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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 24, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Tliunday, February 24, 1977 THE HERAID J9 Decolonization era Group aids British dependents By JOHN CROCKER London Observer Service BRIDGETOWN, Barbados- "You name H, we aid it." That might well he the s'ngan o[ a hard-working group of men and women who, from their suite ol modern ollices in the waterfront area here are to a considerable extent responsible for the prosperity and well- being of five British dependen- cies (a more acceptable word these days than colonies) in the Caribbean and six former colonies which are now States "in association" with Britain. Their official title is the Brit- ish Development Division in the Caribbean and the Etory of Ureir brief existence throws some in- teresting light on the present Btage of the decolonisation era. For example, they tell you that in the period from the be- ginning of 1960 to the end of 1971 they provided no less than (about 295 million East- ern Caribbean dollars) in aid to 11 territories. Of this amount some million went in free grants for develop ment, in technical assistance, and in budgetary aid (some- times called FIGURES STARTLING These figures are the morn startling because at this late stage in the decolonisation pro- cess it comes' as something of a surprise to be told that Britain still has so much responsibility in the Caribbean, ibbean. Under her direct administra- tion are MonUerrat, the Cay- man Islands, the Turks and C cos Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and British Honduras (or Belize ar it now Jikes to call itself) on the mainland of Central America. The other six territories, or "Associated States" as they are officially called, which still rsaintain the British connection in that London is responsible for defence and foreign affairs, are tie islands of Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St. Kitts-Ne v is- Anguilla. (Despite almost total separation from the Govern- ment in St. Kills, the name Anguilla is still officially hyph- enated to St. Kills-Nevis.) A visitor to any of these ter- ritories would doubtless not be surprised la see British made bulldozers dozing away on new roads or sites for hotel and housing construction, an instal- lation of British made tele- communications equipment, or a British expert supervising the construction of a science labor- atory or a police training es- tablishment. "After as an official con- nected with the receipt of aid in one of the islands put it to me, "if you accept aid from Britain to build, say, a radio station or la extend the runway of your airport, it is natural to expect that the machinery used for these purposes will be made in Britain. There is no such thing as totally, alisolutely stringless aid." Nevertheless, at the develop- ment division office here you arc told about some significant figures and policy trends which indicate considerable progress in the stringless direction. For instance, during the six- year period mentioned no less than 36.275 urgently needed new school places have been provid- ed by the Division; and ci- tizens of the 11 territories were trained at post-school level, in- cluding those doing post-gradu- ate and similar advanced work down to Ihose learning, say, to be stenographers. Perhaps most important of all is the fact that only about of those trainees went to the United Kingdom to study, and all the others got their training in the West Indies, about of them in one campus or the other of the University of the West Indies. I was told that, until about the middle of the sixties, out of every six West Indians who went to train in England an average of only one (hospital nurses Included) returned home. TRAINING GOOD With the shifting of emphasis to training locally, skilled West Indians are not now lost to their homelands to anything like the former extent. Furthermore, the training they receive, I was told, was just as good, some- times even belter, than that available in Britain; and it was cheaper for the reason that ex- pensive travel and boarding costs were not Incurred. One important result of the money spent by the Division on technical assistance has been that premiers and ministers in the 11 territories have been get- ting out of the old colonial habit of rushing to London to seek advice on their financial and development problems. Now they have their own experts on hand whom they can consult before making their own deci- sions. Indeed, the future pattern of British aid-giving is likely to emphasize the fact that, as the various schemes in the various territories grow bigger and more complex, increasing at- tention needs to be paid to pro- viding more and more exper- tise. Another significant aspect of the division's development aid policy has been the success which it has achieved in getting rid of budgetary aid that is aid given annuaJly so that a Government can balance its ac- counts. This Is essentially a relict of the colonial era and the govern- ments of the 11 territories, pro- vided they can get on reason- ably well without it, are only too happy to see it come to an end. Only five of the territories (St. Vincent, Dominica, Mbnt- serrat, St. Kitts' and the Turks and Oaicos Islands) received budgetary aid in 1971, and it is expected that this year Domin- ica and St. Vincent will be self- supporting. St. KiUs Is a good example of how development aid is link- ed with budgetary aid. At the moment the Bradshaw govern- ment gets an annual subsidy of about E.C. dollars. Its sugar-based economy is in trou- ble, and the only alternative is to go in for tourism in a much bigger way than has so far been possible. To get lots of tourists you must have an airport capable of taking Ihe big jels; so Brilain agrees to spend some S3 million on strengthening and lengthen- ing the St. Kitts airport; and on the strength of this private investors have already begun lo develop the most suitable pail of the island, Frigate Bay, and to plan hotel construction Iheru. When Uie airport is completed and the hotels have gone up, then it is hoped the need for budgetary aid will cease. Britain's Minister of Overseas Development, Richard Wood made a tour of the Caribbean recently and the indications now are that the division's policv here unlike aid headquarters in other areas it has executive powers to approve local pro- jects worth up to and is involved in the actual hand- ling and management of some projects will be to continue to give aid at the aslonishinglv high level of more than ?7G.80 annually to each of the odd inhabitants of Ihe terri- tories for which it is responsible Jews sentenced MOSCOW (Rcuter) Four Jews have been sentenced to 15 days' imprisonment on charges of hooliganism after a scene al a synagogue in Kiev, capital of the Ukraine, last Saturday, Jew- ish sources said today. The sources said the Jews were among a total of nine person." arrested after a number of other men attacked them, shout- ing insults. CRASH KILLS 4 HONOLULU (Renter) Four persons were killed and four arc missing and presumed dead after a two-engined private plane crashed yesterday in shark-infested waters near the Hawaiian island of Molokai. The plane was a chartered aircraft carrying Honolulu construction workers. old style his style A mighty man was he -with a mighty thirst to match. His style? Lethbridge Old Style Pilsnerl The beer big enough to quench a thirst that was hammered out of heat and fired in the forge. Beer slow-brewed and naturally aged for honest old-time flavour. Old Style Pilsner: you can't beat it! TRADITION YOU CAN TASTE- FAOM THE HOUSE OF LETNBRIDQE