Appendix II: Some Aspects of the Integration Problem-November 1962

1. It would be unrealistic to expect the same extent of unity that existed in 1953 to be achieved at the present time, as one is now confronted with two separate political structures operating in a hostile atmosphere. However, a look at the main groups that supported the 1953 PPP will help in deciding upon the type of coalition (and programme) that is possible.

  1. Apart from this, it is absolutely essential to agree upon a concrete programme which will reveal immediate benefits to the social groups and classes within the coalition as the mere emotional use of the word ‘unity’ can just as well be interpreted to mean the type of unity advocated by the extreme ‘right’ – an ‘anti-communist’ coalition of PNC-UF. In view of the breakdown of the conference the possibility of this alternative anti-PPP front is greatly increased.
  1. The 1953 PPP commanded the support of the following groups on a pro-independence socialist platform:
  • Small farmers (rice and provision)
  • Sugar workers (field) sugar workers (factory)
  • Industrial workers (bauxite)
  • Small shopkeepers and independent artisans
  • Domestic workers, miscellaneous labourers (waterfront etc.)
  • Government workers (wage earners)
  • Small percentage of young professional middle class
  • Proportion of support (clandestine) of certain local businessmen
  • Young members of Civil Service. Clerical workers (some)
  • Unemployed workers.
  1. Since the split in 1955/56 there has taken place a realignment of classes along different lines, with both parties, because of the narrowness of their working-class support, extending their right feet to cover more ground and consolidate their political position. This has led to the PPP being supported by many large (in terms of Guyana) and medium sized Indian businessmen and the PNC gaining some ground amongst the coloured (UDP) middle class. (PPP in order to rationalize its new alignment along Marxist lines has continued to label its political attitude a “National Front” policy).
  1. Today the PPP is supported by:
  • Sugar workers (factory and field). Indian unemployed.
  • Rice farmers (small and middle and some large landlords)
  • Most Indian businessmen (small and middle).
  • Indian civil and clerical workers of all grades.
  • Muslim and Hindu organisations (as opposed to national figure heads)
  • Indian middle class.

The PNC is supported by:

  • African unemployed
  • African labourers, farmers and industrial workers.
  • African civil servants and clerical workers.
  • African middle class (see above).

The fact that the UF operating with a Portuguese property base, has had some influence on the Indian and Coloured large property owners and middle class has not altered this basic racial alignment.

  1. The facts obviously give the lie to any attempt to make racialism a secondary political factor – any influence that leads to such a severe distortion of the political class relationships is a factor of primary importance and must be treated as such.
  1. In the present situation, as outlined above, both parties can expect to lose some of their post-1955 support. Therefore, a careful analysis should be made of the electoral strength of the above-mentioned groups and the effect of any suggested programme upon their political alignments. A new survey will have to be undertaken because of changing patterns.
  1. The only basis upon which a working agreement can be achieved is one which avoids alignment with either East or West but provides enough scope for the emergence and expression of national attitudes (both cultural and political).
  1. Such a basis already exists in the common statements by both parties in which they recognise the necessity of an independent Guyana adopting a neutral role in foreign affairs. Both parties, however, have failed to pay enough attention to the fact that the ability to play such a role is directly connected to our internal situation. A genuinely neutral attitude in external affairs can only be maintained by a government with a strong national base.
  1. The recent trends in both PPP and PNC have led to an increasing de facto alignment of these parties with one or the other power bloc – the PPP eastwards and the PNC towards the USA. It is inevitable that both parties in their increasingly bitter power struggle should look for external allies. It is also inevitable that any deviation from their neutral attitudes should be dictated by the anti-national wings of both parties – in the case of the PPP by the ‘neo-stalinists’ and of the PNC by the pro-UF right wing – (the UDP faction). Thus, the internal centrifugal tendencies caused by racio-political divisions inevitably find expression in the field of external policy as well.
  1. The existence or a neutral foreign policy (expressed by the adoption of genuinely neutral attitudes and not by merely paying lip service to neutrality) will remove from local politics some of the material upon which the scare-mongers feed and enable the internal programme to develop in a favourable atmosphere.
  1. Another obstacle which will have to be overcome is the rigid constitutional attitude caused by the un-critical acceptance of the British Parliamentary System by both major groups.