Please allow me to say a few words here on the economic situation. From what I got from the Treasury Department the expenditure for the Civil Servants last year was under $300,000. Of this Anguilla collected $260,000, so it is possible that we depended on the Central Government for between $35 to $40,000. In this amount, lots of this money could have been Anguilla revenue because our boats pay their tonnage in St. Kitts and not in Anguilla. So the revenue that is shown in Anguilla is not truly the total revenue of the Island, because a lot of the goods that are used in Anguilla are duty paid in St. Kitts. So you will understand that if we show $260,000 revenue in Anguilla there could be possible about $75,000 worth of revenue that have been paid in St. Kitts.
Mr. Chairman, in considering what assistance we might be able to offer to Anguilla, I think it is important that we try and take into consideration as many of the variables as possible. Mr Munroe has introduced a very important variable and that is the consequences that Anguilla’s secession could have in the West Indies, which have experienced similar exploitation. For example, you have instances of housing discrimination, and employment discrimination, which have been mentioned tonight by one of the Anguillan speakers, and certainly these circumstances are applicable not only to Anguilla, as Mr. Munroe aptly pointed out, but also certainly to Jamaica and other countries in the West Indies.
Now I am thinking of yet another variable which has not been discussed tonight, and that is the applicability of the Parliamentary system itself, because it seems to me that the Anguilla situation has introduced a circumstance where the people of St. Kitts/ Nevis/ Anguilla, the state of St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla, have now effectively illustrated the dysfunctional nature of the Parliamentary System in the West Indies. We have adopted a particular type of system from the English, which with certain assumptions have not been operating in the West Indies. One of the functions of course is the impartiality of the Speaker of the House and many other things that we do not have in the West Indies on the whole, as was illustrated very clearly by the Delimitation Committee discussions here in Jamaica.
So what I am suggesting is that perhaps we might look into the implications of assisting Anguilla in destroying the Parliamentary system, which we here have accepted not only in Jamaica, but in Trinidad and Tobago, and all the other Islands in the West Indies, because essentially what is happening here is that the people in Anguilla have not accepted the assumptions of the Parliamentary System, which are, among other things, that the Opposition will remain an opposition and simply continue to oppose within the House of Representatives. What they are doing now is to be opposing outside, extra-Constitutionally, outside of the House of Representatives. And if, Mr. Chairman, we are to aid the Anguillans in continuing to destroy and undermine the Parliamentary System, which we here have accepted in Jamaica, we can very well expect a place like Harbour View, which has consistently voted against the present government, to decide one day to secede. And therefore, I will suggest that before we take what I consider to be the very rash step of assisting Anguilla with breadfruit trees and other things, there are several other considerations which you also must take.
It seems to me that the last comment sort of went off a certain track we were on. That track was the question of aid, economic aid, what was needed to help the Anguillans to help themselves and so on. And it seems to me that the comments from the floor in relation to that, plus those of Messrs. Gumbs and Rey and Abrahams introduced the conflict in my mind. That is to say, there was some suggestion that Jamaica might be able to assist. It was implicit in the argument that Jamaica might be able to provide for example technical assistance – to the people of Anguilla. But the question that arises is whether or not a Government could do this without recognizing Anguilla as an independent state. It seems to me that the Government of Jamaica, for example could never begin to provide technical assistance unless it first recognizes Anguilla as a separate independent state. And I wondered whether somebody might want to comment on this.
May I make a very brief comment here, because the Chairman has raised the question – a framework in which I made my earliest remarks, and that is within the framework of political power. The Government of Jamaica could not recognize the independence of Anguilla until certain pre-conditions are met. And the first thing is that Anguilla must in fact become a state, not a hope and an aspiration that it is at present. A hope and an aspiration that we all share.
But Anguilla must in fact become a state with a state apparatus and thereafter apply to the United Nations, and the Caribbean Governments for recognition. And then the Government of Jamaica would be faced with considering whether in the circumstances of the time of then, whenever then is, whether we will recognize Anguilla as an independent state. Now the question is abstract up to now, because one of the things neither Mr. Gumbs nor Mr. Rey has told us, is what practical proposals do they have in mind to set up a state apparatus which is the appendage of independence. And let me finally close with one quick word. Historically, Jamaica has been accustomed to dealing with Island (we have called it in the past dependencies, well we have never treated Cayman and Turks Island as dependencies, we have treated them as equals). We have always had the right up until 1954-56 to pass their laws. We have never exercised that right since 1944. We have always felt that Cayman and Turks Island should exercise all the attributes of sovereignty within the colonial system, not as far as we are concerned because we are not imperial powers. We have given them technical assistance. We have given them economic aid in the form of assistance to build their airport, the Roberts Field airport, and we have treated these hardy people in Cayman who are very, very like these hardy, brave people of Anguilla, we have treated them as equals. And when they were ready to break their dependency with us in 1956, we assisted them.
Mr. Chairman, may I respectfully disagree with some of the points Frank Hill is making. The first point I find myself not being able to agree with …..very briefly, all I wanted to say is that recognition is a legalistic thing and now we accept that the government of Jamaica cannot do this, but there is nothing to stop us as we have done to express our own private individual recognition, our group recognition, our group recognition as Jamaican citizens and citizens of a free country. Now the point is that you keep coming back with the question of state apparatus. These people have a duly constituted seven-man Council that is accepted as the Government of Anguilla. I was there, I saw it ruling Anguilla peacefully, successfully. Now this is a fact: They do all their own work for themselves. They need a little bit of help, like I said, with trees. They need help with skilled people who will do it on a voluntary basis, and what they need from the Jamaican Government in particular, is to continue its policy of telling the other people to keep their hands off. So if the Commonwealth and the military forces are kept in abeyance, and we as best we can, on a private basis give the Anguillans the help they need, the longer they can hold out the more effectively they establish their de facto right, as an independent people.