II PROCEEDINGS OF TEACH-IN

JOAN RAINFORD:

Mr. Girvan has suggested, I think rightly, that the question of contribution, the £35 thing could not be a long-term solution to the Anguillan situation. Now I want to know what other suggestions there are besides the development of the tourist industry, which might be made as a long-term proposal for the development of Anguilla as a state on its own.

GUMBS:

The plans that you perhaps read about in the New York Times where there would be honorary citizenship there was a coin or flag – something of this nature, stamps, it’s just a temporary situation whereby we could get funds to run the government at this time, because as I told you before, the Government of Anguilla did not have one dollar in the treasury, so there had to be some immediate way of getting financially sound without going all around and begging. However there had been many, many plans for development in Anguilla. There are many people who have offered small businesses and factories and hotels. All manner of things have been proposed. We are studying these proposals and taking our time to search to find out which is the best way, because as I said already, we are trying to preserve as much of the natural beauty of the island as possible. Now, what Anguilla really needs at this time is administrative help. I would say teachers. I mean graduate teachers. We can use technical help. This is really what we need at this time. Above all things, the main thing that could really set Anguilla going is recognition by some government.

M.V. :

Mr. Gumbs could you tell me exactly what was the financial aid that you used to get from St. Kitts which you have now lost? And how much more aid do you actually want to get back to that position, and to improve your position?

GUMBS:

The money necessary at this time to run the schools and the Civil Servants and perhaps improve the roads a little is about $30,000 (British West Indian dollars) a month. Now this was the money that came from aid from England and from local taxes and I will have to say from St. Kitts.

PETER ABRAHAMS:

The cost of running a Civil Service at its present rate is about £6,000 a month. The St. Kitts Government hasn’t revealed the revenue it got. Direct income tax, it got Customs duty, it got the bulk of this from the Anguillans, but it did contribute. What it got from the Anguillans was not enough to cover all the services. So I am told. But nobody knows exactly what was paid into the Treasury from Anguilla. So the figure of £6,000, what proportion the Anguillans contributed themselves we don’t know yet. They don’t know yet. Until they do know, it is going to be difficult. But they have been keeping these services taking over for the past three months on their own basis. What they need then is supplementary to the £6,000 a month. They have also got a serious water problem. Once upon a time they had all the trees they needed to build their schools. A hundred years ago they had four wells on the Island, my research has shown me. Today they have only two. So if we can help them practically in terms of re-afforestation of the Island, and help them practically with developing their water resources. These are two key points.