EDITORIAL- Volume V No.1

This issue of the QUARTERLY has been delayed partly on account of technical printing difficulties and partly on account of the time-consuming process of getting the Anguilla Proceedings in shape. It opens up Volume IV which promises to be the best yet with New World Groups in Montreal, Trinidad and St. Kitts assuming responsibility for the production of particular issues. Since the last issue, the Groups in Jamaica and Trinidad have issued three pamphlets dealing with Unemployment, The Sugar Industry, and Devaluation. And partly on this account, there has been much discussion and controversy about NEW WORLD in the West Indian press. We intend to discuss some of the issues arising from this controversy in the next issue of the QUARTERLY.


Anguilla is the centre-piece of the present issue. As we stated in our last Editorial comment (Cropover, 1967), the Anguillan crisis of last year represents a landmark in West Indian history. West Indians everywhere were incensed by the infamous Barbados Conference of July, 1967, at which the British Government secured the backing of the governments of the four newly-independent Caribbean countries to use force to put down the Anguillan people in their quest for self-determination. Second thoughts by the Jamaican Government prevented the British plan from going through. To our knowledge, the Barbados agreement was never published and we are taking the opportunity to do so now. Along with it, we are publishing a few short extracts to demonstrate that the Anguillan situation has a long history.

In August, the Jamaica NEW WORLD GROUP organized a meeting on Anguilla and over five hundred people attended to listen and to take part in the discussion. Thousands were otherwise able to follow the proceedings on radio and television. The Proceedings which are now partly published here will relate what happened to thousands of others outside of Jamaica.

In this limited respect, we are working towards the promotion of a continuing dialogue between the peoples of the region. We regard this as an important function of all our publications since the traditional West Indian press continues to ignore this duty. (They still bring Englishmen, Australians and Canadians to relate to the West Indian public on cricket played by West Indians in the West Indies.) As we already indicated, the Anguillan crisis is a genuine West Indian crisis – born out of circumstances which are present in every parish of the region. Hence the need for dialogue. Without this, we will hardly get the required changes in government structure which will provide for popular participation in decision-making. And similar crises will continue to recur everywhere.

The NEW WORLD MOVEMENT is continuously gaining ground. New Groups are being formed everywhere. And older groups are extending their influence as a forum for serious discussion and original thought. In Jamaica, we have in the past few months provided the only national forum for the public to express their views on Anguilla, Devaluation and the future of sugar. No less than one thousand people have been directly involved in these discussions. The Trinidad Group has run a valuable public lecture series on “West Indian Society in the Sixties”. And many people have started to wonder whether NEW WORLD is a part of the University of the West Indies or whether it is the other way round. Our aim remains clear: to promote radical change in all aspects of Caribbean life and society so as to release the long-suppressed creative energies of the peoples of the region. With all that that implies! The strategy for achieving this objective is still the topic of discussion. And the contribution to FORUM in this issue is part of that dialogue.


Managing Editor: George Beckford

Assistant Editors: Steve de Castro, Mervin Alleyne, Woodville Marshall

Editorial Board: David Beckles, Owen Jefferson, George Beckford, James Millette, Edwin Carrington

Circulation: David Beckles, Jo Parchment

Treasurer: Owen Jefferson

Consultants: Mervyn Morris, Lloyd Best, Roy Augier, Woodville Marshall, George Lamming Norman Girvan, Mervin Alleyne, David de Caires