfulof the numerous black Manassehs who
presented themselves and their grandiose programmes to the
people of Harlem.
Marcus Garvey's reaction tocolourprejudice and his search
for a way to rise above it and lead his people back to Africa,
spiritually if not physically, was the all-consuming passion of
his existence. His glorious and romantic movement exhorted
the Black people of the world and fixed their eyes on the
bright star of a future in which they could reclaim and rebuild
their African homeland and heritage. Garvey succeeded in
building a mass movementamong American Blacks while other
leaders were attempting it and doubting that it could be done.
He advocated the return of Africa to the Africans and people
of African descent.
He organized, very boldly, the Black Star Line, a steamship
company for transporting cargoes of African produce to the
United States, and because of this spread rapidly throughout
the Caribbean area and Central and South America, among
West Indian migrant labourers. And due to the effectiveness
of the American mass media of communication, it penetrated
into the continent of Africa.
One year after he entered the United States, in 1917, he
made a speaking tour of the principal cities, building up a
national following. By 1919 he had branches well established
all over the world preparing to send delegates and representatives
of fraternal organizations to "the first International Conven-
tion of the Negro Peoples of the World," which was held in
August 1920 in New York City. The first public mass meeting
was held at Madison Square Garden the largest auditorium
in the state, and white reporters conceded that about 25,000
assembled inside the auditorium, and there was an overflow
standing in the streets.
The significance of this thirty-day convention was that for
the first time representatives of African people from all over
the world met in sessions to report on conditions under which
they lived socially, economically and politically and to
discuss remedial measures.,
After the historic First UNIA International Convention of
the Negro Peoples of the World in 1920, the cry, "Africa for
the Africans, those at home and those abroad," became part
In 1924, UNIA members assemble for the parade preceding their annual convention. In the center, dressed in white, are a group of
Black Cross nurses.
From 'Marcus Garvey' By Daniel Davis
From Marcus Ganrcy'By Daniel Davis
*'^iy''^. -. *71
The first vessel bought by the UNIA 's Black Star Line the Yarmouth, renamed the Frederick Douglass.
of the folklore of the Black Americans. The most important
document that came out of this convention was the Declaration
of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World. Marcus
Garvey had started negotiations with the President of Liberia
for colonization and development of Africa by Western world
Blacks. This was the beginning of the hope and heartbreak of
Marcus Garvey's colonization scheme.
Between 1920 and 1925 the Garvey Movement rose to
great heights and in spite of its troubles, continued to grow.
This is the period in which the Movement had its greatest
success and was under the severest criticism. The Convention
of 1920 was a monumental achievement in Black organizations.
This convention came in the years after the First World War,
when the promises to Black Americans had been broken,
lynching was rampant, and when Blacks were still recovering
from "the red summer of 1919," in which there were race
riots in most of the major cities and the white unemployed
took out their grievances on the Blacks, who many times were
competing with them for the few available jobs. DuYing this
time, Marcus Garvey brought the Black Star Line into being
and into a multiplicity of troubles. He divorced his wife and
married another, and made his name and his organization
household words in nearly every part of the world where
Black people lived.
The trials and tribulations of the Black Star Line would read
like the libretto of a comic opera, except the events were both
hectic and tragic, and there were more villains than heroes
involved in this attempt to restore to Black people a sense of
worth and nationness.
Marcus Garvey's trouble with the courts started soon after
the formation of the Black Star Line. The charges and counter-
charges relating to the Black Star Line were the basis of most
of his troubles and the cause of his conviction and being sent
to Atlanta Prison. This was the beginning of the end of the
greatest years of the Garvey Movement.
The years of triumph and tragedy were building years,
searching years and years of magnificent dreaming. Marcus
Garvey's vision of Africa had lifted the spirit of Black Ameri-
cans out of the Depression that followed the First World War.
The UNIA's African Legions and Black Cross Nurses became
familiar sights on the streets of Harlem. The UNIA grew in
membership and in support of all kinds. Garvey was the beat-
ing heart of the Movement. His persuasive voice and prolific
writings and his effective use of pageantry struck a responsive
chord throughout the Black communities of America and
abroad. Branches of the Movement were established in Latin
America, wherever there were large Caribbean communities.
An African Orthodox Church was founded in America. Now
the Black man was searching for a new God, as well as a new
The Garvey Movement began to take effective roots in
America when millions of Blacks had begun to feel that they
would never know full citizenship with dignity in this coun-
try where their ancestors had been brought against their will,
and where they had contributed to the wealth and develop-
ment of the country in spite of conditions of previous servi-
tude. Against this background of broken promises and fading
hope, Marcus Garvey began to build a world-wide Black
movement. This, the first Black mass protest crusade in the
history of the United States began to pose serious problems
for white America. This movement also posed serious prob-
lems for the then existing Black leadership, especially for Dr.
In the article, "DuBois Versus Garvey: Race Propagandists
at War.' the writer Elliot M. Rudnick outlines the origins of
the conflict between these two Black giants who looked at the
world frori different vantage points. Both of them were Pan-
Africanists and both of them had as their objectives the free-
dom and redemption of African people everywhere. Yet, there
was no meeting of the minds on the methods of reaching
these desirable goals. In the article Rudnick says: "Unlike
DuBois, Marcus Garvey was able to gain mass support andhis
propaganda had a tremendous emotional appeal. He established
the Universal Negro Improvement Association in New York
(with branches in many U.S. cities and several foreign coun-
tries). The aim of the organization was the liberation of Africa.
By 1919, he set up the Black Star Line and the Negro Factories
Corporation. In August, 1920, Garvey called a month-long
convention of the U.N.I.A. in New York City. In the name of
'400,000,000 Negroes of the World', he .declared'that Africa
must be free. He did not bother to display the restraint which
characterized Pan-African leaders and many of his remarks were
inflammatory. He warned that his race was prepared to shed
its blood to remove the whites from the natives' rightful land
in Africa. His convention delegates and members paraded
through Harlem. Tens of thousands of Negroes were excited
by the massed units of the African Legion in blue and red
uniforms and the white-attired contingents of the Black Cross
Nurses. Garvey's followers sang the new U.N.I.A. anthem,
'Ethiopia, Thou Land of Our Fathers' and they proudly waved
the Association's flag (black for Negro skin, green for Negro
hopes, and red for Negro blood). Never again was the race to
have a leader who could produce such a wonderful show."
DuBois publicly ignored Garvey until December of 1920
and this tardiness of editorial recognition was probably due to
the Crisis editor's ambivalence toward him. DuBois was pro-
foundly impressed by "this extraordinary leader of men," and
he acknowledged that Garvey was "essentially an honest and
sincere nan with a tremendous vision, great dynamic force,
stubborn determination and unselfish desire to serve." However,
the Crisis editor also considered him to be:
. dictatorial, domineering, inordinately vain and very
suspicious. .. The great difficulty with him is that he has
absolutely no business sense, no flair for real organiza-
tion and his general objects are so shot through with
bombast and exaggeration that it is difficult to pin them
down for careful examination.
The following month, after DuBois had requested (and failed
to receive) a financial statement from the Jamaican on the
Negro Improvement Association and the Black Star Line, the
Crisis editor wrote: "When it comes to Mr. Garvey's industrial
and commercial enterprises there is more ground for doubt and
misgiving than in the matter of his character."
At least once DuBois entertained the idea that his own
hopes for Africa's reclamation and an international Black
economy could be achieved through Garvey's mass appeal.
The two men were not strangers to each other before Garvey
came to the United States in 1916. In the years between their
first meeting and the eve of the Second Pan-African Congress,
DuBois had built a Black intellectual movement, while Garvey
had built a Black mass movement.
Garvey and his movement had a short and spectacular life
span in the United States. His movement took really effective
form in the United States in about 1919, and by 1926 he was
in a Federal prison, charged with misusing the mails. From
prison he was deported home to Jamaica. This is, briefly, the
essence of the Garvey saga in America.
Marcus Garvey, who was duly elected Provisional President
of Africa by his followers, was never allowed to set foot on
African soil. He spoke no African language. But Garvey man-
aged to convey to African people everywhere (and to the rest
of the world) his passionate belief that Africa was the home of
a civilization which had once been great and would be great
again. When one takes into consideration the slenderness of
Garvey's resources and the vast material forces, social concep-
tions and imperial interests which automatically sought to des-
troy him, his achievement remains one of the great propaganda
miracles of this century.
Garvey's voice reverberated inside Africa itself. The King of
Swaziland later told Mrs. Marcus Garvey that he knew the
,names of only two Black men in the Western world: Jack
Johnson, the boxer who defeated the white man Jim Jefferies,
and Marcus Garvey. From his narrow vantage point in Harlem,
Marcus Garvey became a world figure.
After years of neglect, new interest in the life and ideas of
this remarkable man has created a Marcus Garvey Renaissance.
In his homeland, Jamaica, he has been proclaimed a national
hero. All over the Black world he is being reconsidered with
respect and reverence. His greatness lies in the fact that he was
daring enough to dream of a better future for Black people,
wherever they live on this earth.
The Garvey movement began to fragment and decline con-
currently with the end of the Harlem Renaissance. This period
had a meaning that is generally missed by most people who
write about it. This movement had indigenous roots and it
could have existed without the concern and interest of white
people. This concern, often overstated, gave 'the movement a
broader and more colourful base, and may have extended its life
span. The movement was the natural and logical result of years
of neglect, suppression, and degradation. Black Americans
were projecting themselves as human beings and demanding
that their profound humaneness be accepted. It was the first
time a large number of Black writers, artists, and intellectuals
took a unified walk into the North American sun.
The Black nationalists and freedom fighters before and
after Marcus Garvey were saying, no more or less than what
Garvey had said in word and deed: "Up! Up! You mighty race.
You can accomplish what you will."
Bennett, Lerone Pioners in Protest. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Com-
pany, Inc., 1968, pp. 231-238.
Brisbane, Robert H. The Black Vanguard. Valley Forge, Pa.: Judson
Press, 1970, p. 43.
Crnon, Edmund Davis Black Moses. Madison, Wise.: University of
Wisconsin Press, 1955.
Edwards, Adolph Marcus Garvey 1887-1940. London: New Beacon
Essien-Udom, E.U. Black Nationlism: A Search for Identity in
America. Chicago: Ufiversity of Chicago Press, 1962, pp. 36-39.
Fax, Elton C. Garvey. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1972.
Garvey, Amy Jacques Garvey and Garveyism. New York: Macmillan
Garvey, Marcus The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey. New
York: Atheneum, 2 volumes, 1969.
Garvey, Amy Jacques United States of America vs. Marcus Garvey:
Was Justice Defeated?. New York, 1925.
McKay, Claude Harlem: Negro Metropolis. E.P. Dutton and Company:
New York, 1940 (1968), pp. 143-180.
Mezu, S. Okecukwu and Ram, Desai Black Leaders of the Centuries.
Buffalo: Black Academy Press, Inc, 1970, p. 185.
Ottley, Roi New World A-Coming. Cleveland: World Publishing Com-
pany, 1943, pp. 67-81.
Padmore, George Pan Africanism or Communism. New York: Double-
day and Company, 1971, pp. 116-17.
Peeks, Edward (editor) The Long Struggle for Black Power. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971, pp. 180-200.
Powell, Adam C. Jr. Against the Tide. New York: Richard R. Smith,
1938, pp. 70-71.
Powell, Adam C. Jr. Marching Blacks. New York: Dial Press, 1945, pp.
Redkey, Edwin S. Black Exodus. New Haven: Yale University Press,
1969, pp. 193-96.
Rogers, J.A. World's Great Men of Color. New York: New York Collier
Books, volume II, pp. 415-31.
A NOTE ON KENILWORTH,
MAGGOTTY COVE, HANOVER
Right and Below,
KENILWORTH: From the Concannon Collection
Institute of Jamaica
The stone ruins of Kenilworth, near Maggotty Cove, Hano-
ver, are amongst the most impressive remains of 18th century
industrial building in Jamaica. Comparable with Kellets, in
Clarendon, Orange Valley and Good Hope in Trelawny, these
splendid structures, even in their sorry state of today, hand-
somely illustrate the high level of architectural design and
construction in those days 'when sugar was kmg', labour
plentiful and productive, and man took pride in his work.
The ancient mill-house at Kenilworth is a striking and
arresting building with its monumental flight of stone steps
to first floor level, elliptical openings to wheel-shaft, and
'Palladian' style range of three-light windows of the main
upper wall. The connecting aqueduct, roof and interior tim-
bers have gone, and limestone dressings to windows have in
some areas badly eroded almost to the point of disintegration;
but in general this superb structure has stood the test of time
memory of "Thomas Blagrove Esqr./ Representative for the
Parish of Hanover/ who died the 8th of July 1755, in the
22nd Year of his Age..."
Frank Cundall in his book 'Historic Jamaica' (1915) in
referring to Thomas Blagrove mentions that he was buried
at Maggotty. Cundall notes also in regard to this family that
the first Blagrove to settle in Jamaica was a regicide; and that
the earliest patent of land to a Blagrove of which a record had
then been discovered, was to John Blagrove of 700 acres in St.
James in 1689. Cundall was impressed by the Blagrove family
seat Cardiff Hall, in St. Ann, of which he gives a short account,
commenting that the building "possesses more architectural
features than most houses in the colony." The house still
Another view of the mill structure from the south-west. Noti
where the aqueduct joined the wheel-shaft at the left in this
photograph, conveying water to an overshoot wheel. It is
probable that the wheel section was roofted at the same
level as the main block.
View from the west of north section, boilinghouse complex.
In the southern section of this fine building a corresponding
classical window opening has been converted into an unsightly
door by removing the two supporting sotne piers and forming a
concrete lintel (see text).
The Mill-House, with semi-circular flignt of stone steps to main
floor level. Note the elliptical opening to wheel-shaft at left,
which is repeated on the end wall, and the Palladian three-
light window in return wall. The aqueduct originally connected
at the left-hand end of the wheel-shaft.
to emerge a silent but handsome witness to excellent crafts-
manship. and outstanding museum-piece m Jamaica's industrial
history and a prime specimen of the country's architectural
Adjacent and set at right-angles to the mill are the walls of
what was probably the boiling-house and related parts of the
sugar processing complex, executed in the same architectural
style and with similar light stone for quoins and dressings,
with main walling in a darker stone, laid to courses between
the dressed angles. The buildings have a projecting dressed
stone string-course dividing lower and upper floors externally,
and the Palladian window motif, a distinctive feature of
Georgian design, occurs throughout the group.
Some no doubt well-intentioned but nevertheless most
unfortunate work by a recent owner in forming a large door
opening for passage of agricultural machines, has had disast-
rous results in destroying one of these elegant window units.
On higher land some fifty yards or so from the old sugar
works are the walls of a house, presumably the Maggotty
House marked on extant maps (Maggotty River runs through
the property into Maggotty Cove). Kenilworth does not appear
on present-day maps, and one wonders how the name arose,
since the estate house seems to have been called Maggotty.
Nearby is a small burial ground with brick wall, and a slab in
exists, and has been restored in recent years by private owners.
Kenilworth, which is now a youth camp under direction of
the official Youth Development Agency, lies about ten miles
east of Lucea, and is marked by a signboard on the landward
side of the main road from Lucea to Montego Bay at Maggotty
Cove. The 18th century ruins are at the entrance to the camp,
about one mile along the access road from the coast. The old
buildings have been listed as national monuments by the Jam-
aica National Trust Commission on account of their architect-
ural merit and historic importance; they have not been affected
by the new structures of the youth camp, which are sited on
ascending levels of the adjoining hillside.
(The author of this Note is technical adviser to the Jamaica
National Trust Commission, and president of the Jamaican
The substantive question raised by this topic could be
answered in a single word; yes, no or perhaps. I take it Mr.
Chairman, that although the gathering maintains its interest
in brevity, no one expects me to be that brief. I assume also
that although one's conclusion may be summarized in a single
word the interest of the society is the reasoning and rationale
by which this conclusion is derived.
Definition of terms
Assuming that we are agreed on what is meant by the term
Education, there are three other important concepts in the
topic which require some definition or description: Govern-
ment Expenditure, Priorities and Right.
Normally one would understand this term to mean expendi-
ture on education contained in the formal budget presented
in April of this year. Due to the manner in which Government
unfolded its educational policy in the Budget debate, one has
to understand this term to mean the formal budget on educa-
tion together with all the pronouncements and proposals,
with financial implications, that have been made during and
after the Prime Minister's budget speech.
The following priorities can be established from an analysis
of Government Expenditure on Education for the financial
1. The improvement of Primary education. This priority
can be established from expenditure on the following projects
(a) The Curriculum Development Thrust which is design-
ed to reorganize and update the Primary school
curriculum. Up to last year the Primary school curri-
culum was still based on "Suggestions to Primary
School Teachers" first written and drafted in the
(b) The Inservice Teacher Education Project. This is
designed to reduce the backlog of almost 50 per cent
of untrained teachers at the primary level;
(c) The School Feeding Programme. A reasonably well-
fed child is more likely to be a good student than a
(d) The Introduction of the Double Shift System. This
project is designed to increase enrollment at the
Primary level while reducing class size and making
the relationship between teacher and students a more
(e) Increase in the Output of Trained Teachers from
The expansion of existing colleges together with the
the creation of a new college in the west will contri-
bute significantly to the elimination of the teacher
If these projects and programmes are successfully imple-
mented and carried through, it is not unreasonable to expect a
qualitative improvement of education at the primary level.
2. The Further Expansion and Democratization of Second-
* Principal Mico College.
(Speech made at the Meeting of the Society for
International Development on October 31st, 1973)
photo by Errol Harvey
This priority emerges from expenditure on the following
(a) The introduction of free high school education based
(b) The proposed increase in the high school population
scheduled to commence in September 1974.
(c) The liquidation of the existing debts of Grant-Aided
(d) The conversion of some Junior Secondary schools
from three-year institutions to five-year institutions.
(e) The use of the Shift System in some Junior Secon-
dary schools in order to increase the number of
students in the 12-15 age group who could receive
Successful implementation of these projects and programmes
would certainly give some modicum of credibility to the idea
of some amount of equality of educational opportunity at the
3. Service as the Culmination of Education.
This emerges from Government's expenditure on the
introduction and implementation of the National Youth Service.
Traditionally educational achievement has been associated with
escape from the rural areas to the City and also with escape
from the Colony to the Metropolitan Centres of the Western
World. The idea of educational achievement leading to service
to Jamaica is a revolutionary new concept to the minds of all
4. To Retain and Attract Good Teachers in the Classroom.
This emerges from Government's regrading and reclassi-
fication of the teaching service.
Whereas there are other developments in Government expen-
diture which represent new impetus in a particular area, for
example, the New Technical Institute for the West and new
developments at the College of Arts, Science and Technology;
these do not in the opinion of the writer merit the rating of
It should be noted that listing the priorities above, their
numerical position does not represent a rank order of priori-
ties. One simply listed these priorities one after the other.
RIGHT Having determined" government's expenditure and the
priorities that are evident in such expenditure, it is now neces-
sary to define "right". What is right? It is.the answer to this
question that will determine the widely divergent answers that
are possible with respect to the question we are seeking to
answer. It all depends on how "right" is defined. The writer,
therefore, feels obligated to state clearly the basis on which
right is established in the paper even if he becomes open to
the charge of being pedantic.
First one adopts the relativistic stance which asserts that
"rightness" is dependent on the particular situation and circum-
stances in which an event occurs. This means that one needs
to establish the criteria by which right can be judged in any
particular situation. Our task then becomes that of establishing
the criteria against which "rightness" can be established with
respect to government's educational expenditure in 1973-74.
In adopting this approach one clear danger must be recog-
nized. After defining criteria for establishing "rightness" it is
quite likely that someone could ask for justifications for the
criteria employed. One can therefore be caught in the infinite
regression of attempting to establish criteria which will estab-
lish criteria which will establish "right". While this exercise
has philosophic merit, its a luxury that the practitioner cannot
To scape from the danger cited above, one must add to the
relativistic stance, the pragmatic approach. That is to say that
the particular criteria of "rightness" accepted by a particular
group of people will be those that appear most reasonable and
"workable" in the situation in which they are being applied.
The group may come to this agreed value judgement based on
some shared beliefs, experiences or insights between the indivi-
dual members of the group.
The extent to which you and I share common beliefs, ex-
periences and insights about education and Government's
expenditure will to a large extent determine the degree of our
agreement of what is right and ultimately with the conclusion
that will be reached.
From this writer's point of view "right" in the context in
which we are judging can be established in terms of three differ-
ent frames of reference:
A. With respect to internal budgetary considerations: That
is with respect to the internal consistency of the educa-
tional expenditure. How well integrated are the capital
expenditure in education compared with the recurrent
expenditure? Will the recurrent expenditure be able to
adequately service the expanded capital establishment?
How well do the various items of capital expenditure
hang together? How well do the items of recurrent expen-
diture hang together? Will they mutually support each
other providing an integrated whole or will these separate
items leave to fractionalism and disjointed piece-meal
activities? In other words, how elegant an algorhythm
is the educational budget?
B. With respect to comparisons between priorities of educa-
tional expenditure and priorities of education per se.
Are the emphases of the educational expenditure con-
gruent with the required emphases of education qua
education in Jamaica at this time?
For example, how does the educational expenditure
(i) the alienation of men from the teaching profession
and boys from the nation's classrooms?
(ii) the matter of broadening young people's accep-
tance and choice of worthwhile occupations now
open to them?
(iii) the matter of structural versus functional aspirations
of the persons being educated?
(iv) the development of the entrepreneurial attitudes
and abilities of large numbers of people?
(v) the development of the attitudes of self reliance
and interdependence of individuals and the society?
C. With respect to the relationship between the priorities
of educational expenditure and its likely effect on the
social, economic and political institutions of the society.
One is here referring to the priorities of educational
expenditure as it relates to the economy of the country,
the social structure of the society and the interests and
aspirations of the majority consumers of education.
Assessment of Priorities.
Having established some of the possible sets of criteria by
which the priorities of government's educational expenditure
can be judged to be right or wrong, it is now necessary to
assess the priorities against these criteria.
1. Internal Consistency.
This is the set of criteria that one would expect an
educational economist to be most concerned about. Without
claiming any competence in this area, I will make two brief
First, in terms of face validity the priorities of expendi-
ture are internally consistent. The improvement of primary and
expansion of secondary education are dynamically interrelated
from a supply of students and teachers point of view. The
National Youth Service is surely a practical manifestation of
the latter point. The ability to attract and retain good teachers
is surely related to the success of both schemes. These four
priorities certainly "hang together" on paper.
Second, one of the characteristics of budgeted educa-
tional expenditure in the past has been its internal inconsis-
tency. For example, in 1968-69 while there was almost a fifty
per cent increase in capital expenditure there was only a
corresponding 2.3 per cent increase in recurrent expenditure.
While the current year budget represents a vast improvement
over 1968-69 the problem of recurrent expenditure to match
capital imputs still remains. Again fractionalism continues to
be a problem. One example of this fact is that the internship
programme, national youth service, teachers' colleges teaching
practice, the inservice teacher education project, the curricu-
lum development thrust, are all taking place in schools with
little reference to each other. At the same time, new recruits
to the pre-trained ranks of the -teaching profession receive
little or no attention.
In terms of the criteria of internal consistency, one has
to conclude that although there are signs of moving in the
right direction, there is still a lot to be done to make the
educational budget "right".
2. Educational Priorities.
I will not attempt to elaborate on this set of criteria,
since this was the burden of Professor Murray's paper. Suffice
it to say that the priorities of improving the quality of primary
education and fostering the development of a spirit of service
to others and to country, -rank as not only priorities of
expenditure but also of education qua education in Jamaica
at this time. From this point of view these priorities are right.
To a lesser degree one can also justify expanding secondary
education and attracting good teachers to the classroom.
The criticism here would not be that these priorities
are not in themselves right, but that there are others of equal
status that have not been adequately taken care of in the
3. Relationship to Other Activities.
It is to this set of criteria that I would like to pay particular
attention, and to assess the priorities of the educational expen-
diture of the current year.
How right are these expenditure priorities with respect
(a) the economy of the country
(b) the social structure of the society
(c) the interests and aspirations of the majority of the
consumers of education.
Before doing the actual assessment it is necessary to note
two important considerations. First, it is possible to examine
these interrelationships from the point of view of two dimen-
sions: What exists, the status quo, and what ought to be, the
ideal. In other words, one can look at the priorities of educa-
tional expenditure as it relates to the economy as it is, or
ought to be; the social structure as it is or as it should become;
the interests and aspirations of the people as they are or should
Second, one has to be aware of expenditure priorities of
the past. Have they been right?
One is not interested in only looking at the immediate past,
since much of what we have done has been a continuation of
past educational practice. If one goes back as far as the 1880's
when decisive educational restructuring took place under the
watchful eye of the Jamaica School Commission, one finds
that it is consciously and deliberately stated that the education-
al system and expenditure on it should service the purpose of
maintaining the status quo between the classes and races in
the social structure. "Better class education" provided by
Preparatory schools and High schools was fee-paying and based
on the classical tradition which later gave way to the liberal
arts tradition. Mass.education on the other hand was free and
offered some training in the three R's and practical skills. The
two "systems" of education were separate and unrelated as
were the classes in the society. While rigidity of the social
structure has altered somewhat since the 19th century, and
while there has been-corresponding modifications in the educa-
tional system the fundamental patterns and distinctions remain.
In the past education was directed to the economy as it
existed. "Better class education" was to produce the leaders
and professionals. The curriculum was shielded and protected
from specific vocational ends. For example, Bishop Nuttall and
Archdeacon Simms fought strenuously for the introduction of
agricultural education in high schools but failed in their efforts.
As a consolation prize natural sciences was permitted in such
schools as would wish to teach them. The aim of this side of
the system was general enlightment and of course, the leader-
ship skills of keeping the masses pacified and in their places.
Mass education on the other hand was particularly vulnerable
to vocational considerations. Success was seen in turning out a
few skilled artisans among the large number of unskilled that
were needed for agricultural labour.
With respect to the interests and aspirations of the consumers
of education it is fair to say that by and large these were
ignored. To a large degree the educational system for the
masses was a system of frustration. Without being cynical it is
true to say that every educational system in the world at some
point frustrates the majority of those who participate, and only
allows a very few to achieve the highest possible success.
However, our system, patterned off the British model, began
to systematically frustrate the majority of the consumers of
education from a very early age indeed.
Suffice it to say that this cross-purpose manifested itself
in the difference between the public reasons why government
provided educational opportunities and the private reasons for
which people participated in education. This has created massive
disfunctionalities in the system where some educational oppor-
tunity is grasped by people, the knowledge and the skills inten-
ded are gained, but the people use their education for compeletly
different purposes that was intended by government when such
opportunity was provided. This is not to be lamented, because
it has been the source of many of the evolutionary changes in
the social structure of the society.
The educational scene today is to a large extent the product
of past educational priorities as described above.
From the point of view of the historical perspective "wrong-
ness" in educational expenditure priorities can be defined in
terms of gearing educational ends to the economy and social
structure as they exist and in ignoring the interests and aspira-
tions of the majority of consumers of education.
"RIGHTNESS" at the present time is to be defined in terms
of educational ends geared to the social structure as it
should be or will become, to the economy as it ought to be
and to the interests and aspirations of the majority of the con-
sumers of education. With respect to the first two criteria
suffice it to say that it takes such a long time to provide an
educated and functional human being that education should
always possess a futuristic-element with respect to both the
economy and the nature of the social structure. With respect
to the third criterion this is essential in any society that makes
any claims about being democratic.
Are the priorities in government expenditure right? The
answer is yes. The improvement of the quality of primary
education, the expansion of secondary education, attracting
good teachers in the nation's schools and having those who"
have achieved most to service their fellow citizens and country
are all consistent with and would promote the restructuring of
the social order, the evolution of a more sophisticated econo-
my. and would take greater cognizance of and satisfy the
interests of many more consumers of education.
Government's expenditure of education, with the priorities
that are implicit in it, represents a step in the right direction
and a promising new beginning.
Years of painstaking research by Miss Dulcie Powell have
come to fulfilment in the recent appearance of two wonderful-
ly readable and competent publications. She tells us the story
of the introduction and establishment of some of the plants
which are among the most useful and widespread in the West
The social and political history of Europe and North
America in the last quarter of the Eighteenth Century, with its
struggles for freedom and independence, dramatically over-
shadows the fact that most of the tropical world was in
European terms, virtually unknown at that time. The accelerated
expansion of European influence in the tropics took place
against a complicated background of conflict and change; the
contrast of the violent overthrow of established orders against
the hopes of the liberated in what were, for many of them,
new and unexplored lands. These conflicts were carried into
the tropics where exploration, stimulated by the search for
power and greed for possession, coincided with genuine quests
for new knowledge. The liberation of France, America and
Haiti from autocracy and foreign rule, coincided with the con-
quest and subjugation of other nations in tropical Africa and
Asia in a process which went on well into the next century.
Less than forty-eight hours before Bligh's ship the Providence
hove to off St. Vincent, on Tuesday twenty-second of January
1793, carrying the first Breadfruit trees to the West Indies, the
head of Louis XVI rolled into a basket on a Paris square, and
England was once more on the brink of war with France. The
Breadfruit would be the salvation of the plantation negroes
and they would in their turn be eternally grateful to the seamen
pressed into the service of His Majesty's navy from the fields
and lanes of rural England. Five years earlier, the Bounty
mutineers had effectively stopped the first attempt to bring
Breadfruit to the West Indies and had escaped to form their
own colony on Pitcairn Island; hundreds of the plantation
slaves in Jamaica had already taken to the hills, Breadfruit or
promise of Breadfruit notwithstanding.
The details of particular events, as set out in these papers,
are contained in thorough documentation which reflects, but
does not equally dramatize, this era of great scientific and
political adventure, based substantially on momentous geo-
graphical excursions. Interest in voyages of exploration was
so great that captains' log books were frequently published or
at least carefully preserved somewhere, even if, as Miss Powell
discovered, in such unlikely and faraway places as Sydney
Australia, and the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.
We learn of the concern in the Jamaica Assembly for the
plight of 'our slaves' in the face of hurricanes, regulations from
London, and the cutting off 6f American imports of food.
Then, as now, tropical islands were subject to the vagaries of
larger events beyond their control. We read of the plans for
expeditions and the first setting up of government-sponsored
gardens in St. Vincent and Jamaica. We find out something of
the occupations, ambitions and characters of those most invol-
ved in these happenings. Judgements of right and wrong fade,
into irrelevancy as the reader becomes caught up in the contem-
porary design of purpose, duty and opportunity. In any case,
the author is not confusing her story with retrospect, which
the reviewer might be entitled to do.
What is certain is that the contemplation and expectation
of fulfilment of those voyages, of great distance and duration
in small ships, was a concept of such magnitude as to compare
very well with space exploration to-day. Although seemingly
less technically difficult, the failures were more numerous and
more costly in human lives.
Joseph Banks, the entrepreneur of these voyages, was weal-
thy and moderately well educated: Harrow, Eton, Oxford and
Cambridge. The secrets of botany were revealed to him by
country women, Gerard's Herball and Cambridge University.
At the age of twenty-three, he accompanied an expedition to
Labrador and Newfoundland, in search of adventure and to
learn more about natural history. Banks was elected to a
Fellowship of the Royal Society of which he was later to be
the President for forty years. In 1768, he became, a member of
the scientific party which accompanied Captain James Cook in
the Endeavour to the Pacific Ocean, ostensibly for the purpose
of observing the transit of Venus across the disc of the sun.
Mostly at his own expense, Banks also provided personnel and
equipment to make this the first ever properly organized bio-
Hillia parasitica. This wild Jamaican plant was included in the large collection of living plants which
Captain Bligh took to Kew Gardens, England when he returned in the Providence in June, 1793.
See page 28 for Plant Names
logical expedition to tropical countries. Secretly, Cook was
charged by the British government with the duty of searching
for the mythical and supposedly vast Southern Continent or
Terra Australia and to get there before the French. The South-
ern Continent was not found and the astronomical findings
were of little value, but the botanical yield was great. Hundreds
of new species were discovered in the Pacific, New Zealand and
Australia; besides which Banks gained first-hand knowledge of
the Breadfruit, Otaheite Plum and other useful plants known
previously only to seafarers. An able young maval officer who
accompanied Captain Cook on his later third voyage to the
Pacific became better known as Captain William Bligh.
Miss Powell does not recount the well known story of Bligh's
abortive first Breadfruit voyage in the Bounty, but she gives a
full account of the second in which the two ships Providence,
420 tons, and Assistant, 110 tons, made the eighteen month
trip to Tahiti. From the, days before Bligh and Lieutenant
Portlock directed their ships out of Portsmouth on 3rd August
1791 until after they reached Port Royal, Jamaica, on 5th
February 1793, Sir Joseph Banks was kept informed of progress
as often as possible. Plants were taken out to Cape Town and
other landfalls, and other plants were taken on at these places
in a general exchange which continued throughout the voyage.
All these plants, in pots and tubs, were in the care of two
botanist/gardeners who went along specially for this purpose.
Very careful records were kept of their condition and of the
hazards that befell them.
The government of Jamaica started a botanic garden at Bath,
St. Thomas, in 1779 and for several years a Mr. Hinton East
had been developing a garden at Spring Garden, Liguanea,
1. Averrhoa carambola Carambola. One of the plants in the cargo of
the French ship La Sainte Anne, captured while on its way from
Mauritius to Hispaniola in 1782 by Captain Marshall of the Flora, a
vessel of Lord Rodney's squadron. It was also brought by Bligh from
2. Cordylinefruticosa Dragon. Brought from Tahiti in the Providence
in 1793, it is still used in the Caribbean as a boundary marker and,
in Hawaii where it is known as Ti, the roots are a source of a kind of
beer and a potable spirit.
3. Syzygium malaccense Otaheite Apple. The flowers of the tree
providing the popular fruit known also in the West Indies as Water
Cashew or Pomerac. James Wiles collected it in Tahiti and Timor.
4. Lawsonia inermis Henna. First described from Egypt by Caspar
Bauhin in 1623, this is the source of the famous red dye. The plant
was obtained by Hinton East in 1788 in an exchange of rare species
With Mons. Hippolyte Nectoux of Haiti.
around the confluences of the Hope, Hog Hole and Salt Rivers
in St. Andrew. It was to these gardens that the Breadfruit trees
and other new plants were distributed, a further number being
sent to various properties in different parts of the island. These
acquisitions were welcome indeed and they were reported
excitedly in the press of the day and in official records.
Hinton East, who also corresponded with Sir Joseph Banks
and had discussed plant introductions into Jamaica with him
on a personal visit to England, did not live to see the Breadfruit
arrive. His garden had, however, become famous and was
already the depository of earlier prizes. We read, for the first
time in the papers under review, a plausible reconstruction of
the Flora incident which resulted in the first Mango plants
reaching Jamaica in 1782. It is a nice story concocted out of
war on the high seas, smuggling and intrigue. The captain of
the French ship declared that he was carrying "ballast and
some private adventure" from Mauritius to Hispaniola; and Mr.
East, who was Receiver General of Jamaica, received "the whole
Collection .. into his garden.
The Spring Garden is now known as Gordon Town, a rapid-
ly expanding residential annex to Kingston, centred around a
village strung out along the Hope River with high hills to the
north and south. The old Garden House has been replaced on
the same site by an apparently much less spacious house, also
quite old. There is little to show of East's garden, although the
site is full of introduced trees and a lot of strange locally
established foreign weeds. None of the original specimens of
introduced plants can be positively stated to exist to-day.
There are many examples of the 'South-Sea Plumb', better
known as Jew (or June) Plum, which had come first as part
of the Flora prize and later as part of the Providence cargo,
but these are mostly quite young and probably several genera-
tions from the originals. A fairly large tree of Jambolan, Syzy-
gium cumini, a species brought by Bligh from Timor, is on a
nice corner site ripe for development. Some old Mango trees
were removed recently to make way for housing and it has been
said that these were some of the captured plants. These plants
were numbered and an apparent survivor is the so-called
Number 11, the modern form of which is however not identical
with plants now in Mauritius.
Many of the species, like the Otaheite Apple and the Indian
Almond Tree, which were brought from other tropical lands,
thrived and were quickly distributed to other gardens. Several
of them were so well suited that thev became naturalized and
no longer required the assistance of human hands for their
survival and propagation. Many others are no longer here,
perhaps they were not really suited to the climate or soil; but
a few that came from temperate latitudes have become natural-
ized in the Blue Mountains. East's was a very full and interes-
ting experimental garden, one which it is safe to say must have
been well looked after, for a time at least.
The texts of both these papers are quite short, 13 and 36
pages respectively, including frequent quotations from con-
temporary letters and extracts from reports of the Jamaica
House of Assembly, succinctly compiled and carefully edited
into a flowing narrative.
The first paper has,'as an annex which is without doubt a
major contribution to the botany and history of horticulture
in Jamaica, a revision of Hortus Eastensis. This is the list of
plants which were cultivated in East's garden as at 1806 and it
has been completely updated in terms of scientific names. There
is a separate index of common names and genera.
The second paper has two similarly updated appendices,
one equating the contemporary common and South Seas names
with modern botanical ones and the other comprising lists of
plants which were sent from Jamaica to Kew. Besides; the plants
available from East's garden, a number of others from local and
Caribbean sources were being trans-shipped through Jamaica
at that time.
There is much still to learn about all this traffic in useful
and ornamental plants. Miss Powell's papers, which advance
the study for Jamaica, also exemplify clearly the role of
dedicated and enthusiastic individuals in these matters. Against
the seemingly impossible odds of the hazards of nature and
international conflict, and, with or without the aid of govern-
ments, most of the accomplishments were by a few people who
had the talent and determination to succeed. Through the two
centuries that have elapsed since Banks went to the Pacific
and Hinton East set up his garden,'there have been many more
voyages. Sporadic and sometimes worthy progress has been
made in Jamaica and several permanent botanic gardens have
established. Even so, there are many important plants which are
not here which would grow well somewhere in the island. The
French brought many African and Madagascan species to the
Antilles and David Fairchild and his associates brought others
to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands which we do not have.
For the general reader there is much history in these
publications to think about; for the horticulturist or botanist
there is stimulation for their ideas and future activities.
Powell, Dulcie. The Botanic Garden, Liguanea (with a revision of Hortus
Eastensis). Bull. Inst. Jamaica, Science series 15, part 1. 1972.
Powell, Dulcie. The Voyage of the Plant Nursery, H.M.S. Providence,
1791-1793. Bull. Inst. Jamaica, Science series 15, part 2, 1973.
Eyre, Alan. The Botanic Gardens of Jamaica. Andre Deutsch, London.
Guilding, Lansdown. An Account of the Botanic Garden in the Island
of St. Vincent. Richard Griffin, Glasgow. 1825 (reprinted).
Steam, William T. The botanical results of the Endeavour voyage.
Endeavour 27, no. 100; 3-10. 1968.
(Continued from last issue)
By Dr. Trevor Byer*
JAMAICA'S POSITION IN THE LANES
OF OIL POLLUTION
Having reviewed at length the political issues surrounding
the "oil game" I shall now turn to the question of pollution
associated with the oil sector and the fact that awareness of
the pollution problems in the industrialized States is leading to
a re-structuring of the mechanisms that have determined
refinery product prices.
C. OIL POLLUTION
In figure V. I have sketched a simplified "fuel cycle" for
crude oil in an effort to separate both the energy and non-
energy uses of petroleum products, as well as to provide an
illustration of those points in this cycle at which various types
of pollution problems are encountered. Perhaps the first item
worthy of mention is that the crude oil "cycle" is not really a
"cycle" in the sense that the nuclear fuel cycle (Fig. VI) is,
since after combustion of residual fuel oil in power stations no
useful by-product, other than electricity, results from the
burning of this type of oil. In the nuclear fuel cycle, the react-
or produces not only electricity by "burning" uranium fuel
but also produces a new element, plutonium, which itself may
I FIG.VT THE FUEL CYCLE OF CRUDE OIL
be re-cycled to be used as fuel to produce more electricity.
This plutonium is about ten times the monetary value of gold
to-day, with a price of about US$8-10 per gramme it is also
a key material for nuclear weapon fabrication.
The second significant distinction between the oil and
nuclear fuel cycles is that all of the industrial activities in the
peaceful nuclear case are geared towards one large market -
that of supplying nuclear fuel for electric utilities. However,
in the crude oil cycle there are four distinct and very different
markets to_ which activities are geared. The first being, the
propulsion market in which gasolenes, aviation spirits, and
marine fuel oils are supplied for propelling cars, planes and
ships. The second market is the electric utility market which
consumes residual fuel oil (No. 6 fuel oil) to provide heat and
steam for driving turbogenerators. The third market, represents
another energy market and may be loosely defined as the
"domestic heating" market. The fourth market is a non-energy
one and principally comprises of the petrochemical feedstocks
for use in the petrochemical industry which manufactures
fertilizers, plastics etc.
Figure V The Fuel Cycle of Crude Oil
* The views expressed in this paper are those of the author, and are
not published officially on behalf of the Government.
In discussing pollution arising from crude oil and its
products it is desirable to separate the type of pollution into
three broad classes for the purposes of the present analysis.
The first is that arising from the transport of crude oil and its
products by oil tankers; the second class is defined by the
pollution generated by the oil refinery itself and the third class
is that arising from the pollution produced by oil fired power
stations. The pollution in the propulsion market I shall not
address myself to during this lecture.
Oil Tanker Spills
Since the main oil consuming and producing regions are
geographically separated, increasingly large volumes of oil have
to be transported by oil tankers; indeed, tanker accidents over
the past few years have begun to highlight the major problems
faced in seeking to control pollution from oil spills. Fig. II
(see Part I Dec. 1973 Issue) shows the growth in world oil
tanker movements from 1953 to 1970 and projections to 1980.
From this it is clear that prior to the 1967 closure of the Suez
Canal a very small fraction of crude oil was transported around
the Cape of Good Hope, but by 1970 over 5 million barrels/
day of crude oil were being moved around the Cape. This re-
presents a tanker traffic of about 25 VLCC's (Very Large
Crude Carriers) i.e. super-tankers; per week going around the
Cape laden with crude oil. Two years later, by 1972, over
8 million barrels/day of crude oil were being moved via the
Present projections of the amount of crude oil the U.S.A.
will be importing directly from the Middle East range from
2-5 million barrels/day of crude by 1980. All of this crude
will be transported via the Cape and then either through or
very near to the Caribbean Sea as it moves north. As a result of
President Nixon's 1973 Energy Message, U.S.A. refiners have
been given large incentives to expand U.S.A. refinery capacity
based on directly imported crude oil. In addition, steps are
being taken in the U.S.A. to construct vast super-ports which
will be capable of berthing VLCC's of up to 300,000 tons -
two possible sites for these super-ports are off Delaware and
in the Gulf of Mexico. Dependent on where these super-ports
are sited will have a significant effect as to whether or not
there will be a massive super-tanker traffic through the Carib-
bean Sea (moving crude to the Giulf of Mexico) or outside of
the Eastern Caribbean island chain (moving crude to the
Delaware region). At present no U.S.A. eastern-seaboard port
is capable of taking tankers of over 80,000 tons and hence
large super-ports will be built in the U.S.A. if the benefits of
lower-cost oil transport by super-tankers is to be grasped.
A movement of about 2-5 million barrels/day of crude oil
from the Middle East via the Cape into the U.S.A., implies a
VLCC traffic of between 8-25 laden super-tankers per week
assuming super-tankers in the 200,000 ton and upwards range.
This is a sizeable traffic particularly if a significant fraction of
these super-tankers transit through the Caribbean Sea. I want
to emphasize that this VLCC traffic and the attendant oil spill
hazard have nothing whatsoever to do with Jamaica having a
large oil refinery. It is due to our geographical position, i.e.
being near to a large oil importing country. However, if this
volume of tanker traffic through the Caribbean begins to devel-
op about 1977 then steos will have to be taken on a total
Caribbean basis to seek to define the routes these super-tankers
must take, if the Caribbean is to be protected from becoming
the most polluted sea in the world. What this would imply for
tourism in the entire region does not have to be specified
Lest these laden VLCC traffic figures scare you it is im-
portant to put the oil spillage problem into its proper perspect-
ive. The main sources of oil pollution associated with tankers
i) Maritime accidents such as tanker groundings,
collisions (i.e. ship to ship), rammings (i.e. ship to
object), fires, explosions and structural failures;
ii) Intentional discharges of oil or oily waste from
the pumping. of bilges, tank washings, deballasting
cargo tanks etc.,
iii) Accidental spillages while transferring oil from
ship to shore at marine oil terminals, or faulty opening
of valves, etc.
Though sources (ii) and (iii) above can be significant, the
most dramatic forms of oil pollution arise from maritime
accidents. Perhaps the first point which should be emphasized
is that in comparison to the large volumes of oil moved by sea
an exceedingly small fraction is actually spilt. For example, in
1970 over 15 million barrels/day of crude was transported by
oil tankers of which an estimated 1.5 million barrels'of oil were
spilt over a period of one year due to tanker accidents i.e.
about 1/30 of 1% of all the crude oil moved by tankers in
1970 entered the sea through tanker accidents.
Not all tanker incidents either possess the same frequency
of occurrence or result in the same magnitude of oil being
spilt and a recent statistical analysis performed by the U.S.
Coast Guard of 266 reported tanker incidents which occurred
during 1969 and 1970 and resulted in a total oil outflow of
some 3,000,000 barrels, provides a summary of the types of
accidents most likely to cause the greatest threat of a major oil
spill. Figs. VI and VII show a breakdown in terms of frequen-
cy and oil outflow magnitude, of the 266 incidents in 1969
and 1970. These two Figures indicate that the most significant
type of tanker casualty in causing oil pollution in 1969 and
1970 was structural failures of the tankers (tanker age is
naturally very important in this context). During these two
years the 10 major structural failures (representing some 4% of
the total number of accidents) accounted for about 1.5 million
barrels of oil outflow (representing some 48% of the total
Figure VI. Polluting Incidents Frequency Distribution
Figure VII. 226 Polluting Incidents and 430, 720 Long Tons
of Outflow Magnitude Distribution
outflow). These 10 incidents, of course, occurred with Tully
Groundings were the next major contributor to oil outflow.
In the two years in question, groundings accounted for 28% of
all tanker casualty pollution and were four times more signifi-
cant than collisions. These data clearly reveal that it is meaning-
less to analyze tanker pollution data only in terms of their fre-
quency without data on the amounts of oil outflow. In terms
of total incidents, collisions were by far the largest type of
casualty, however, collisions only contributed 8% of the total
oil outflow. Rammings (i.e. ship to object collisions, such as at
marine terminals) accounted for about 9% of the total inci-
dents but only resulted in some 1% of oil outflow.
Further factors which must be borne in mind in evaluating
the probabilities of oil pollution from tanker incidents relate
to the "areas" in which the major outflows occur. In 1969
and 1970 about 56% of the total oil outflow from tanker
casualties occurred "at sea", i.e. more than 50 miles off-shore,
with structural failures accounting for over 90% of the "at sea"
casualty caused pollution. Within the same period, some 14%
of the total oil outflow was spilt in the "coastal area", i.e.
within the 50 mile limit from shore and 29% was spilt in the
"local area", i.e. at marine terminals, harbours, etc. Once oil
enters the sea it is affected in four major ways:
(a) It slowly loses its lighter fractions by evaporation,
with a consequent increase in viscosity and density (for a crude
oil some 20% is lost by this mechanism in 24 hours),
(b) A small fraction of the oil dissolves in the water and
(c) It can be affected by sunlight and oxygen which
slowly polymerize the oil to produce a more viscous and high
(d) The oil can be attacked by micro-organisms living in
the sea which are adapted to use hydrocarbons as a source of
Indeed, the last factor is perhaps the main factor contribut-
ing to removing oil floating "at sea". The bacteria can only
attack the oil surface in contact with the sea, hence once the
oil is broken-up into fine droplets (as in a true emulsion) by
using emulsifiers the surface area exposed to bacterial attack
is greatly increased thereby facilitating this means of removal
of floating oil. As a result of this bacterial attack the oil in-
creases in density and finally sinks as fine particles to join the
sediment on the sea-bed.
Apart from the use of emulsifiers in tackling an oil spill,
attempts can also be made to skim the oil off the water surface
by using suction devices this latter technique being especial-
ly relevant for spills occurring at marine terminals and harbours.
Though other techniques exist I shall not get into any further
details on this aspect of the pollution problem, except again
to emphasize that the oil spill hazard arising from the VLCC
traffic which the Caribbean will face towards the end of this
decade is due to the large increases in U.S.A. imports of Middle
East crude oil and not, per se, to the presence of refineries in
Jamaica, St. Lucia, Haiti or elsewhere in the region.
Regarding the other sources of tanker related oil pollution,
namely intentional and accidental discharges, the most difficult
to control and police, are the intentional discharges by tankers
"at sea" either as a result of deballasting or from tank washings.
If these operations are carried out at night and 50 or more
miles off-shore there is little possibility, in the absence of very
effective surveillance, of apprehending the renegade tanker
particularly since by dawn it will be over 250 miles away from
the spill. In the case of accidental spills at marine terminals the
most effective mechanism here is to seek, by 'exceedingly care-
ful operation of valves and their maintenance to prevent such
Refinery and Power Station Pollution
When one progresses further down-stream from the trans-
port sector of the oil industry, the nature of the pollutants
changes. One is no longer concerned with oil spills'but with
aerial and liquid effluent pollution produced by all refineries
and fossil fuel fired power stations.
When fossil fuels are burnt chemical oxidation occurs as
combustible elements of the fuel are converted to gaseous
products and the non-combustible elements to ash. Usually,
more than 95% of the gaseous combustion products are not
known to be harmful (oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and
water vapour) and therefore do not contribute to air pollution.
The noxious gases (oxides of sulphur, oxides of nitrogen and
organic compounds) are harmful to humans, animals and plant
life. When sulphur dioxide is discharged it may convert to
sulphur trioxide and this in turn may convert to sulphuric acid
dependent on the humidity and frequency of precipitation.
Nitric oxide is not very toxic per se but it plays a harmful role
in the atmosphere where it oxides to nitrogen dioxide a lung
irritant. Under the action of sunlight nitrogen dioxide dis-
sociates to nitric oxide and atomic oxygen, with some of the
latter combining with molecular oxygen to form ozone a high-
ly irritating gas and a specific health hazard.
In a fossil fuel fired power station the production of nitro-
gen oxides varies mainly with the proportion of excess air
supplied to support the combustion of fuel and the flame
temperature. For the case of a 200 MWe oil fired station operat-
ing at a load factor of some 80% about 15 short tons of nitro-
gen oxide will be produced per day. When one turns to the
production of sulphur dioxide this depends on, and is indeed,
proportional to, the sulphur content of the fuel. This same
power station would, if burning 4% sulphur fuel oil, produce
about 79 short tons of sulphur dioxide per day.
The atmosphere transports and disperses sources of aerial
pollution, such. as sulphur dioxide produced in an oil fired
power station, and meteorology determines the concentrations
at exposed receptors. The emission rate of sulphur dioxide
issuing from the stack of a power station or refinery depends
on the amount of fuel burnt and the sulphur content of the
fuel. However the factors which determine the "plume" ele-
vation of the effluent are the stack height, stack shape (in
particular the diameter of the stack at the opening) and the
velocity and temperature of the effluent at the top of the
stack. The meteorological factors affecting "plume" rise, on
the other hand, are the wind speed, wind shear, air pressure
and stability and air temperature. Generally, the higher the
wind speed the less the rise of the plume. It should be clear
that in view of the host of parameters involved the equations
describing "plume" rise and the behaviour of the aerial pollu-
tant cannot give accurate predictions for all meteorological
conditions. In a broad sense however, over level terrain, as the
stack height increases the maximum ground concentration of a
given pollutant decreases and the point at which this maximum
occurs moves farther away from the base of the stack.
The above remarks may have left the impression that tall
stacks are the answer to fossil fired power station pollutants,
however, this would be a.gross over-simplification of the situa-
tion. Tall stacks may be effective in reducing the ground level
concentration of sulphur dioxide and derived oxides, but they
* do not per se reduce the amount of pollutant released to the
atmosphere. Hence tall stacks play an incomplete role in air
pollution control, though they disperse and dilute the effusing
gases before they reach ground level. Indeed in certain meteor-
ological conditions tall stacks (even as high as say 700 feet)
can have only a minor beneficial effect.
At present, tremendous effort is being expended in the
U.S.A. and Western Europe towards developing competitive
processes which remove the sulphur after combustion of the
fuel, i.e. from the stack-gases. This is in contrast to processes
such as desulphurization of residual fuel oil whereby the sul-
phur is removed prior to combustion in the power station.
The development of a competitive process for removing sul-
phur from stack gases will represent a major breakthrough
since this would then enable the utilities in the metropolitan
States (and especially the U.S.A.) to burn directly high sulphur
coal in their power plants, whilst still adhering to the stringent
air pollution standards in the major urban areas of the indust-
realized countries. This would be of special importance in the
U.S.A. since most of that country's vast coal resources are of
very high sulphur content. Such a breakthrough would tend in
many ways to begin to remove the bottom out of the desul-
phurized residual fuel oil market. At present the incremental
cost of installing such stack gas sulphur removing devices in
power plant units of about 800 MWe is about US$40 50/KWe
in capital. This would mean an incremental generation cost of
about 0.84 mills/KWh for such a power station operated at an
80% load factor using a fixed charge rate on invested capital
of some 12%. However, the ultimate competitivity of this
approach to controlling the aerial pollution from power sta-
tions, will heavily depend on the future price movement of
desulphurized residual fuel oil and hence; the price of crude
oil which we have seen will be only upwards over the short to
medium term. Indeed, on the basis of the example given above,
0.5% sulphur residual fuel oil would only have to increase in,
price by about 20-25% above its present price of about
US$4.50/barrel for the competitivity of such a process to be
It would be inappropriate to conclude this section on power
station pollution if I do not turn attention briefly to the prob-
lems of thermal pollution from power plants. The thermal
pollution refers to the cooling water which is ejected from
these plants at an elevated temperature, thereby raising the
temperature of the receiving marine environment. The vast
cooling water requirements of a power station is not often
recognized. A 400 MWe fossil fired power plant will normally
require about 280 million gallons of cooling water per day for
a maximum temperature rise across the condenser of about
150 F. Fortunately sea water can be used for such cooling
requirements. In contrast a nuclear station of the same size
would need about 35% more cooling water per day and this is
not due, as is often thought, to the lower efficiency of nuclear
units (since modern nuclear units have the same efficiency as
fossil plants). It is due to the fact that in a fossil fired station
a large amount of heat is lost up the stack whereas in a nuclear
station this is not possible and hence all waste heat appears in
the cooling water.
The thermal pollution problem is not serious if the power
generation site has easy access to deep waters in which there
is some equatorial current. It becomes serious when one has
"batteries" of 1000 MWe plants on the shores of a lake, or on
the banks of a river, as exist in North America and Europe.
Having briefly looked at the major pollution aspects of the
oil sector we may now turn to examine one of the ways in
which consciousness of pollution associated with energy pro-
duction and use affected the pricing of refinery products.
D. EFFECT OF CHANGING DEMAND ON REFINERY
One of the major consequences of increasing concern in the
metropolitan States about the environment is that the mech-
anisms which have determined refinery product prices are in
the process of changing. To illustrate these changes one may
consider, for simplicity, a refinery which only produces three
products, namely, heavy residual fuel oil (RFO), middle
distillate and naptha. Residual fuel oil is for the power utility
market, middle distillate is used for the diesel and domestic
heating markets whilst naptha is primarily destined for the
motor spirit and petrochemical feedstock markets. In a given
refinery processing a given crude oil, the amount of naptha,
middle distillate and RFO will be produced in the amounts,
o(, B and 1 o< B respectively. Hence in order
for there to be an incentive to expand refinery capacity the
following equation must hold:-
o(.(price of naptha ) + 8. (price of middle distillate)
+ (1 o< B ) (price of RFO) - price of crude
+ fully built-up refinery distillation costs.... (1).*
The equality will clearly hold if there is perfect competition.
Up to the late 1960s the overriding influence on product
prices was the relative shortage of middle distillate and the
relative surpluses of RFO and naptha (this was at least the
case outside of the USA). In the USA, demand for gasolene
corresponds to a higher fraction of crude and naptha is in
greater demand as a motor spirit feedstock. Hence up to the
late 1960s, naptha was used to supplement middle distillate
Price of naptha a price of middle distillate ... (2)
Residual fuel oil can be "cracked" (i.e., break-up the large
molecules to smaller molecules) to produce material in the
middle distillate range; hence during this time:-
price of middle distillate price of RFO + fully
built-up "cracking" costs ... (3).
In the 1960s the marginal crude was Kuwaiti crude and its
price determined those of other crudes. This broad structure
was until recently generally in agreement with the previous
price structure leading to:-
price of RFO Z crude price + fully built-up distillate costs -
(fully built-up cracking costs) (o< +B)... (4)
This historical mechanism has broken down for two major
(1) As a result of environmental pressures to reduce the
sulphur dioxide pollution emitted by oil-fired power stations,
the demand for low sulphur residual fuel oil in the metropoli-
tan States is increasing rapidly until such times as competitive
stack gas desulphurization processes emerge, as noted earlier.
For example, in the New York area only 0.3% sulphur RFO
can be used in oil-fired power stations. The demand for low
sulphur RFO could be partially met by using more low sulphur
crude oils in refineries however, low sulphur crudes usually
have a lower yield of RFO than heavier high sulphur crudes.
This therefore means that to meet the total demand for low
sulphur RFO refineries must desulphurize the RFO to produce
a lower sulphur and viscosity product. Hence the surplus of
RFO of the 1960s will disappear and the need for "cracking"
will also diminish. Consequently the price of low sulphur
RFO and middle distillate will converge:-
price of middle distillate : price of low sulphur RFO
a price of high sulphur RFO + desulphurization costs ... (5)*
Further since Saudi Arabia will by 1980 be producing around
10-12 million barrels/day of crude oil, Saudi crude will
replace Kuwaiti crude as the marginal crude.
(2) The second reason for the breakdown in the historical
pricing mechanisms is due to the demand for natural gas which
is growing because of its convenience and its excellent non-
polluting properties. This growing market is not really that of
the power utilities but mainly the "domestic and industrial
heating" market. The demand for natural gas may be met by
liquefied natural gas (LNG) which would be transported in
refrigerated ships since, once more, the major consuming and
producing areas are separated geographically. LNG is however
very costly the ships alone cost some $80 million each. For
example, the landed cost in Japan of LNG from the Persian
Gulf would be equivalent to about U.S.$7-8/barrel of low
sulphur RFO, as compared to current Japanese low sulphur
RFO prices of about $4.50/barrel. The alternative to LNG is
synthetic natural gas (SNG) which can be produced from
naptha feedstock. This process yields SNG which is significant-
ly cheaper than LNG and hence the price of naptha would no
longer follow equation (2) above, but instead the following
equation should hold:
price of naptha cost of LNG cost of converting naptha
to SNG... (6)*
One of the important consequences of an increasing demand
for naptha for SNG production is that the petrochemical
industry, which uses naptha as feedstock would then be having
to compete with the SNG energy market for naptha supplies
thereby further forcing-up the prices of naptha.
I have raised these factors in an attempt to illustrate the
manner in which drastic changes in the pollution standards to
* See page 36 for equation clarifications.
which the energy sector is being subjected in the industrialized
states, influences the pricing and hence future use of the energy
products from a refinery.
Having reviewed certain aspects of the oil sector, I now
wish to turn to the nuclear energy sector. It is as well that I
have left this to the end so that I can mention the major
features of nuclear power development, for if I probe too
deeply into the nuclear sector I shall be here for a few days.
In the case of nuclear power more than any other energy
resource, the triad of "energy, politics and pollution" is of
greater significance than even in the case of the oil sector, for
the "politics" of nuclear power means nuclear-weapons poten-
tial both in terms of the raw materials and manpower required
for such an activity, whilst the "pollution" of nuclear power
means the problem of disposing of high level radioactive wastes
associated with both civilian and military nuclear programmes.
For these reasons, I shall therefore wind-up this lecture on a
nuclear footing, for it is this sector (based on both fission and
fusion power) of the energy industry that will have to bear the
brunt of the world's electrical energy requirements from the
mid 1980s until well into the 21st century.
E. NUCLEAR FISSION ENERGY
and should not be confused with the military industry which
has been flourishing for the past thirty (30) years.
In 1955, at the conclusion of the first U.N. conference on
the peaceful uses of atomic energy in Geneva, most developing
countries believed that here was technology which could total-
ly change their state df under-development virtually over-night
because of its supposed very low power generation costs. Need-
less to say, this was a total mis-comprehension of what nuclear
technology is all about, for indeed, it is not the ability of
countries to generate low cost energy that determines their
development potential but their ability to consume energy in
sizeable amounts. Furthermore, it was not recognized by
developing countries at that time that potential civilian nuclear
power programmes were highly dependent on the "spin-offs"
obtained from the military nuclear programmes in the nuclear-
weapon States. For example, the nuclear reactors which were
developed for the nuclear submarine fleets laid the foundations
for the present generation of so-called "light water reactors"
which are being installed in sizeable numbers in the large elec-
trical grid systems of the metropolitan countries. In addition,
the military gas-cooled reactors which produced most of the
plutonium for the U.S.A., U.S.S.R, French and British weapons
programmes, pave the way for the current generation of gas-
cooled reactors in the British utility system.
In a manner similar to effectively all major scientific and
technological advancements which man has achieved, .nuclear In order to grasp the implications, of nuclear power one
energy was developed to fulfil exclusively military, and hence, must examine the nuclear fuel cycle, which I mentioned earlier,
political objectives; for it is indeed no mere accident of histori- and which is schematically shown in Fig.VIII.The first stage
cal evolution that the five permanent members of the U.N. begins with the mining and milling of uranium ore. After
Security Council are the five nuclear-weapon States. One of milling and concentration the uranium oxide (U308), powder
the important factors to continuously bear in mind when one known as "yellow cake", is shipped to a conversion plant
looks at nuclear energy to-day, is that from the early 1940's where it is converted either into uranium dioxide (U 02) if it
until the mid-1960's (i.e. during the first 20 odd years of the is to be used in a natural uranium reactor or into uranium
nuclear era) virtually all effort was expended on the sophisti- hexafluoride (UF6), a highly toxic material; if it is to be used
cation of the military aspects of nuclear technology. As such, in an enriched uranium reactor. In the case of the enriched
the development of significant civilian nuclear power pro- uranium cycle, the hexafluoride is then transported to the
grammes for electricity generation only began about 1964, i.e. enrichment plant where the fraction of uranium 235 is
only ten years ago! Hence when people state that nuclear increased to the desired level. After enrichment the hexafluor-
power has not lived up to its expectations they are overlooking ide is then converted to uranium dioxide (U 02) and subse-
the fact that the civilian nuclear industry is exceedingly young quently forwarded to a fabrication plant where the ceramic
F/G.M LOW ENRICHED UO FULL CYCLE
ORE Fabricated'fuel elements
Uz3O, (yellow cake)
Figure VIII. Low Enriched UO2 Full Cycle
U02 pellets are inserted into thin fuel elements made of stain-
less steel or alloys of zirconium and aluminium. The fabricated
fuels elements are then transported to the nuclear reactor and
subsequently inserted into the reactor produce the heat and
steam required to generate electricity. Up to this stage the level
of radioactivity in the fuel elements is very low. However, after
irradiation in the reactor, (one fuel element may remain in
there for about one year) the fuel elements are lethally radio-
active due to the nuclear processes which produce strontium,
iodine etc., and other highly active elements.
The radioactive products are completely contained in the
fuel element casing and after three months of "cooling" at the
reactor site they are shipped to the reprocessing plant where
the casing is removed and the radioactive products, uranium
and produced plutonium are separated out by wet chemical
remote control processes. One then gets "4 liquid streams"
coming out of the reprocessing plant; the highly radioactive
stream of products, the low-radioactive stream, the stream of
depleted uranium as uranyl nitrate solution and the stream of
plutonium as plutonium nitrate solution. This is the point in
the nuclear cycle that pollution problems arise and it is import-
ant to stress that, apart from India, no developing country will
have commercial reprocessing plants until their nuclear power
systems are at least about 15000 20000 MWe installed (i.e.
about the year 2045 in the case of Jamaica !!) Several schemes
are presently being examined for the permanent disposal of
the high activity wastes from the reprocessing plants, amongst
these being burial in disused salt-mines or shooting them off
into deep space if the probability of rocket failure and the
costs can be significantly reduced. The uranyl nitrate solution
can then be converted, back to hexafluoride (UF6) and return-
ed to the enrichment plant where the cycle begins repeating it-
self. On the other hand, the plutonium nitrate solution is
normally stored in ten litre "bottles" and may be eventually
converted to plutonium oxide (PUO2) which when mixed
with uranium oxide (UO2) can form the new fuel for the
reactor this is known as plutonium recycling. Plutonium is
a highly toxic material that has the tendency to spontaneously
ignite as well as being carcinogenic, as such it is a material that
must be handled by remote control when it is bulk form.
When one looks at the entire nuclear fuel cycle it is clear
that the power reactor is in many aspects the cleanest nuclear
facility from a pollution standpoint and it is only this facility
which will be emerging in developing countries within the
foreseeable future. There has been much hysteria generated in
some metropolitan States about the advent of power reactors
near to large towns but this hysteria is really misplaced. The
natural background radiation which we all receive per year
due to cosmic rays and the existence of radioactive elements
in the ground is about 220 millirem/year. Airline pilots and
air hostesses are exposed to higher levels due to their greater
exposure to cosmic rays travelling at 35000 feet in commercial
air craft. The use of X-rays for diagnostic and curative purposes
in the medical profession in metropolitan States has increased
to such a level that an average person, in such a country, will
be exposed to about 50 millirems/year in addition to the
natural background radiation level due to medical uses of
radiation. In contrast, a commercial nuclear power station will
increase the radiation exposure of an average person by about
0.005 millirems/year. These are the scales of comparison.
The major concern about power reactors has not primarily
been about these negligible radiation levels relative to natural
sources but, in the case of "light water" reactor of a possible
loss-of-coolant accident which is defined as the maximum
credible accident that can occur for this reactor type. Though
a commercial reactor cannot undergo a nuclear explosion, in
the case of a maximum credibly accident radioactive products
may be released to the atmosphere in significant amounts
following a melt-down of the fuel and rupture df the contain-
ment vessel. This would be accompanied by loss of life and
property near to the site if such a rare eventuality arose.
However, one of the major "problems" the nuclear industry
has faced from the public standpoint is that, more than any
other industry, it has been too honest in defining the maximum
credible accident. No major industry worldwide can boast the
30 year safety record of the nuclear industry and indeed, if one
subjected other industries to the same maximum credible
accident analysis you would be amazed at what we comfort-
ably accept in our surroundings as "safe" industries this is a
reflection purely of the absence of an objective approach.
The maximum credible accident in the aircraft industry may
be defined as that in which a "jumbo-jet" fully laden crashed
into a stadium of 100,000 people breaking up into multiple
exploding and blazing fragments seconds before impact so that
these fractions are evenly distributed within the stadium. The
probability of such an accident is higher than a loss of coolant
reactor accident with its maximum credible sequences and the
loss-of-life in the jumbo case would be larger. All new techno-
logy brings risks, what we must ruthlessly examine is the
benefit/risk relationship and judge such new technology on
results of these analyses. We must never forget that the safest
car was the car that was never built; the safest plane was that
which was never built and the safest reactor was the reactor
that was never built. If mankind only thought of the risks
associated with new technologies we would still be in the
stone-age. The stone-age may have been the best of all ages
but despite the temptation, I shall not comment on the value
of stone-age versus modern systems of organizing society and
the technologies used by such modem societies.
In Table XV current projections of the growth in installed
nuclear electric capacity outside of the centrally planned
economies are produced. These figures speak for themselves
and indicate that, for example, in Western Europe and the
U.S.A., nuclear capacity will represent 21% and 19.5% respect-
ively of the total installed electrical generating power by 1980.
These nuclear plants have already been ordered, whilst by
1985 these figures will rise to 32.4% and 30.6% respectively.
In the case of the developing world, represented by the
"Remainder" in this Table the percentage of nuclear plant is
much smaller even up to 1985. There are several reasons for
this. First, nuclear power represents the most advanced tech-
nology to-day and hence due to the "technological gap"
between the metropolitan and developing world it is not sur-
prising that developing countries would not be at the forefront
of the latest developments in advanced technology. Second,
nuclear power plants are presently only competitive in large
sizes (i.e. above about 300 MWe), however, the small electric
systems in developing countries cannot technically absorb
such large units be they conventional or nuclear. It is only
when these systems increase in absolute size that one can
envisage introducing large nuclear power units. Third, in any
size range, the capital cost of nuclear units are nearly double
those of oil-fired units, however, the nuclear fuel costs are
usually about three to four. times less than current fuel oil
costs, this is where the economy factor arises in nuclear
stations. Most developing countries are faced with scarcity of
capital and hence tend to be forced to purchase the, lower
capital cost equipment though this may not be the lowest
generating cost equipment. Finally, the nuclear-weapon-States
have not been too keen to encourage a proliferation of nuclear
technology worldwide because of the attendant increase in
States possessing a nuclear weapon capability.
I have referred earlier to the hysteria which various environ-
mental groups in the metropolitan States are generating about
the civilian nuclear power programmes in these States. How-
ever, in my view the real "pollution" problems which the
civilian nuclear industry faces as nuclear power programmes
undergo tremendous expansion is not the disposal of high
radioactive wastes from the reprocessing plants, but a hazard
of wider dimensions because it cannot be easily controlled.
The hazard I speak of is that of black-markets in plutonium
and possible primitive nuclear weapons developing. Plutonium
is perhaps the most dangerous man-made material ever produc-
ed not because of its toxicity and radioactivity referred to
above, but because in the metallic form only about 8-9 kilo-
grammes (i.e. about 18-20 pounds) of weapons grade pluton-
ium are required as the basic raw material for designing a
primitive nuclear weapon of the type used in World War II.
One does not have to tax the imagination to envisage the types
of scenarios that can develop if clandestine guerilla groups
Estimated Growth in Installed Nuclear Electric Power Plants
Outside of the Centrally Planned Economies
In Megawatts Electric (MWe)
Country/area 1973 1975 1980 1985
U. S. A.
1. Total Installed Electric Capacity 390,000 MWe 475,000 MWe 665,000 MWe 915,000 MWe
2. Nuclear Installed Electric Capacity 28,900 MWe 54,000 MWe 130,000 MWe 280,000 MWe
3. % Nuclear 7.4% 11.4% 19.5% 30.6%
1. Total Installed Electric Capacity 239,000 MWe 273,000 MWe 375,000 MWe 509,000 MWe
2. Nuclear Installed Electric Capacity 14,000 MWe 25,000 MWe 79,000 MWe 165,000 MWe
3. % Nuclear 5.9% 9.2% 21.1% 32.4%
1. Total Installed Electric Capacity 80,000 MWe 100,000 MWe 160,000 MWe 220,000 MWe
2. Nuclear Installed Electric Capacity 3,500 MWe 7,400 MWe 32,000 MWe 60,000 MWe
3. % Nuclear 3.6% 7.4% 20% 27.2%
1. Total Installed Electric Capacity 108,000 MWe 135,000 MWe 200,000 MWe 300,000 MWe
2. Nuclear Installed Electric Capacity 3,500 MWe 5,000 MWe 11,000 MWe 41,000 MWe
3. % Nuclear 3.2% 3.7% 5.5% 13.7%
operating at the sub-national, national or international level
gain access to such material and begin issuing an ultimatum.
Indeed, with the amount of plutonium destined to be moving
about the world commercially this is a major hazard and
requires major security measures to be enforced if we are to
avoid such development.
FIG.Z LOW ENRICHED L/RANIUM FUEL CYCLE -
In Fig IX I have schematically traced the "history of nuclear
fuel element" from after enrichment to reprocessing indicating
the rough time interval which elapses as it moves through
different stages of the cycle. Also shown in this figure are three
parameters, the critical time, the strategic value and the
accessibility of the nuclear material at different phases in the
HOURS HOURS DAYS
Figure IX. Low Enriched Uranium Fuel Cycle Post Enrichment
;i ~ ~//- -J
fuel cycle. The critical time refers to the time required to
fabricate a nuclear weapon using a given type of material; the
strategic value is an indication of the military potential of a
particular type of nuclear material whilst, and the accessibility
of the nuclear material denotes the ease with which the mater-
ial can be acquired at a specific point in the cycle. From this
figure it can be seen that the critical time of the nuclear
material is large up to about the entrance to the processing
plant. However, it drops rapidly after this when plutonium
nitrate solution has been separated out of the fuel. At this
point the critical time is about a few days, i.e. with plutonium
nitrate solution as the starting point, the fabrication of a
primitive nuclear device will take a few days. The nuclear
material initially has a very low strategic value which rises to a
maximum very quickly on irradiation (this corresponds to
maximum formation of Pu -239) and then decreases with
increased irradiation, remaining constant from there onwards.
Finally, it is clear from the Figure that the accessibility to the
nuclear material drops significantly whilst it is in the reactor
but then increases (i.e. the material becoming increasingly
accessible) as it moves further through the cycle. This Figure
demonstrates in terms of the parameters critical time, strategic
value and accessibility the points in the nuclear cycle at which
major surveillance and control have to be focused. so as to
ensure that all material is accounted for. The most important
points are clearly the reprocessing plant and the storage areas
for plutonium since at these points the material has a very
short (low) critical time, is strategic and highly accessible.
Another sensitive point of the cycle is the transport of the
material since several cases have already been reported in which
about 20 kilogrammes of equivalent plutonium have been
lost for weeks during transport. In one case it was eventually
found in a warehouse under a consignment of shoes for a shoe
store this occurred in 1969 in one of the metropolitan
To probe, in this paper, any:further into the nuclear energy
field, whether from the economic, technical, political, environ-
mental or military standpoint would take us too far afield
to-day. That would have to be an entirely separate subject.
However, I hope that I have been able to highlight some of the
major issues which we face in the entire energy area. I have
naturally had to skip-over several important points in attempt-
ing to put everything into a nutshell. However, if I have been
able to clearly show that the energy sector today cannot be
divorced from the environmental and political issues sur-
rounding it then I have fulfilled the task I set myself.
The technical, economic, financial and pollution problems
associated with the production, transport and use of energy
to-day provide a stimulating challenge for us, whilst the politi-
cal problems of the energy sector provide the excitement
without which our task would indeed be dull and mundane.
Equation 3. symbols already clarified
o< is alpha; B is beta
o((price of naptha) means o( multiplied by the price of naptha
> means "greater than or equal to"
^ "this is an approximate equality (order of magnitude) sign
Equation 4. "greater than or approximately equal to"
Equation 5. symbol already clarified
Equation 6. symbol already clarified
"Caribbean Playground" by Raphael Shearer
by Phillip Rose
A cadastral survey is the process of demarcating, measuring,
defining, and recording the boundaries of properties. Cadastral
maps are prepared at scales varying between 1/5000 (i.e. for
small-parcel built-up areas) to 1/10,000 (for large parcel agric-
ultural land and forest areas) and show:
(a) The property boundaries of individual parcels of land.
(b) Buildings and works of civil engineering; cultivation
limits and water limits.
If possible, the topography of the land is also shown; this is
not generally done.
The Cadastral Map is usually supplemented by Registers
and Tabular lists (in these modern days data processing is em-
ployed) which include:
(a) The record of parcels with indication of the parcel
number, the owner, and the size of parcels.
(b) A register of land-owners, in which is recorded the
owner and parcel numbers of the several bits of land
which belong to the same owner.
(c) The statistics of surfaces i.e. the grouping together
of parcels having the same type of development
(whether built-up areas, agricultural areas, forest,
water, mining etc.) and the total surface areas.
The word cadastre was long thought to be derived from a
combination of the Latin 'capitum' (head) and registrum
meaning 'a register of heads' or units. Modern scholars now
say that it is derived from the Greek 'Katastikon' meaning
line by line.
A Cadastral Survey has been employed as an administrative
device since the very early civilisations. A complete collection
of records tell of the Cadastral Survey of Egypt 120-111 B.C.
There are also records of Diocletian's land reform programme
for the European countries of the Roman Empire and the
survey begun A.D. 287 upon which this reform programme was
based. This survey completed in A.D. 297 was revised every 5
years thereafter. About this time too the Mark system was
already established in Germany, with regular systematic sur-
veys of the wasteland or Feldmarck which surrounded villages.
With the Norman Conquest of England came the first
classical example of the compilation and use of the Cadastre -
in the Domesday Book. This survey was ordered in 1086 and
completed in the short period of one year. It recorded the
names of proprietors, the area and nature of their tenures, the
amount of arable land, meadow and woodland, the number of
tenants, villeins, and the number and kind of livestock. In more
contemporary times we have the Ordnance Survey of England
still in the process of completing a survey of every land parcel
in that country. Map scales range from 1/1250 in the towns
to 1/2500 in rural areas.
In France the Cadastral Survey, begun in the latter part of
the 19th Century, was completed in the first quarter of this
century, and a revision ordered in 1930. Classic modern
examples are Kenya, Austria, Israel, Guatemala and El Salvador
to name only a few.
Director of Surveys*
In Jamaica, in 1899, Sir David Barbour, a distinguished
Indian Civil Servant and economist in his report on "Finance
in Jamaica" recommended a Cadastral Survey of the Island,
giving a full list of the benefits to be derived therefrom. The
cost 100,000 parcels about 200,000. His reasons then
were remarkably similar, but somewhat fewer than the reasons
for which we advocate a Cadastral Survey today: Sir David
also recommended that the Cadastral Survey should be main-
tained at an annual cost of 2,000, pointing out that the cost
of the survey, though possibly greater than the colony could
afford at the time, was a system of reform which should have
first claim on the revenue whenever the Colony should be in
a position to meet the expense.
Since then in 1952 and again in 1957 efforts have been
made to revive the idea of a Cadastral Survey for Jamaica, and
at both attempts the Food and Agricultural Organisation of
the U.N. showed some interest, but nothing materialised. In
the meantime the cost estimate for such a survey kept getting
higher and higher.
Now at long last Government has accepted the idea of a
Cadastral Survey of Jamaica.
Why A Cadastral Survey?
The critics amongst us may well ask, why bother with a
Cadastral Survey at all? How did we manage to reach so far
In 1886, Thomas Harrison, Government Surveyor, com-
menced a series of 35 Cadastral Index Maps. These Maps were
compiled from crude surveys.for the most part and sometimes
from no surveys at all simply from a description based on
the physical features of the land. The usefulness of this inade-
quate map has been monumental. It is still the only compre-
hensive index of all the major properties of the Island, and
although its accuracy for survey purposes is not guaranteed, it
has been extensively used in the re-opening of boundaries and
has proved the most reliable source of information in adjudica-
tion on many occasions.
Then in 1955 during the Directorship of Mr. O.B. Rogers,
an Aerial Survey of the twelve principal towns of Jamaica was
introduced, resulting in the present excellent series of Planimet-
ric Maps at the large acceptable scale of 1/1250, prepared by
photogrammetric methods. These maps showed every holding
within the capital towns of every parish, gave street numbers
where possible of each property, indicated whether land had
been brought under the Registration of Titles Law, named all
prominent buildings, showed all bridges, culverts, lamp-posts
etc. The series was of a remarkable high plottable accuracy.
However, it gave no indication of the owner and the size of
each parcel. There was no supporting record giving the statis-
tics of surfaces i.e. the grouping together of parcels having
the same type of development (commercial, industrial, residen-
tial) and the total surface area. Nevertheless, the usefulness of
the series was quickly apparent and it became the most reliable
source of information for Town Planner, land developer,
civil engineer and electrical engineer, surveyor, the Registrar
of Titles, and for the Courts of Law.
* Paper given during National Resources Week (Oct. 1973) to introduce
the Cadastral Survey.
Parish of St Catherine
Jamaica Cadastral Sard'
Specimen Sheet of the new Cadastral Map. Note Cadastral Numbering System.
The planimetric series of maps have done more to .accen-
tuate the need for a full CadastralSurvey of Jamaica than any
single volume that could be written in aspport of such a pro-
gramme. Moreover, the 1967 amendment to the Registration
of Titles Law allows for compulsory Registration of Titles in
any area wherever the Cadastral Survey has been completed.
Briefly, the applications of a Cadastral Survey are:
1. An essential support to Land Registration, as a means of
protecting rights to real estate.
2. Land improvement and Land Reform, i.e. irrigation,
drainage, parcel re-distribution.
L-..... ........ .p~
,,..,o c.........rr--- rrrre
-~ ICCr ~i~ Isr .l '1
i C~-)o i a o*k
iMO T< N
LNOYA 4 T11
A L B 1 0_
rmMONTP9_k. fn Pg
A T E Wv% -7
Section of old Cadastral Property-Index Map popularly known as the Harrison Map.
3. Expansion plans town planning, engineering, architect-
4. Highway and all traffic route planning.
5. Official and private map-making.
6. An instrument for the assurance of mortgage credit.
7. Various branches of statistics and natural, sciences.
8. Technical services such as the layout of sewer-schemes,
water-mains, and electricity and telephone lines.
9. Administration: The collection of information on parcels
having the same type of development e.g. agriculture,
forestry, mining; and the proper orderly implementation
of Taxation policies.
10. A land data bank.
In short the Cadastral Map is the super-plan without which
there can be no economic effective in-depth planning.
Photogrammetry and Data-Processing
One of the frustrating aspects of a Cadastral Survey Pro-
gramme however, is the time-consuming nature of the opera-
tion. It is to be remembered that the boundary of every single
holding must be demarcated, measured, defined and record-
ed each process contributing to a pre-determined standard
of accuracy. It would require a veritable army of trained pro-
fessional surveyors to complete the Cadastral Survey of Jamai-
ca some 500,000 properties in two years by the conven-
tional ground survey method. Jamaica has not got an army of
trained professional Surveyors. No country has. The trained
professional Surveyor is in short supply all over the world;
especially so in JamaiCa.
But modern technology has devised photogrammetry the
science of measuring or mapping by aerial photographs. This
remarkable technology has greatly speeded up the surveying
process. Our Cadastral Survey Programme will therefore be an
integration of modern air survey and ground survey methods.
In any given section our network of basic ground control
will be supplemented by a number of pre-marked photo-
control points. Pre-marking enables easier and more precise
identification of points on the photographs. Additional pre-
marked points uncontrolled will be seeded throughout
the area to provide defined, easily identifiable points to facili-
tate aerotriangulation and block adjustment (by electronic
computer) in order to increase the number of control points.
Our plan is to have a sufficient number of readily accessible
control points to ensure a consistency of accuracy in the
ground surveys. Wherever possible the corners of properties
will be pre-marked.
The use of the latest development in photogrammetry -
the ortho-photograph i.e. a uniform scale photograph upon
which precise horizontal measurements can be made because
image displacements due to tilt and relief have been correct-
ed is contemplated for certain inaccessible areas.
The basic map-scale will be 1/5,000. Parcellation in town-
ships will be shown at scale 1/1,250; greatly fragmented areas
at scale 1/2,500; large mountain properties at scale 1/10,000.
Top Left Surveying a parcel boundary. Top Right Aero-triangulation by Universal Autograph. Bottom Fair-drawing of the Map.
The survey will be done systematically area by area. There
will be a unique cadastral numbering system, identifying
Parish, property and parcel. If needs be, this system can be
accommodated by most electronic data-processing systems so
that all information such as ownership, size, land use etc. can
be stored on tape.
The Survey Department has already embarked upon the
Cadastral Survey of a 40-square-mile Pilot Area in North
East St. Catherine, an area estimated to be comprised of some
5,000 parcels of land. In this Pilot Area the ground control of
pre-marked points has been established, the aircraft has already
completed the aerial photography and the aero-triangulation
is about to be started by the photogrammetric unit of the
Department. It is hoped to have a minimum of seven survey
parties in the field, each party surveying from 7-10 parcels
per day. Surveys will be by compass and steel band, ties being
made to control points to ensure positional and plottable
accuracies. Notices will be served on each land-owner and each
land-owner will take part in the adjudication process. Corners
of properties will be permanently marked. The survey of the
Pilot Area, it is expected, will give firm indications of cost,
time, and man-power required for the whole programme. It
will also reveal weaknesses and indicate areas of improvement
required, in our methods.
In spite of the fact that no returns have yet been made by
the Pilot Survey, it has been roughly estimated that the cost of
the whole programme will be $7.5 million, and time for com-
pleting the programme, 10 years.
It is now generally known that the Survey Department's
Staff of professional Surveyors is at one-half its normal com-
plement. The remaining few will be required to supervise the
technicians the Department must train especially for this
Cadastral exercise. A continuous programme of technician
training must be maintained in order to mount at least 30
Survey parties in the field for the duration of the programme,
and for the revision which must commence even before the
programme is completed. On Monday the eighth of October
the Survey Department will commence training for the first
batch of 15 Technicians at the Survey School on the Mona
Campus of the U.W.I. Training will be for 6 months.
It is also of primary importance, while the actual surveys
are being made, or even earlier, that office staff be trained
who will be capable of keeping the cadastre fully and efficient-
ly up-to-date. A nucleus of such staff is already going though
a process of on-the-job training in our newly formed Cadastral
While on this topic of man-power and training, I appeal to
my colleagues in the private sector to assist however, whenever,
and wherever possible with this project. They will be well
rewarded spiritually and materially. This is the biggest single
survey project to have ever been adopted by the Government
of Jamaica. It will be the biggest platform upon which to plan
all projects of mining, civil engineering, electrical engineering
and drainage schemes; the biggest single aid to planned land
development and land reform throughout Jamaica.
Finally, and very important to the success of the programme,
it will be necessary to introduce legislation to give legal effect
to these Cadastral Surveys. Amendment to the Land Surveyors
Law will have to be made to deal with the questions of Survey
notices and adjudication of boundaries for the special purpose
of the Cadastral Survey Programme.
Framework for the Future
A great burden of work lies ahead. But stout-hearted men
and women have always accepted the challenge of difficult
tasks. We of the Survey Department have committed ourselves
to provide our country with this, our own Frame-work for
the Future the Cadastral Survey of Jamaica. Give us the
chance to do it; gives us your smiles of understanding and
encouragement whenever you see us toiling uphill and down-
dale to provide the book-keeping necessary for the effective
management of our most important and precious economic
asset the land. So that we may see; from a tangle of slums -
fine modern sanitary buildings rise; a marsh is drained so that
a fertile field bears its crops; and public improvements of every
kind come into being.
New Kingston Area photo by Errol Harvey
Interview with a
discusses his life and art
with Basil McFarlane
ALBERT HUIE is one of the pioneers of the modern
Jamaican art movement, the so-called 1938 move-
ment. I talked with him in his studio, in the busy
Constant Spring Road section of Kingston. He was
born about 1920 in Rex Nettleford's home-town of
Falmouth on the North coast; and began to paint,
professionally at least, when he was no more than 17.
Today, he is long removed from that gangling uncer-
tainty; a solid-looking cigar smoker with grizzled
mustache and a house in a middle-class suburb, he is
regarded by many as being a Jamaican master. Al-
though Huie is perhaps the most industrious and
prolific of the better-known painters, he seldom
exhibits; but keeps what amounts to a permanent
exhibition going in his studio: wherp he is glad to
welcome visitors, and from which he sets out on
painting expeditions to record his favourite landscapes.
McF. What do you remember of the early days in Falmouth?
Huie. It's interesting that you should ask me about Fal-
mouth; because, you know, I've always lived there -
from I was born; and, it was only in 1935 . .
McF. When you say, you've always lived in Falmouth; does
that mean you go back periodically or you main-
tain a permanent home there?
Huie. It was always a permanent home, as far as I'm con-
cerned. I've never left Falmouth until 1935; when I
Painting: Self Portrait, from Exhibition October 1973 at Bolivar Gallery.
photo courtesy of Daily News.
first came to Kingston on a visit. Then . it was
only then that it occurred to me that Falmouth was
a nice place. It was cool, for one thing. When I came
to Kingston, I felt that Kingston was a very hot
place as compared with Falmouth. We lived very
spaciously; and in a strange way very luxuriously.
Because, we were never short of food; and my first
impression in Kingston when I came here the first
time was the sparse amount of food that one ate:
as compared to what we were accustomed to in
McF. Of course, Falmouth in many ways seems an ideal
place for an artist to be born. It is the Georgian
town. It is one of the most attractive and well-laid-out
towns in Jamaica even to this day. And, in many
ways, it seems a good thing for it to be the birthplace
of an artist. But, do you remember any other . .
what else do you remember about its character?
Huie. A lot of people, nowadays, talk about this great
Georgian town; but, when I lived there, I just took it
for granted...... didn't really mean anything to me. It
was when I came to Kingston that I was able to con-
trast Falmouth with Kingston: as a place that was
very tidy: and, in some respects, quite a beautiful
place. But, I think one of the things that stood out
most vividly in my memory of Falmouth was what
occurred in Falmouth if my memory serves me
right, I think it must have been in 1935 . .if it is
not thirty-five, it's thirty-six. But I more think it's
thirty-five. In 1935, 1 think we had . it was the
year of the big riot, in Falmouth; when the long-
shoremen struck for two shillings a day: as compared
with . I think they were getting at the time about
tenpence a day. And they struck for more pay. And I
remember, as a little boy in Falmouth, how agitated
I was about this strike, which ended in a big riot, and
tragedy for a lot of people. I remember how agitated
I was about it. I remember talking loudly about it:
that it seemed impossible that people could live on
two shillings a day. And I remember, in my own fam-
ily circle, I remember very, very vividly, until this day,
I received a box from my mother: saying that I must
mind my own business and what troubles me.* And
the longshoremen were no concern of mine.
McF. And this was three years before 1938?
Oh yes. A few people get confused with what happen-
ed in thirty-eight. But our riots took place ... our
agitation took place long before.
McF. That's a most interesting little note. Anyway, about
1935, you made the definite move to Kingston?
Huie. No. I . I lived in Falmouth all through thirty-five.
I remember meeting ... not meeting, hut seeing N.W.
Manley in Falmouth in 1935. He was there . .there
was a case, you know, an election petition case in
Falmouth that involved the Custos and the then
M.H.R. . M.L.C., as we called them then, who was
the Reverend J.W. Maxwell.
M.L.C: in effect, Member of the Legislative Council?
What we would now call, an M.P.?
Yes. In those days Maxwell had just unseated Ewen,
who was also Custos, the Honourable, ah .. Guy S.
Ewen: who was also Custos of Trelawny. And he was
a Member for about . over 20 years. But, on this
occasion, he was unseated by the Reverend Maxwell:
John Maxwell's father. And he protested; Mr. Ewen
protested, saying that Maxwell was not qualified. In
those days, one needed a certain qualification: by
owning lands and receiving a certain salary: which,
according to the case, Maxwell was not getting . .
you see. And, it was on that case that N.W. Manley
had come to Falmouth. And I remember seeing him
for the first time.
McF. However, you did move to Kingston, about what
Huie. 1936. It must have been about in the early part of
1936. I came straight into Kingston, because I had
made contacts in Kingston; earlier on, when I was
here the first time. And my earliest association with
Kingston was through my own cousin, who had a
business in Tower street at the time. His name was
Walter Bullock. It was there that I came in contact
with a lot of people who subsequently became out-
standing personalities in the new political movements:
people like B.B. Wilson, Langford Lindsay, Hardy...
who was a big man in the Bustamante Industrial
Trade Union afterwards; Morais, who was also involv-
ed with the trade union movement; and later on I
met people like Astley Clerk and George Bowen; and
even later, I met people like Sealy: who gave me a lot
of encouragement when they saw what I was trying
Mr. Sealy being the editor of the 'Gleaner'?
Huie. Yes. Sealy wasn't only the editor of the 'Gleaner':
but Sealy was the one who, along with George Bowen,
started this business of the art movement . .well,
not the art movement, but the recognition of art:
when they conceived the idea of my all-island art
exhibition, which came off in '38 . .at the then St.
McF. I think it was called the arts and crafts exhibition, if
I'm not mistaken.
Huie. Yes; it was called the arts and crafts exhibition. But
that is, really, where the thing got its first big recogni-
tion. As far as I'm concerned, it is . on a point of
correction, I am not one who came out of the 1938
movement; because I had started long before '38. I
came to Kingston in '36; and, by '37, I was painting
all over the place. As a matter of fact, I sold my first
painting to . anyway, it was done long before '38.
It was done in 1937. It was painted and borrowed
by H.D. Molesworth, who was then the director of
the Institute of Jamaica. And he showed it to Edna
Manley. And, there, I got the first idea that I could
sell a painting.
McF. But, of course, you had been painting as you
suggest you had been painting before this period.
Did you ever . had you begun painting before you
Huie. Oh, yes. As far as I can remember, I've always painted.
You know . mostly in very crude forms. I used
anything I could get. I painted anywhere that I was
permitted to paint; sometimes, even places where I
wasn't permitted to paint. You must have heard the
story that some of my earliest pictures were painted
on a pantry wall in Falmouth which was in my
grandmother's home in Falmouth. It's really a fact.
I did 'paint' on the wall ... with charcoal. So you can
imagine how she could have felt. But I think she was
sympathetic enough not to have trounced me too
much for it.
McF. But this was just a ... well, a natural expression. You
began, as you suggested earlier, you began really to
think about painting in a professional way after you
came to Kingston; sometime, say, between '36 and
Huie. Yes . yes; because it's the only time in my life that
I have ever been, sort of, taken seriously you see.
McF. You mean, 'the first time'?
Huie. Yes. Yes; it's the first time I was ever taken seriously.
And, let it not be slighted; that one of the first persons
* Jamaican idiom for: 'Only if molested should you molest in return'.
"LIGHT OF THE MORNING" In private collection
-I-. 4-s :: ,
"BULLOCK CART" Courtesy A.D. Scott,
(Olympia Hotel collection)
"EARRING" owner Aaron Matalon
44 Photos- Tony Russell
to have given me great encouragement was that same
man that I mentioned: B.B. Wilson. He was the one
who said to me: 'Well, boy; you got something: and
don't . doli't . ignore it. It's a talent; and a talent
must be regarded as something precious. It comes
McF. He, I gather, was one of the circle that used to con-
gregate in your uncle's store. It was a sort of a ... a
kind of social centre?
Huie. It was more than a social centre. Most of these people
who used to gather at this place were ... ah, members
of the what was then known as the Kingston and
Saint Andrew Literary and Debating Society; and
they were bent on putting the world right. So, they
had great discussions; endless discussions. And I had
to listen to all of it. Mark, you; they were very good:
in the sense that they had a little time for me. They
would look at my work, and they would say: 'Well,
there goes ah . here comes a promising artist.'
McF. Kingston in those days must have been rather differ-
ent from it is now?
Huie. Oh, yes . oh, yes. Kingston was a beautiful place. I
remember the Sunday afternoons in Kingston ..
when people were dressed. They used to be dressed
in their finest. And those were the days when we
had the band; either in Kingston at the Victoria Park:
or people would go up to Hope Gardens. And, really,
they used to be dressed in fine linens. As I can rem-
ember, it was also a very colourful place around the
park at nights. You would listen to all the discussions
and all the debates and all the various topics, political
topics and otherwise: just around the park, there. It
was there that, ah . as a matter of fact, it was
around the park that Bustamante got his first, sort of,
ah . should I call it, endorsement. The people
endorsed him there, for the first time; under the
banner of St. William Grant: who was then the, sort
of . one of the leading lights around the Victoria
McF. I seem to remember that the first time I heard of
you as a serious painter had to do with the win-
ning of an award by a painting of yours. I think it was
called, 'The Counting Lesson'.
Huie. Yes, 'The Counting Lesson': which was painted in
'38: was selected for an exhibition in the World's
Fair: the New York World's Fair, it was called. It was
organized by the International Business Corporation;
and this exhibition was in '39. Yes, that painting was
selected among what were considered the nine best
for international awards. Of course, at the time when
the painting was done, I was ... really, among all the
painters, I was the youngest: must have been about
McF. And several of your paintings, quite a few of them at
any rate, have won awards of one kind or another?
Huie. Yes; well that, I think, has been the biggest award I
have received excepting for another international
award which I received much later on. This came
from Spain, actually. It was the Spanish bi-annual
exhibition which was held ... I can't exactly remem-
ber when, but I know it was sometime in the fifties.
And this was held in Cuba. This was a monetary
award, which was very useful; and very handsome at
McF. Oh, I see: the 'Counting Lesson' didn't win a cash
award: the New York World's Fair 1939 award was
not a cash award?
Huie. It should have been. But, you remember what happen-
ed: in the midst of the World's Fair, there was a war.
And that sort of shattered all our hopes of getting
any money out of the World's Fair. The World's Fair
actually, was bankrupt as a result of the sudden
advent of the war.
McF. I wonder, how many people remember that fact... ?
But, at any rate, it did have the effect of launching
you, in a sense . internationally; and gaining for
you a certain amount of prestige?
Huie. Oh, certainly. I got big mention, and was featured in
the 'New York Times' at the time. And quite a lot
was said about it.
McF. And then . well, this takes us up to about 1939;
when you were 18 or 19. But, the fact is that you
then, more or less, were encouraged as a result of
all this recognition to consider taking up painting
as a full-time career?
Huie. Yes. I had made-up my mind actually, long before
that: but the odds were very strongly against me.
Painting in Jamaica, at that time, wasn't a very simple
thing. There was one thifig in my favour. Life was
very simple. One could survive on, say, 25 shillings a
week. And it was for that, that I have been able to
survive the turmoil of that period. But this business
of painting full-time was purely a personal thing;
which got sympathy from about half a dozen people
in Jamaica at the time. Because people had never
heard of a full-time painter; and were not in sympathy
with anyone painting full-time. So, I leave the rest to
your imagination. You can imagine what I had to
encounter in Kingston.
A certain amount of prejudice, too, I suppose?
Oh, yes. Definitely. If you were a painter in those
days, you weren't a painter at all. You were every-
thing else but a painter.
Uh-huh. Yes . that included, too. It doesn't matter
how hard you work.
McF. Then came the business of a certain amount of local
recognition. I mean, by sheer perseverance and because
your work had distinction, you got a scholarship.
Was it the British Council scholarship?
Huie. Well, that came much later on. As a matter of fact,
we should have mentioned that, in '38, I had also
received a cash award for my, what they call it, ah ...
Award of Merit; in that exhibition that I spoke of
earlier on: the one that was held at St. George's Hall.
McF. Oh, I see what you mean, yes. And, then, came the
question of . well, I mentioned the British Council
scholarship; but, as you say, that was much later.
Huie. Yes, the British Council scholarship came only when
I lived in England. You remember that the British
Council was launched, here in Jamaica, during the
war years; and the officers of the British Council
took a lively interest in what I was trying to do at the
time. Remember, I gave a very big one-man exhibi-
tion at the Institute in 1943; and Mr. Hugh Paget,
who was then the British Council officer here, took a
lively interest in what I was trying to do. As a matter
of fact, it was through Mr. Hugh Paget that I went to
study in Canada. He was the one who had visited
Canada, and had seen that the possibility of studying
there was very good; and had made arrangements for
me to go. Well, I went largely on the proceeds of this
big exhibition that was held in 1943, here. I studied
at the Ontario College of Art; and I took time to do a
little extra. I did a course in Theory at University
College under Professor Reed MacCallum.
McF. And this came before you went to England? Canada
was before England. And so, as you say, the British
Council scholarship was awarded while you lived in
Canada? And enabled you to go to England.
Huie. That's right; yes. While I was yet in Canada, I got
this British Council scholarship which took me to
England; where I studied at two different schools.
At first, I was sent to the Midlands, in Leicester,
where I studied for a short while at the Leicester
College of Art. But I felt that if one was to really
benefit most from being in England, one should be
in the heart of the scene, where things were really
happening. And I felt London was the place. I was
transferred to London; where I went to school at the
Camberwell School under one of the men that I came
most in contact with while I was there, Victor Pass-
more: the contact I have never forgotten and will
McF. What did you think of England, generally?
Huie. Oh, I loved England. I was absolutely intrigued with
what one could see. School was one thing, but I felt
that one had to learn so much from just going around
and getting places, seeing things. I was absolutely
intrigued with England. I loved the theatre. I loved
the concert-halls. I spent as much time as I could
going to concerts and going to the theatre. It was
while I was there that we had this beautiful exhibition
at the Tate Gallery of Van Gogh's work; and it was
really gratifying to see what happened. I remember
going to that exhibition on a day when the blizzard
was at its worst; and the whole area was surrounded
about three times with people who were so anxious
to see this Van Gogh exhibition. It had a record
attendance. It was nearly a million people, altogether,
that saw that exhibition.
McF. Over what period?
Huie. I think it was a period of two weeks.
McF. In two weeks a million people saw it?
Huie. Well, not quite a million; but nearly a million people.
McF. That's fantastic . this was just after the war in
Huie. Oh, yes. It was in 1948, I think . I went to
England in '47. But this exhibition, this Van Gogh
exhibition that I'm speaking of was at the Tate
Gallery in '48.
McF. How long were you in England, altogether?
Huie. I was in England just Forty-seven; Forty-eight.
McF. How did you like England I mean, I asked you
before how you liked England, but how would
you compare England and Canada . or Ontario,
which is where you were, mainly, in Canada?
Huie. Well, they're two different places. One is of the Old
World, and one is of the New. And it is so different:
you know, when you live in England, you're part of
something that has been long established. You will
like it, and you can, sort of. .. if you like it, delve
into it. Now, in Canada, if you are delving into any-
thing, it's quite a different thing: you've got to be of
the pioneer spirit. But I like both countries, for differ-
ent reasons. I like one to relax in; and I'm sure I
would love the other to live in . to work in.
McF. Which is which?
Well, definitely, England to relax in; and Canada to
work in. But, the reason why I came back to Jamaica
wasn't that . I could work, too, in England. As a
matter of fact, I remember once, when I stayed in
the International Club in Croydon, in London, there
was a queue-up, the ladies there were so anxious to
have their portraits painted by me that they used to
queue-up to have their portraits painted. But, that's
not the main thing. The main thing is that London
represents relaxation to me; and, as such, I feared
very much that I would have fitted into a pattern that
wasn't very favourable at the time. And I could
have easily been mistaken for what was then a very
popular word in England a spiv. Which is something
I had to watch.
McF. You've remarked about people queueing-up in Lon-
don to have their portraits painted; and, of course, it
is possible that nowadays people would tend to forget
that, at one time, you were practically the outstand-
ing portrait painter in Jamaica.
Huie. Yes. Within recent times I have been concentrating
so much on landscape that a lot of people seem to
forget that my real, first love was portrait painting.
As a matter of fact it's even more than that my
biggest love is figure composition; which . you
probably will remember that one of my more success-
ful figure compositions was the one called, 'Thursday
McF. Yes, I remember 'Thursday Night.' It is a remarkable
canvas. But I agree that, in general, people tend to re-
gard you as a landscape painter. But . why is it,
then, if you say you are not primarily a landscape
painter, that you have put out so many landscapes?
Huie. Well, for one thing, there is a great demand for land-
scape paintings. And, if you are a professional artist,
you have got to consider what there is a demand for.
And I find that I can paint landscape with great ease.
But, really, I love painting figure compositions most
of all. I always regarded myself as just a little more
than a painter of portraits. In painting people, I am
interested in the depth . a study of people, which
we popularly refer to as character study. To me, that
is more than just painting a portrait. It has much,
much more human interest. It has much more artistic
interest than just a painting, a likeness of a person.
McF. You mention figure studies. Would you expand on
that for me? I mean, how would you define a figure
study as being distinct from a landscape, for
Huie. Well; a figure composition involves people. For
instance, if you look across in the corner of my studio,
here, you'll see that I'm very busy at work on what
will be called, 'Light of the Morning.' But, actually,
it is a pocomania baptismal scene. And you'll notice
that the figures in this thing play a very important
part. The figures are scattered all over the area of
interest. It goes from the figure which is the central
figure to the figures that are almost merging in the
distance. Well, it is very important, when you are
doing this, to decide the tones in which you are doing
the whole thing: to decide the drama that you are
trying to effect in this composition. And, also, to have
all your tones related. As you notice, at this stage of
the composition, the trees are a little dominant. Well,
the trees are very important; in the sense that the
time of day I am trying to depict is that time of day
when trees stand out in a strange silhouette. And it's
dark against the sky, and the sky is very dramatic;
because it's a sky of the morning. And, as you know,
morning is in a sense equivalent to youth.
It's a kind of twilight?
Yes. But, ah ... we must always remember that there
is a distinct difference between the morning twilight
and the evening twilight. One represents youth and
the other represents age: dawn and dusk, as we say.
The dusk is something that, you will have noticed, is
more commonly played-up. But the morning . I
don't know. Some of the painters of the Renaissance,
those painters who did a lot of 'Resurrection' scenes,
were really concerned with the morning. But it isn't
a very popular subject as is the other part of the
day. And I think it is largely due to the fact -
You mean, the other end of the day?
Yes . the other end of the day. I think it is largely
due to the fact that morning is so distinctly a different
kind of twilight. Morning is like a child. As a painter,
I know what it is: when you are painting children
you find that you are confronted with a great prob-
* 38" x 26%" Silk-Screen Reproductions of "Thursday Night" avail-
able from the Art Gallery of the Institute of Jamaica at $13. each.
lem, much greater than painting age. Age seems to be
something that we know and that we are accustomed
to; but youth is something that has always eluded us,
so to speak. There is a great problem there. Let us, if
there is any doubt in our minds, just get-up early one
morning and try and look at the dawn. And ... look
at it, in all its beauty but with all its subtlety; and try
and paint it. And you realise that you are confronted
with a great problem. However, it is the problem of
the artist and one that we must overcome.
McF. Yes; in this picture you call 'Light of the Morning' I
think I can see something of what you mean; in the
essential difficulty of painting the twilight of morning
as against the more commonly practiced evening
twilight. But, let me change the subject slightly.
You've been an artist in Jamaica for at least thirty
years. And while this means that, at least . .well,
for one thing, you are nothing of a politician: it means
that, in a small, circumscribed society like ours, it has
given you a kind of perspective on the world around
you. And I'm wondering if you would, as briefly as
you might, while we are in the closing stages of our
talk, give me a kind of picture of what Jamaica has
seemed like to you over the last thirty years from
your first coming to live in Kingston.
Huie. Yes. That comes readily to my mind. We are living in
a world, at this time, that is far more sympathetic
than the world we started in. You can see from the
crowds that visit exhibitions now .. as a matter of
fact, in my time, there weren't any exhibitions: there
weren't any organized exhibitions: there weren't any
places to go to. When we gave a little thing, it was
largely out of our own initiative; without much back-
ing. But, nowadays, we've got organized art galleries;
we've got exhibitions going commonly. And I think
it's a very good thing; that it shows that those of us
who have done the pioneer work have not, altogether,
laboured in vain.
Albert Huie at work in 1968
by Winnifred B. Grandison
It is as a short story writer, a journalist and a novelist that
Roger Mais made his contribution to West Indian prose litera-
ture. In each of these categories he employed a variety of style
which has made his writings realistic as well as imaginative,
mild as well as poignant, and humourous as well as pathetic.
This diversity of style is no doubt attributable to the fact that
Mais was a many-sided genius. He was in addition to being an
author, a poet and a dramatist; and outside of the literary field
he was painter, horticulturist, photographer and farmer. Each
aspect has given colour to his prose. It is with the observant eye
of the dramatist that he sees the actions of people and animals,
the precision of the artist that he limns beautiful descriptive
scenes, the keenness of the photographer that he reproduces
the true image of his characters, the keen ear of the farmer that
he hears the platitudes of the common man, and with the mind
of the poet that he gives that lyric quality to the finer passages
of his prose.
His novels and short stories reveal his thorough knowledge
and understanding of the Jamaican masses. He knows the
different situations which are likely to involve them; he knows
their mentality, their uninhibited utterances, the emotions and
motives which precipitate their several actions, as well as their
hasty or long contemplated deeds. He knows their background
- be it rustic or urban the homes, yards or lanes from which
they come, the street-meetings, bars and brothels to which the\
go, and the close friend or necromancer to whom they disclose
their secrets. He knows the virtuous and the profligate: the
conflicts which exist within the conscience of the one and the
lust which runs riot in the mind of the other; he knows those
who had seen better days, but who by dint of circumstances
have identified themselves with the gangs from the underworld;
he knows their cunning, hears them draft their schemes, wit-
nesses the cold-blooded murder they commit and traces their
gruesome course through gaol. He knows, too, the frigid and
virile paramours and the frequent brawls in which they are
involved. He sees the group of gossipers in the lane, and he
differs between the turn-coat and the loyal.
Mais makes no pretence when.he portrays these people.
There is no situation too banal for him to depict. In his article
The Drama and Life he states:
'. we see people not necessarily and arbitrarily being
shoved around by circumstances, but hoping and working
and living, and thinking and re-acting and feeling in the
midst of them . . It is the business of the thoughtful
artist to present us with a clear cut picture, preserving all
the realism and omitting all but the ultimate form of
significance so that we may not be led astray into fields
of independent speculation as to what sort of person this
man or that woman might bel ....................
For where people are real and vital and imbued with
meaning there the world comes alive .... la
This 'world' for Mais is predominantly the Jamaican world: at
times the concrete world of birds, animals, insects, flowers,
woodlands, hills, sea, rivers and gullies, with tenement yards,
narrow lanes and prisons; at others, an abstract world of
troubles and trials and calumny and frustration and intrigues
and. venality and repression, with cloudy days intermingled
with and underbalanced by bright tropical sunshine and good-
n'ess and laughter and crude with and music and drama. This
is the world which he so ably reflects in his three novels and
numerous short stories.
Nor must it be thought that Mais as a writer of West Indian
prose is singular in his use of the people, the scenery, the flora
and fauna of the islands as well as the heritage of African Cult,
European Christianity, superstitious beliefs and the many ills
which follow in the wake of our Colonial past. As sources of
inspiration, these factors have been tapped by many of his con-
temporaries and successors. But it is the adroitness with which
he employs them that makes his prose so fresh and unique. For
him, they go deeper than the surface. The sky is not always
sapphire with white fleecy clouds and a golden tropical sun; it
can be as "anaemic-looking" as his characters. Of course, the
sea reflects the sky: it is not always inviting; the hills are not
always majestic; they, like the trees, "cast shadows"; and the
breezes that fan the shores are not always balmy: even "the
least suspicion of wind" can make the yellow tongues of flame
forked and hiss like tongues of snakes. What then does he make
of the harmless shadow cast by a building or a tree? On the one
hand, he may see it "rigid, lying like a starched white sheet",
or he may see it "flickering, sweeping the ground, or dancing
a dip-and-fall back" ridiculing as it were its possessor.
In this article, I propose to present to the reader what to my
mind are the most outstanding features of Mais' prose. This I
shall divide into three periods, each representing very broadly
a stage in the development of his art. The first begins and ends
with his first anthology, Face and Other Stories; the second
embraces the years 1942 to 1944, and is concerned with his
second anthology, And Most of All Man, as well as the short
stories and other articles published in the Public Opinion news-
paper within those years until his imprisonment in 1945. The
third deals with his writings including his three novels -
after his release from prison in July, 1945, till his death in
In Face and Other Stories (1942), the first phase of Roger
Mais' career as a writer is seen. These stories deal with trivial
scenes from everyday life and include incidents as trite as a
ride on a tram, the sale of a pup, the grimace of a little girl,
frivolity at a village fair and the daily ro,'d of a delivery man.
It is not with the mere recording of facts, however, that Roger
Mais is concerned, but rather with human behaviour the
relationship of one human being with another. As such, his
stories tend to be analytic, mildly satirical, and didactic.
With very few exceptions all his characters are members of
the underprivileged class. Mais in a realistic and sympathetic
manner portrays them at times as struggling for survival in a
world of hardships; ,of frustrated, drifting aimlessly with the
hours from day to day heedless of new innovations; or yet if a
little humourously, he exposes them to a higher social order to
which they never were nor ever will be heirs.
In these early stories Mais' diction is simple and resembles
that of George Lamming and at times that of John Hearne--
in sentence structure:
She left the clothes and ran inside. She begged him not
to leave the house again. The old woman looked frigh-
tened too. Mr. Foster's face turned grim. He didn't know
what to do .... He had seen the men. They crouched on
all fours along the train line through the wood, talking
and pointing as they advanced. They were moving
towards his house. He looked in the other direction to
see whether there was anyone in sight. There were no
police. The men crouched and talked holding on to their
They were in Saragossa; the town still, badly lit and
shuttered. They had slowed down. He could see the red
light turning the corner by the rococo cathedral. They
were nearly out of the town now, going past the high,
floodlit walls of the big penitentiary. They were out on
the open road, the cane fields dark and bristly, like huge
hair-brushes, on either side. The road flat and white look-
ing. It was the last stretch of flat.2
He ate until the plate was empty. There was nothing
more to eat except a crust of bread. He wiped the tin
plate clean, clear to the rim, with the crust of bread. He
ate that too. It would expedite the washing up afterwards
.... He scraped the chair back from the table.3
The copious use of short simple sentences with a rigid subject-
predicate pattern gives a pedestrian quality to the style, and
tends "to make the rhythm jolted and monotonous. To my
mind, this type of writing in Mais was the result of literary
immaturity rather than intention, and shows him as being too
conscious of a captious reading public. But he could be skilful
in the use of these short sentences. In Face, his climatic use of
four sentences aggregating eleven words "We looked. We saw.
We stared. We gazed in horrific admiration", is appropriate.
He very effectively relaxes the tension of the reader while still
holding him in suspense as he like the spectators becomes
aware of the reason behind the sudden and premature termina-
tion of the shrew's ranting. By placing the sentences at that
point in the narrative, and by his reiteration of we, the reader
who till then stood apart viewing with disgust the virago, with
sympathy the "nice child", and with apathy the spectators,
becomes immediately and unobtrusively identified with the
spectators on the tram. He with them, enjoys a well deserved
laugh at the virago, and is utterly satisfied with the non-verbal
retort of the little girl who has now alighted to safety on the
The little girl was standing on the sidewalk, leaning
forward from the hips. Her tongue was extended. Her
two eyes protruded from her head. Her cheeks were
puffed out to twice their size; her whole face had con-
gealed into a mask of utter derision,utter unspeakable
contempt. Not a word. As only a child can, with a child's
utter abandon, she was making a face at her tormentor.
The most outstanding feature of the style of this first
anthology is the use of repetition. This technique Mais uses
for various reasons. In Face its use is threefold; firstly, to
ensure the reader's disdain for the termagant; secondly, to
elicit sympathy for the "nice child" at whom the invective of
the shrew is cast; and thirdly, for humour. In Fiddle Fiddle,
repitition is used chiefly for the sake of ridicule. The repeated
"laughter and hand-clappin'" and "squattin' there on the floor",
and "rollin' together over on their heels laffin' while old Pappy
plays the fiddle", is sheer inadvertent self-mockery. Mais in this
story gives an ironic picture of those who spend all the savings
of a whole year on the enjoyment of a single day without
thinking of the privation which they must face from the
succeeding day. Even words such as "squattin'," "laffin',"
rollingi' and such expressions as "calling him by his front
name," repeated throughout the story, bring out the author's
intention to ridicule.
The idea of frustration is brought out in Look Where You're
Going by the repetition of "He walked down the street slow-
ly. His hands in his pockets. A very serious young man ....
It takes a lot of courage to face the future these days."5
Similarly is apathy evinced in Look Out by the reiteration
of "but nobody paid her no mind. Her brother's half-crazy
wife . 'That's my sister-in-law,' she said. I don't pay her no
In The Pond, the empty and unchanging pattern of the life
of the rustic is also brought out by repetition. Here the entire
story consists of 217 sentences. Within the space of fifty-one
of these "he lay down on the long grass," (with little variation),
occurs seven times; "a green star flickered and grew in the sky"
is repeated thrice in fifty-five sentences; "the wind came and
leaned over the long grass" three times in fifty-six sentences;
and "his mother's voice rasping to herself," and "his sister a
little slatternly with the child young in her belly dragged her
old slippers across the floor" (with little variation), appear six
and four times respectively. But there is yet another way in
which Mais brings out the humdrum existence of the peasant,
and this again by repetition:
His mother and sister always washed up after him ...
His work was in the cane-fields. Beginning with dawn,
and ending with dusk. And so till crop-over. And every
year the same. And it all meant nothing. Nothing meant
anything at all.
These things meant nothing. Nothing meant anything.
They were all a part of the day's routine. The routine of
the days. Like loading one bundle of sugar-cane after
another on a tottering old cow-wain, all through the day -
and days. The days were the same. They meant nothing
either. They came and went .... Blank spaces between a
sleep and waking.7
The afternoon delivery functioned smoothly like that.
Rain or shine. Almost without incident. Almost. Without
interest even. Almost. Until he got to 32.8
But Mais could be naive in his descriptions. In Face, for
example, he acquaints the reader with the character and temper-
ament of the termagant by simply describing the earrings she
My eyes were glued to the woman's earrings with an
awful fascination. God! how they jerked and jangled;
sideways, and back, and forth, and up, and down, never
for a moment still. They were gold symbols of some
obscure, excruciating form of oriental torture. They
jerked and jesticulated, and jangled. They were amulets
belonging to the ceremonial and of some horrible kind of
witchcraft imported from the black continent.9
He has a keen eye for detail yet avoids the irrelevant. He has
however, a tendency towards the use of homilies and didactic
statements. His stories of this period are in the main free from
dialect, but contain cliches and colloquialisms. It is by his use
of emotive words rather than other literary devices that he is
able to develop in his reader repulsive or agreeable attitudes
to his characters.
His second anthology of stories And Most of all Man,
together with other stories and articles& he published in the
Public Opinion newspaper in the years 1942 to 1944, constitute
the second stage of Mais' development as a writer. Before the
reader embarks upon a critical study of the stories of this
period, he should acquaint himself with the author's Foreword
and Prologue to this collection. The former states the theme
as "Man the eternal protagonist amid eternal process," and
the latter relates the incident which motivated his choice of
such a theme.
The very style of the Prologue is unique and shows how in-
genious Mais' narrative art could be. Inspired by William Blake's
"Introduction" to his Songsoflnnocence, and touched by the
vision of a ragged man on a St. Andrew hill, Mais gives to
literature a subtle piece of prose narration. It is not surprising
then that he should follow what appears to have been an excit-
ing dream with as obscure an opening as the introductory
paragraph of his first story Overtaken of the anthology.
To my mind the catalogue of broken images is indicative of the
deluge of confused thoughts which revolve in the mind of the
satiated drunkard as well as an imaginative description by which
Mais tries to capture the conglamorate mass of unrelated
experiences and ideas which are characteristic of a person
undergoing the pangs of agonizing pain, an experience
common to women in labour. Mais here, employs the "stream-
of-consciousness" technique which is a characteristic of twen-
tieth century literature.
The stories of this period are full of suspense, and the
imagery in which birds, insects and animals are used as vehicles,
is more subtle than that of the first anthology. In The Crooked
Branch, the device of suspense is effectively used. The reader
waits anxiously to learn how Charles is related to the Pepper
family and to know what his fate will be. Similarly in Flood
Water is the reader breathless with anxiety as the boy plunges
into the turbulent waters of the river to swim against the
current to his home on the opposite bank.
In describing the river in normal times, Mais uses such
adjectives as "swift," "dimpling," "clear," "blue," and "cool."
He further likens it to "a woman who has no secrets from the
world and is virgin in her mind and without deceit." But on
the other hand, when it is in spate, it is femme fatale -
"treacherous like a woman who is all body and bad." "Woman"
is a favourite tenor of Mais' imagery. He likens her in The Earth
In Season to the earth, and shows the parallel between the
earth's yield at harvest time and the woman's yield, children.
At this period, he continues to be precise. How familiar to
a Jamaican peasant is this scene from The Witch:
A grey hawk hung in the sky above her. He flung his
challenging double-note like a bugle call against the ceil-
ing of heaven. She straightened her back and cocked an
eye to glare at him. He was a glittering dark metallic disc
against the sun. There were really two of them. One
bugled loud and clear, and after a pause the other
Here the verbs "hung," "flung," "bugled," give a vivid descrip-
tion of the behaviour of such birds of prey; and "cocked,"
gives the idea of mistrust and rejection which the old lady
entertains for the challenge of the bird. The effect of the
rhythm of the last sentence makes for the natural pause
between the bugling of one bird and the reply of the other.
Another extract in this story shows the author's skill in his
choice of words, and points out how different people react
when faced with the same problem. The cautious, the business-
like, the carefree and the disgruntled are depicted.
She went slowly down the steep track, balancing her
basket on her head. One man drove the donkey with its
load of logwood down the same track that led ultimately
to the mainroad about a mile farther on. The other man
sauntered over carelessly and sat on the bank beside the
girl. The old woman grunted every now and then as she
stumbled wearily down the track.2
Into this second stage may be included Mais' style as a
journalist. With the exception of his article Now We Know,
this is the weakest feature of his prose. He could be ironical as
in his article The Long Speech, sarcastic as in Why Local
Colour, and didactic as in The Drama and Life. But often his
work showed retorts aimed at his colleagues who evidently
angered him by their austere criticisms. Words and So Forth
is one such rugged outburst, brusque and abusive and lacking
the refinement of the short story writer.
But Mais could be bitter in a dignified manner as is evident
in his article Now We Know, (1944). The style aggressive,
arrogant and caustic in tone is pregnant with sarcasm and
invective. His diction never flags, and his imagery displays com-
plexity and maturity. The imagery of the "little men," a
littleness which suggests mental depravity rather than physical
stature, is sustained throughout, by his use of such words and
phrases as "jim-cracks," "straw-bosses," "quislings," "yes-men,"
blacklegss," and "betrayers whom they can buy for a piece of
ribbon . or a medal .. .;" while the ideas of sickness and
disease are maintained by "groaning," "sores," "vermin,"
"scabs," blacklegss," and "sickness in the thews and sinews of
man." The pun on blacklegss" is apparent as it signifies a
disease, a swindler and a spineless non-unionist. Besides, by his
choice of words, the notions and connotations of the mighty
and the defenceless, the predacious and their prey, and the
master and slave, to name a few, are indelibly stamped on the
reader's mind. Biblical overtones. though ironically used -
cannot be overlooked. Such include "scraps falling from the
master's full table," and "it is accounted more blessed to be
poor." In addition, the idea of shedding of blood, and this for
selfish motives, is seen. The "noble Lion" England, preys upon
the patriotism of her colonjsts who literally and figuratively
shed their blood on her battlefield to enable her to maintain
her role as head of the vastest empire of the world. By this
method she displays the characteristics of the lion, the king
of beasts which she uses as her emblem. In the article he
Mais states in part:
Now we know why the draft of the New Constitution
has not been published before. The authors of that parti-
cular piece of hypocrisy and deception are the little men
who are hopping about like mad all over the British
Empire implementing the real official policy, implicit
in statements made by the Prime Minister from time to
time. ....................... .. ... . .. .... .
That the sun may never set upon aggression and in-
equality and human degradation; that the sun may never
set upon privilege and repression and exploitation:
That the sun may never set upon putting one man's
greed before the blood and sweat of millions ... That
the sun may never set upon urchins in rags and old men
and old women in rags prostrate with hunger and sores
upon straw pallets among vermin in poorhouses and
prisons and homes:.............................
That the sun may never set upon the isolence and
arrogance of one race toward all others, and especially to
those whose manhood they hold in eternal bondage
through their own straw-bosses and quislings and cheap
jim-cracks and all the scabs and blacklegs and yes-men
and betrayers of their own whom they can buy for a piece
of ribbon to wear on their coats or a medal to wear on
their coats or some letters to come after their names or
for the privilege of calling some big-wig by their first
name, . or with some other such scraps which fall
unnoticed from the full table where the unholy feast is
devoured by their lords and masters ................
For such things as these Colonials from all parts of the
Empire are fighting .............................
That we may rejoice in our poverty and ignorance and
degradation and sickness ....
For such things as these we are fighting side by side
with others in the good cause;
Now we know.
Mais in this article showed an impatience to shake off the
shackles of Colonialism; but then, England was under the
throes of the Second World War and his article was found
adversative to the war effort. As a result, he was imprisoned
The imprisonment of Roger Mais in 1945 caused a tempo-
rary break in his career as a writer. Six months later, July 26,
of the same year he returned to public life. But four days after
his release he began to publish a series of articles under the
caption Behind Prison Walls. In this series he fearlessly exposed
the horrible conditions which obtained in the prisons. In August
of that same year his short stories The Man on the Easel and
The Staring Eyes were published.
Mais had begun in earnest to write satire. His style in these
stories is direct, simple and precise. At times he is didactic. His
writing is devoid of humour. Nor does he abandon all the
techniques he first adopted; the short simple sentence, the cop-
ious use of repetition, emotive words and animal imagery still
remain but his work displays greater depth and maturity. He
writes as one obsessed and eager for the amendment of the
penal laws, and impatient for the institution of social reform.
He abhorred the flogging of prisoners. In The Man on the
Easel he writes:
It is a cold morning so that his back and shoulders and
arms are pimpled all over with gooseflesh. He has been
stripped to the waist and securely strapped to the easel;
his arms stretched above his head have been made fast.
His ankle has been made fast also, and his body so strap-
ped down at the waist that it is capable of only the mini-
mum of movement ....
'Muscle-up! I am coming!' It is the voice of the big
warden, the one with the "Cat" ...
Nothing happens! A jeering voice obscenely gloating
in sadistic glee cackles: 'Ah! I fooled you that time!'
Like a cat playing with a mouse.1
The imagery of the cat and mouse is apt, a picture that the
reader who is familiar with the cruel instinctive behaviour of
feline creatures toward their prey cannot fail to understand.
The punning on "cat" is significant. In the first instance, it is
the shortened form of cat-o'-nine-tails, the whip which inflicts
nine lashes at each stroke; in the second, it symbolises the
inhuman warden; the mouse being the defenceless and guilty
prisoner. The apathy with which the superintendent and the
doctor view the scene is described in as ironic a manner as are
the thousands who read "in an insignificant section of the news-
paper the Resident Magistrate's sentence 'twelve lashes and
three months' hard labour for stealing a few yams or cocos or
a bunch of bananas.' "
In The Hills Were Joyful Together, Mais paints a more
gruesome picture of conditions in prisons. The tendency of one
society to prey upon another the cat and mouse imagery -
is brought out in one of his many didactic statements:
Beneath the .sores of our own society are the causes of
abject destitution and fear and these themselves are the
causes of crime; the criminals element in our society takes
its rise from our own greed and our own callousness
towards human rights and dignities.2
But the columns of a newspaper and the medium of the
short story were far too limited for Roger Mais to express his
thoughts. In 1952, he attempted and published in the Pepper
Pot Magazine a novelette, The Old Stone House. This is of a
religious tenor and caters to the taste of the Middle Class.
Sympathy for the underprivileged, however, far outweighed
his interest in the foibles of the upper classes and in 1953 and
1954 he published two novels The Hills Were Joyful Together
and Brother Man respectively, both satirising the Jamaican
masses. His third novel Black Lightning appeared a few days
prior to his death in 1955.
His versatility and maturity as a writer of prose are best seen
in his novels. It is in them that his skill as painter, poet and
dramatist are seen. Vividness and precision are outstanding
features. Here, the brush of the artist comes alive:-
It came dusk quickly and light flushed the sky with a
nice palette of colours where some thin transparent clouds
spread in the west took the reflections of late sunlight
and mixed them and made broad splotched and stippled
horizontallines of wash against a paper sky.3
At this period, his writing has in the main a morbid character,
and even in his pleasant scenes, a taint of unwholesomeness is
usually apparent. In fact, Mais is more at ease when he describes
the ghastly and disagreeable. His protagonists are seldom happy,
and if they do enjoy a measure of mirth it is always short-lived
and heavily clouded by fear or doubt. Similarly, his scenes
which depict joy and brightness are usually coloured by aspects
of the seamy side. The period of mirth is usually very brief.
A striking example may be found in the opening paragraph of
Part Five of Black Lightning where a fine day signifies a break
in the long depressing weather of incessant rain, thunderstorm
and flood. Coming immediately after the description of the
storm as well as of the tragic and dramatic scene of Jake's giving
his carving Sampson to be used as firewood, the passage
provides a striking contrast, and acts as comic relief in that it
relaxes the tension which no doubt had enveloped the reader.
The very first sentence, (five words in length), is simple, arrest-
ing and tinged with optimism. In style it is even more unique
as it is in itself a whole paragraph. Mais continues to paint in
verbal detail a scenery which even an amateur artist could not
fail to reproduce accurately on canvas:
Sun rolled up the sky.
The dark clouds were folded away, the sky was blue
all above, with just enough washed-out clouds, and thin,
with the edges misty and serrated like the foliage of a tree
S. .the weather had broken, not a doubt about it ...
some light showers yet to come, but not enough to spoil
a fine day.
The trees stood tall and still like a regiment of soldiers
come to rest at ease, at the edge of the wood.
The close grass that hugged the contours of the valley
had a bluish tinge to it, nourishing itself secretly on the
rich silt and the moisture from the leached hills and slopes
above, and here and there little clusters of yellow flowers
came out with a bright flame of colour among the close
There was not enough wind:here to move anything,
except where the switchlike sticks of wild sage held up
heads of purple and orange that were sly annotations of
colour that the roving eye might miss, merging with'the
pattern about it where the common made margin with
the sombre wood.
And beyond those, the blue hills, and beyond the
hills the mountains, their slate-coloured peaks showing
like islands among the mist, crisp now, and thriftless,
without the threat of moisture and humidity to make
them let down in sudden peevish rain.3
But cheerful images as "a fine day," "bluish tinge," "clusters of
yellow flowers," "bright flame of colour," "rich silt," "heads
of purple and orange" are undermined by such epithets as
"washed-out clouds," "leached hills and slopes," "sly annota-
tions of colour," An unhealthy and suspicious aspect is there-
fore given to the scene.
Compound adjectives and compound nouns are common
features of Mais' prose. Here too is seen the painter and photo-
grapher at work:
... A row of barrack-like shacks at back and another row
of barrack-like shacks to the north, while the crazily-
leaning fence out front, enclosed what was once a brick-
paved courtyard ... In the middle ... was a little paint-
blistered, wry-hinged, buck-toothed, obscenely grinning,
tm-patchea, green-and-white gate . Near the cistern
a gnarled ackee tree reached up scraggy, scarred, almost
naked-branched to the anaemic-looking sky.
Immediately across the street from the yard was a
row of little, dowdy, huddled-together shops shut in on
one side by a two-storey building that was a bar with
rooms above, and on the other by an ironmongery-dry-
goods-and-provision store .. .5
The entire passage is an ingenious piece of prose narration, des-
criptive and technical in style and very emotive in tone. The
colour or what is left of the original colour, the quality of
the mateirals used, the appearance and position of the buildings,
trees and other objects in the yard or seen from it are very
clearly defined. A touch of humour is given as also a little
ricidule, by descriptions such as "ironmongery-drygoods-and-
Mais is adept at stirring the emotions of his readers by giving
vivid accounts which are heavy with sensory detail. In the flight
of Flitters in The Hills Were Joyful Together, a macabre picture
of the sleepers on the sidewalk is painted.
They were a hideous bunch all together. A child ... had
its eyes stuck down with matter. He was trying to force
it open with his fingers, whimpering, choking, his nose
running a three-days cold. One man had no nose at all,
only .two holes in the middle of his face, the legacy of a
dose of syphilis. Another had running sores all the way
up one leg, to his knee, and that foot was about three
times the size of the other .... He felt as though he had
found himself among a colony of lepers.6
When Mais describes a scene, he tries to capture the whole
spirit of the atmosphere which pervades it. Should the reader
compare his description of a fight with other West Indian
authors like John Hearne and Andrew Salkey, he would note
that Mais lacks the inhibition that they manifest; as a result his
account is more realistic. Mais sacrifices good diction for
accuracy, if a colloquial term, or a cliche, or a West Indian
idiom will make his meaning clearer, he resorts to them.,
.. and all was taking place with a horrifying, slow pre-
cision: his slithering collapse on the divan and from
there to the floor .. .7
in relating the fight between Stephan Mahler and Lester, is
matched and excelled by Mais'
.. he staggered under the blow, followed him up and
hit him again; he pitched, taking a few quick steps, short,
trying to catch himself up, fell sprawling in the yard, his
mouth hitting the dust.8
in his account of the fight between Manny and Euphemia. As
it were, Mais takes his reader to the arena, gives him a "ring-
side" seat, places the combatants in the ring and allows him to
fiillow the fight blow by blow in detail. Here the spotlight is
placed on Papacita and Girlie in BrotherMan.
He pushed her so that she fell over backwards and hit
her head against the wall. But she put out her foot and
tripped him as he was going past her to the door. They
both came to their feet together.
He hit her in the face with his fist, but she shifted her
head like a boxer, so that she didn't get the full force of
the blow, then she got in under his flying fists and closed
with him. She was better at the in-fighting, she knew"
that, and once she closed with him, he lost much of the
advantages that his superior strength gave him.
Her fingernails tore at his face and neck, bringing
away skin. Great streaky, bloody weals rose up where
they had struck and clawed at his flesh. He swore, and
took her by the throat. He backed her up against the
wall, and struck her head against it again and again. It
was enough to make any ordinary woman let go. But still
she clung on.9
S. .Her fingernails clawed at his face again and again.
He screamed at her: 'You bitch!' . He hit her with
both fists in the belly, but she was too close for the
blows to have their full effect.
She closed with him sobbing, her teeth buried in his
throat. He let out a long high-pitched scream, like a
woman, screamed again and again, but she still held on
to this throat with her teeth, like an animal, and pure
elemental, animal sounds were coming from her now,low,
snuffling, moaning sounds . and when he held her
away from him he knew he was going to kill her, and
there was no pity or terror in his heart. No thought about
the consequences to himself; nothing but the knowledge
that he was going to kill her, and with it a wonderful
sense of release. 10
His murder scenes are even more dramatic andgruesome, and
evince more particularity in sensory detail. Before the brutal
slaying of Euphemia by her paramour, her olfactory sense had
warned her of her impending doom;
A faint breath of wind blew cool against her face. It
brought a curious, furtive scent from him to her. It was
his scent, and not . It was the smell of death. 1
Continuing the same account in The Hills Were Joyful Together,
visual, auditory, kinesthetic images, and the tactile (even if
indirect), are apparent.
... She turned with a sob and ran toward the house ...
It [the machette], bit deep into her flesh ... She scream-
ed and fell on the step . She put her hands as though
to ward off a blow. Three fingers were shorn off clean...
They fell in her lap. She screamed again, long and high-
pitched . he slashed and slashed with the machette.
One blow lopped off her left arm . and lay bare her
abdomen. Her entrails spilled out upon her lap ... while
he hacked and hacked at her woman's flesh . .12
Shag who earlier in the novel saw the parallel between a woman
and a tree puts her to death in the same manner in which he
would have felled a tree. Mais sustains the tree metaphor by
using "slashed," "lopped," "hacked," and "shorn."
Auditory details abound throughout his novels. Sounds
made by objects, animals, birds, trees, the wind, the sea and
human beings are frequent. These sounds may be melodious,
as those escaping Amos' accordian, or sometimes sad or omini-
ous as when the dog "bays the moon," or when the screech-
owl gives its "eerie cry" as it flies low over the hospital before
Sirjue's death. Mais depicts the high-pitched scream escaping
the lips of the dying murder victim, or the elemental animal
sounds made by the furious woman as she sinks her teeth in the
throat of her assailant, as realistically as he does the jubilant
ones made around the fire at the 'fish-fry' in The Hills Were
Joyful Together. His use of onomatopoeic words gives realism
to his descriptions "a wooR knot went phee and then phut
in the fire;" "the wind went woo-ee woo-ee going over the
slanting roof;" "the tongues in the lane clack-clack almost con-
tinuously;" "there was the swish of an automobile's tyres," and
"'de bed a-go crips-crips under him every time him turn.' "
Gustatory detail is brought out in such passages as "she bit
her lip till she could feel the salty taste of blood. This echoes
the style of John Steinbeck whom Mais may have read and
admired; "Tom pulled his under lip between his teeth and bit
it ... and saw the little lines of blood against his teeth and the
trickle of blood down his lip."13 An aggregate of sensory de-
tail which shows Mais at his best may be found in the entire
eleventh chapter of the second book of The Hills Were Joyful
The work of the lyricist is seen in various sections of his
prose, particularly in his first novel is this evident. One has but
to read the opening paragraph of the seventh chapter of Book
One of this novel to see the mind of the poet at work -
The sea is an old man babbling his dreams... and was
there some talk of the stars? . the bright tears of
morning drown in a wide wide sea ... who is there out-
side in the dark beyond the door, knocking to tell his
dreams? . There are so many empty rooms in the
shuttered house that is yesterday, who is it at midnight
wakes to madness and rattles his chains?.... the sea is a
weary old man babbling his dreams. 14
This type of "poetic prose" is found in various sections of this
novel and is actually an abstract of what follows in the chapter.
The probability of chance he expresses:
The trifling sprigs of chance confound our footsteps
... the events that make tomorrow quit themselves today
outside our ken . brother, do you pause long in this
square of the chess board to consider? ... do you wait
to log the thousand perils smirking in the dark?
Morning kneels barefooted and without covering for
her head .. kneels before the mountain to discover the
molehill . kneels before the toadstool to discover the
lily ... stands erect like a bright drawn blade. 15
Ideas of frustration and the inevitability of fate are expressed
in dialect -
The livin' clouds o' witness come to de sky . .de
moon, brudda, is a shim-sham eena prickly-yallertree...
den you tun yuh eye look behind' you, nutt'n .. an'
nutt'n de befo' you jus' de same . de livin' clouds o'
witness come to de sky bim-by brudda ... an' bim-by
come peeny-wally stars a-plenty ... no mme de jubba-
jubba moon a-mek him shim-sham eena cottonwood tree
. rockstone bruk bear-foot a-pass, hm! but hush ...
look up so see de livin' clouds o' witness standing' in de
In all three extracts .as well as others of this type, the ideas
are compressed, masked and implicit, unlike those of ordinary
prose where the thoughts expressed are explicit and lucid.
Figures of speech and of rhetoric are many and varied and com-
bine to add depth of thought. Metaphors, similes, presonifica-
tion, rhetorical questions, to name a few, are predominant.
What is also significant is the use of the familiar to disguise
the abstract. Symbolism, therefore is present and gives fresh-
ness to thought and expression. Besides, the rhythm patterns
are unlike those of ordinary prose. It is easily observed that
each group of three periods marks the end of a line, and each
paragraph marks the beginning of a new stanza. Such passages
as these may easily be written in verse form. The diction, too,
has a special lyrical tone and unlike that of prose.
Roger Mais wrote "dramatic prose." By this, I mean, firstly
that his novels and a number of his short stories admit of action
on the stage. So vivid and precise is his language, and so real
and lifelike does he depict his characters and his scenes, that a
producer may use sections of his prose in its entirety on the
stage. Some scenes as -
She rose quickly, went across to the old chest of
drawers took out a clean white handkerchief, came back
to the rocking chair, sat down, took the injured finger
between the fingers of her other hand, squeezed and
squeezed it until she had squeezed out a single drop of
blood. She wiped it carefully off on the handkerchief.
She carried the handkerchief out into the yard, looked
for and found a smooth round stone. She wrapped the
handkerchief around it. Then she went inside and came
back with a kitchen knife, went over to a jimblin tree
that grew against the zinc fence, and looking around her
to see that nobody was observing her, started to dig a
hole in the ground. 17
are suitable for miming. But he also wrote dialogue so true to
life that whole scenes with very slight modification could be
staged. At times even stage directions are given, "he moves
over, casual-like, his hands in his pockets and leans beside her,"
All Mais' fight and murder scenes may be acted.
Secondly, some of his protagonists are presented in a drama-
tic manner. Shag's soliloquy, for example, in The Hills Were
Joyful Together, when he contemplates the likeness of a woman
to a tree and ponders the word vulnerable; or when Sirjue in
the same novel deliberates the inhumane treatment of his
fellow prisoners; or yet, when Rema alone in her room thinks
on life without Sirjue; or when in Brother Man Jesmina
reflects on the strange behaviour of her sister Cordelia and the
apparent hopelessness of her own situation as a room-mate of
Cordelia; or still yet when Jake, in Black Lightning, immediately
before he was struck with blindness introduced Amos to his
carving; and in a lighter vein, when George resolves to ride the
horse Beauty, despite Glen's orders.
The use of symbols is another feature of the prose style of
Roger Mais. Here, again his style is not original as it reveals a
similarity to that of Steinbeck, m that the same symbols are
at times common to both in name and usage. The wall, shadows
and darkness are examples.
... the hind legs pushed the shells against the wall. The
head upraised and peered over the wall . the hands
braced on top of the wall, strained and lifted, and the
shell came slowly up and rested its front end on the
Similarly in Mais the wall may represent a barrier:
Saw like a shadow against the wall . an instant
glimpse ... a dim outline writhing up the smooth surface
of the wall ... He pulled the trigger, . saw the thing
against the wall stop writhing. For a split instant hang on,
still. Then it toppled back and fell to the ground close
to the wall.19
Other major symbols used by Mais include the yard, trees, the
sky, the gully, the wind, the moon, Brother Man, and Samson.
To many of these symbols Mais gives a dual function sympto-
matic of the ambivalent aspect of human nature. Hence, the
same symbol which at times denotes good at others represents
evil, or that signifying hope may also indicate despair, or as in
the case of Cubano the symbol the wall which to Sirjue
meant death, was to him life.
Roger Mais made his debut as a writer of West Indian fiction
in 1942. In that year, he published a number of Short Stories
in thePublic Opinion newspaper, and two anthologies Face and
Other Stories, and And Most of all Man. He was in addition, a
journalist, and contributed articles on various topics to the
Public Opinion. His greatest contribution to West Indian prose,
however, lies in his three novels The Hills Were Joyful Together
(1953), Brother Man (1954), and Black Lightning (1955).
In his "Author's Note" to his first anthology and in his
"Foreword" to the second he states the purpose and the theme
of his writing. In the former he asserts that the "stories in fact
purport to derive from the substance of life rather than being
mere factual records of the mechanical incidents that comprise
it ..." In the latter he avers that "Man the eternal protagonist
amid eternal process" is his theme. It is against these two
statements that all his short stories and novels are based.
His style displays ambiguity. At times he is the mouthpiece
of the Jamaican underprivileged class and at others, they become
his spokesman. In the first instance he portrays the masses as
struggling for survival in a world of hardships and motonony
and frustration. He thus becomes the obsessed social reformer,
lays before the public the stark facts of their lives saturated
with privation, grievances, disease, crime and sordidness. He
denounces the apathetic and inhumane attitude of those in
authority and implores the sympathy and understanding of
those in more fortunate circumstances. Further he impresses
upon the reader the fact that the condition of these people is
not always the result of an innately wicked heart, but rather
the inevitability of fate. The paradox that the bad are often
the good, he firmly states. Therefore, he exaggerates the virtues
of the people most spurned by society; the prostitute for ex-
ample he praises for her sincerity and nobleness of heart.
So, too, does he show the Rastafarian as being Christ-like des-
pite his unseemly outward appearance. Conversely, he projects
those who are often regarded as good as the perpetrators in the
dark of much evil; 'They, he states, 'are bad!' "
In the second case, was Mais trying to find an excuse for his
own Bohemian attitude to life why he saw so much virtue in
those rebuffed or severely criticized by society! Did he find
somewhere within himself a trace of that same fickleness of
mind that he made overt in his characters! Why was he so mor-
bid and devoid of guileless humour! He evidently had several
messages which he wanted to impart, and he accomplished this
by projecting his ideas through the mouths of his characters.
Thus, when Shag reiterates that a woman is.vulnerable, vulner-
able like a "double dealing tree" Mais is merely giving expres-
sions to his own thoughts as Shag's intelligence as illustrated
in the novel forbids his making such a statement in such a
learned manner. Also, when Zephyr asserts"' life has got a stick
to beat us with every last, lonesome, suffering' mother's son,' "
she is undoubtedly uttering the thoughts of the author. Another
striking example is that expressed by Mais through the mouth
of Cubano, 'If you give people that kind of power over other
people what you expect? It came like common nature to knock
the prisoners around. A prisoner, a criminal was a man who
had lost his right to be considered a man.' "
Mais shows that in the individual there is a coexistence of
opposing emotional attitudes. To bring this to the fore he uses
symbols and gives them a dual or multiple significance, hence
the same symbol whichconnotes fear any also represent hope.
In the main the style oif iRoger Mais is unique although he is
rarely, if at all singular in the application of any particular
technique. However, by !his use of suspense, countless detailed
descriptions, his skill in dialogue, his superb knowledge and
application of the Jamaican dialect and idioms, his love of
reiteration, his naive employment of imagery and figures of
rhetoric as well as his ingenious admixture of long and short
sentences and paragraphs, that he has been regarded as an
outstanding writer of West Indian prose.
1. The Drama and Life, Public Opinion April 17, 1943, page 4.
la. Ibid., June 12, 1943, page 4.
1. George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin, Collier Books (1970)
2. John Hearne, Stranger at the Gate, Caribbean Narrative (1966) page
3. Roger Mais, The Pond, Face and Other Stories, (1942) page 24.
4. Roger Mais, Face, Face and Other Stories, (1942).
5. Roger Mais, Look Where You're Going, Face and Other Stories,
6. Roger Mais, Look Out, Face and Other Stories, (1942).
7. Roger Mais, The Pond, Face and Other Stories, (1942).
8. Roger Mais, Afternoon Delivery, Face and Other Stories (1942).
9. Roger Mais, Face, Face and Other Stories (1942).
1. Roger Mais, The Witch, Public Opinion, March, 1942.
3. Roger Mais, Public Opinion, July, 1944.
1. The Man on the Easel, Public Opinion, August, 6, 1945.
2. Public Opinion, July 31, 1945.
3. Roger Mais, The Three Novels of Roger Mais, Jonathan Cape (1966),
page 103. The Hills Were Joyful Together.
4. Roger Mais The Three Novels of Roger Mais, Black Lightning, page
5. Ibid., THWJT.page 9.
6. Ibid., page 227.
7. John Hearne, Land of The Living, Faber and Faber, (1961), page 222.
8. Roger Mais, THWIT. page 34.
9. Roger Mais, Brother Man, page 114.
10. Ibid., page 117.
11. Roger Mais, THWJT page. 34.
12. Ibid., page 264.
13. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, Viking Press, (1939) page 76.
14. Roger Mais, THWJT, page 63.
15. Ibid., 242.
16. Ibid., page 253.
17. Roger Mais, Brother Man, page 83.
18. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, page 15.
19. Roger Mais, THWJT, page 287.
by The Two Millers, Father and Son
PIECES FROM THE OPENING SHOW ESCOFFERY AND PRESTON GALLERY, MONTEGO BAY
by F. J. W. Escoffery
by The Two Millers, Father and Son
Do not consider, I am mean or
vengeful. Rather, say I'm
anxious or mysterious, our communion
should be and be known (or not
known) for itself; should survive
the death (may itself
be the killer) of such furious
small lusts as you or I (you
and me together, babe) in shadow
of true love, mistaking
for the tree the tree's
motion, find. Rather, say the
mystery alone is real, requiring
neither touch nor void
of absence: flame
blowing from regions beyond our sun
and ice: creation's
flame, fuelling forests.
Blissfully together, we are
separate. The woman's question (not
why but why not?) signals
betrayal of the mystery, makes
instability virtue, asseverates un-
knowing. Blissfully together, we are
only a figure in the dance.
Then is truth the mask, the blowhard
liar irrelevant as an actor
uncast; or as shadowed, mysterious Chris
patient as lilies, the
(a jazz journey)
fast as fire
eyes and tingeing
Don't hold back
go with the smoke
with the smoke --
we took flight
with blue smoke
in one huge
Thus we found
ourselves in and
out and around
and some rough parts
and an intermingling
of reassuring hair
Thus we travelled:
stood on the beach
and Christopher reached
for his sword.
He thrust his sword
at the savage
to see if the savage
would react savagely.
The wide-eyed wild naked one
had never seen a sword thrust --
never seen a sword -
and gratefully grabbed
the proffered gift.
He grasped the blade
onto the white sand.
The covenant had been made.
She is hired
laugh when we
food to students
(does better than teachers)
she were other --
when I look upon you
lam not free
and we awoke
with blue smoke
and time again
Tropical is topical
and ethnic is the scene
with reggae clean
and bled dry
under a synthesized mist
and a shroud of strings
gone are the waves
of blue black
and what remains
are the sallow strains
of tunes of ice
that have forgotten the pain.
Basil Hanson Smith
A MAN SAID
they into dis
me bredda, I into
it all a go end?
better to travel
way I'm sure to
From my window
on the night that you left,
I heard the growl of
the traffic and over it's back
I could see
the trees in the park
could smell the fact
that Joe on the corner
still made the best patties
I now approach
the road to Guinea,
and I, the warrior,
IfI stood now
beside my mother
I would hold
The smell of the
blooms by the wayside
are of memories
of souls long dispersed.
As life plays it's
on my breast
I, the warrior,
SONG NO. 4
Can you see our house?
It cost two hundred thou.
Are you impressed, impressed?
Do you see our cars?
They're wide and long.
Tell me, are you impressed?
Junior goes to school in a Swankmobile,
Dad goes to work in a Cad.
Mom's learning golf
on our backyard green.
Oh, please, wont you be impressed?
Love and oceans
Oceans live longer
THE THREAT TO THE CITY
The town is mighty:steel battlements towering in the air,
Intricate traffic roaring, crowds peering in the glass avenues,
Everywhere important things proceeding in smooth order.
Men full of power share the rich, well-built town.
Strong animals roam in the recreation parks, green, calm;
In the gardens, filled with sun, birds are flying:
These are good places to visit, everything under control.
lam part of it, life is full of grace.
If you follow my sleek car with a tracing lamp
It makes an elegant pattern through the roads.
Clean-lined office, country club, opulent apartment block,
Distinguished diplomatic party, theatre premiere with the new elite,
Bars hung with wine bottles, the best bookstores in town:
The points, connecting, make a map of ease.
And so the darkening evening calls me to the cocktail hour.
Briefly I stop ..to get a pack of aspirin on the way,
The shop is dark, the counter-man is sullen,
The room I see is hung with posters vowing death:
The pattern dislocates; the map no longer tells the way.
Four men look up from a bare table,
They have beers, and knives, and books reading. Books!
Their eyes are hard when they look up at me,
Then they turn back to drink beers and read the open books.
The beetle with a cinder in its belly C LOUR POEM
Can bur the town, any soaring.city,
Fire spreading where it goes, it hides, I make colour-poems of an easy choosing,
Flame dripping from its stick-toes every inch, Trying to forget forgive.
Red sparks flicking as the beetle crawls, pre the rtt, Iraise the sun,
Slowly crawls from the dry sewers, burning, burning. I praise a se e sun
I praise black,
I praise white,
Colour-poems, easy, soothing.
Colour of cool green in a river shade,
Colour of pink saman on a black road,
Iron sugar mills etched against the sun,
Flags of bright trees flying in the exuberant wind,
In the ricefields white oxen, red machines,
Gold glare of sea-light on arcs of sand.
Cameos of brightness I collect:
Cane emerald in the ripening sun,
A small Church filled with white dresses,
By lantern-light a cartman chopping coconuts,
Red bougainvillaea on a sunlit wall,
Cloud-shadows moving on a wild hill.
Ah, brother man, I know it well!
A mild heart falsifies this art.
The greatest love is never soothing,
The greater truth is bitterness.
Pearl are the tears your mothers wept,
Black are the whips,
Grey is the ash,
Burned villages are ash,
Gold is the sweat,
Red is the blood,
Red, red are the travels of your brothers long ago.
ACCIDENT AT SILVER HILL
When I was down on the ground
mouth full of dirt
dirt full of blood -
as these things go
it was not a major comedown
only sixty feet
to river rocks
like you read on every other page -
and flung glass
mingling late-sun sparkle
with tossed up leaves
makes it now seem
it was a self-celebrating event.
It was only natural
that the quickest way
from teacher's house to the bridge
was a three-time-over tumble down the hill.
The road at the point
was not natural
but a twisted scarred convulsion
fit only for a slow donkey.
We were not donkey
But our car wasn't bird either
and ignorant of flight
it came down more
like an impetuous
Christ, what a
tester you are!
The egg hatched
and out poured
the moment's remarkable yoke:
Tony seeming dead
Brownman rubbing his one bruise
and I staggering toward
a suitable spot
to collapse and savour shock.
Never was I so close to earth.
I must have left my mind
hanging from a hillside tree.
All was pure feeling
of hundreds of hands
touching to convince.
The only certainty
was that I,
had killed Tony.
But I hadn't.
And Brownman was soon unbruised.
And what I remember most
about that time I was down on the ground
mouth full of dirt
dirt full of blood
are those hands
and especially yours
old lady, sudden mother,
who gave me sugar and water
and washed my trivial wounds
and healed a deeper one.
I could only see
your eyes in the new dark.
Whenever I now see
the dirt tastes sweet
and the site of suffering
connects with comfort.
Arthur W Chang
And under this dust
this reused talc
are our veins
disjointed or disconnected
by a white witch doctor
or a white priest
from a concrete jungle.
It makes remembrance
hard to come by
we must dig up
pushed out of stride
shift the dunes
with our drums.
We must find our fathers' bones
We must know
what mortal sin
in this neatly
has caused this
merciless season of night
this power failure
of the drum
of our rhythm.
children of night
burn shanty towns
of a new day
bend to the
to "emanuel road"
"muma mi wah fe wo'k"
to old digging
songs with a new drum
without the old whip.
Shift the dunes
uncover woolly hair
Shift the dunes
it's the third day
watch for the rising
of our God.
We have prayed
to the white God
and found He is racial
He prefers Israel
the white fold.
We have prayed
what must we do
what must we do
mea maxima culpa.
with deaf white ears
does not hear
Shift the dunes
it's the third day
watch for the rising of our God.
It's the hour.
At The institute of Jamaica Art Gallery Dec:73
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