NEW WORLD GROUP REPORTS

Probably of more long-term significance and effect have been our pam­phlets, of which we count no less than four for the year.

Our pamphlet on “Un­employment” was a comprehensive statement on a view of the causes, conse­quences and solutions of the phenomenon, set out in a way which most agree is readily readable by the literate section of the community.

It was widely circulated on the campus, amongst the Sixth Forms of some high schools, and amongst some sections of the unemployed and underemployed community. It is impossible to gauge the extent to which this publication has influenced the thinking of the community. We have already seen it used in two speeches in the national parliament, and in a pamphlet published by a group of clerics on “The Church and Unemployment”. It formed the subject of a news commentary by Peter Abrahams and of a half-hour discussion on ‘Argument” on RJR radio. In my view, we can expect the analysis and thinking in this pamphlet to continue to inform public discussion on unemployment for some time to come.

Our pamphlet on “Sugar: Our Life or Death” seems to have been found by most to be limited in readability. Nonetheless the hysterical reaction by the sugar interests and the Government seems to indicate that the points made in it, and which bad been made by New World persons prior to its publication, had struck home. This gave us the opportunity to hold a Teach-In on Sugar, a lecture series on “Sugar and Society in the Caribbean”, and to publish another pamphlet on the story of the sugar debate. The fact that the sugar industry continues to be in a publicly precarious position is a recurrent reminder of the relevance of the issues raised by the New World and of the scope for further discussion of the issue.

The last of the pamphlets for the year was on “Government, the Police and Personal Freedom” published jointly with the Jamaica Council for Human rights.

This venture has a manifold significance. For one thing, it concerns an issue which affects everyone in the community in a very basic way, and upon which hardly a dissenting voice had hitherto been raised. Also, the fact that it was published jointly with the JCHR is an indication of some growth in the involvement of the New World with the Jamaican community; and an indication of the JCHR’s perception of us as an organisation which can be turned to for support for publication on controversial issues. Already, this pamphlet shows signs of generating public controversy, as did “Unemployment” and “Sugar”.

By and large then, I think we can honestly note some progress in bringing the Group into more direct, fruitful and relevant contact with the community at large. The participation of some of our members in literacy classes was also a step in this direction. On the other hand, where intellectual work which increases our understanding of the region and the possibilities for change is concerned, we have virtually stood still.