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land settlement through self-help schemes backed by loans from the Credit Corporation. The lands were cleared by the estate authorities and laid out into eighty-seven lots, which allowed each house-owner half an acre of land. When I visited the settlement sixty stilted houses were in various stages of erection and all was being done by the families who were going to live in them. I talked with an Indian and his wife who were living in the one completed room of their new house. The man was a cane-cutter on Skeldon and until now he had lived in a shack fifteen feet by ten feet with his five children. Last December, he told me, he had asked the Credit Corporation for a loan of £200 and soon he was given his first instalment of £50 which he had spent on buying mora and locust wood for his new home. The half-acre plot had already been planted with green vegetables.

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My days on the coast between the Berbice and the Courant et tyne were the most heartening I spent in the Colony. Everywhere there was an atmosphere of achievement and enterprise, a great contrast with the stagnation along much of the coast between the Demerara and the Berbice. One day, perhaps, with imaginative planning and hard work from all, the coastland from the Pomeroon to the Berbice will reach this standard of modest prosperity which the Courantyne has achieved.



It is unwise to generalize about the undefined purposes


which lay behind British colonial policy in its early days. Unwise because such varied interests were present. The work and writings of such men as Warren Hastings or Raffles show that a paternalistic attitude to subject peoples was no mere salving of conscience nor even a cynical wish to increase the economic yield of a territory. There were men whose first concern was the spread of Christianity, and those who did not care what should happen to the 'natives' so long as they themselves would become rich and return to Britain; there were men of humanity and vision, and men who saw the colonies as a means of personal aggrandisement. Even a man like Martyr Smith of British Guiana, who wished to spread the Gospel, deliberately turned his eyes from the sufferings of the plantation slaves. It was certainly the aim of the West Indian plantation owners in the slave-days to nurture the sense of inferiority to the ruling and dominant race which was so easily felt by slaves. One of the means of maintaining this inferiority was to keep the slaves illiterate. It is difficult to know how far this wish of the planters was condoned or encouraged by the colonial administration. Certainly Governor John Murray could say to Martyr Smith in 1823, 'If you teach a slave to read and I hear of it I will banish you from the Colony.' But it is significant that this was not mentioned in the official indictment, although he was accused of 'selling books to the slaves'.

Today the 'new colonialism' is whole-heartedly against any vestige of this curse of the colonial territories, the source both of discontent and the frustration of progress. Yet one occasionally senses that such attitudes cannot be entirely killed in the individual, however enlightened the legislation may be. In the past the gulf between the expatriate British and the Negroes of the West Indies was obvious, and the inferiority was accepted as natural by both sides; but now that a professional class and an intelligentsia have grown up there is no longer any question of the natural inferiority of the coloured

people. In Georgetown, as in all the West Indian colonies, there are Africans and Indians whose cultural standards are far higher than those of many members of the white community. They will quote Yeats, discuss Wagner, make references to Nietzsche, give an opinion on Picasso, or put on a production of The Family Reunion. Yet in general it is true to say that the slave tradition is remembered; the white man is suspicious of the ability of the coloured man to take over his place and the coloured man expresses his sense of inferiority by over-stating

Thatched huts with 'dry latrine'

his case, by claiming capabilities which he does not yet possess. The most frequent cry which one hears in British Guiana is 'Guianization'; the Guianese believe that jobs for which they have all the abilities are reserved for expatriate Englishmen. The fact is that Guianization has already gone a long way; indeed there can be few colonies to show such a high proportion of senior posts occupied by people of local birth. Yet, after looking into a number of individual cases, it still seemed to me that the whites, including those in the central administration, pay lip-service to the Imperial Government's wishes that colonial peoples should be trained for responsibility but, in fact, do not

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encourage Guianization as much as they should not through race prejudice but from a genuine though often mistaken fear of lowering standards. I once heard an Englishman, referring to a Government department headed by an African, say, 'If they'd only send out an expatriate they'd have the whole mess cleared up in a month.' These white suspicions are sincere and sometimes justified, but they create a climate which is naturally resented by the coloured people. They, on the other hand, possess their culture and skills entirely by means of imitation and emulation of the white man; during the century or so of their emancipation the Africans have not had time to build up the inborn sense of cultural tradition-I use the word 'cultural' in its widest meaning-which gives the Englishman his sense of security. Many Africans acquire the tradition in all its complications and understand the standards which the Englishman takes for granted-even if he doesn't observe them. But others half-acquire this culture and nothing convinces them that they have not a great deal further to go. A boy will go to the Technical College for a three-year course, but after eighteen months he will be so proud of, and content with, his engineering knowledge that he will leave the college and get a job. That is a simple instance of what happens in many less definable ways. I once found an Indian member of the intelligentsia reading a bound volume of one of the daily newspapers for 1902 and I remarked on the excellence of its printing compared with the bad printing of modern Guianese newspapers—it was as wellprinted as The Times is today. ‘Ah, yes,' he said, 'there you have an interesting social side-light. In 1902 all the printing out here was done by expatriates from U.K. Then, about 1910, there was the move to let the Guianese take over everything for themselves. The result was printing got worse and worse, and now there's no tradition of good printing left in the Colony, no printer who can hand on a perfect skill.' On another occasion I was talking in the Museum with one of its senior officials, an Indian; a well-dressed African woman of the middle-classes came up to him with some examples of her raffia and basketwork, which she wished to have displayed in the Museum. They were without worth as folk-art and the official politely discouraged her, but she became so insistent that he had to tell her her work was not good enough for the Museum. She showed

her resentment and flounced away. She had no standard with which to compare her work; it satisfied her and she was convinced of its beauty.

It is this lack of standard which makes the whites suspicious, and which gives the most thoughtful Guianese misgivings. It is difficult for the British administration to help towards a higher sense of excellence, but on the vital question of Guianization it could surely do much by encouraging a wider form of education. Every Guianese who leaves his country for higher education should be considered as a precious commodity to return equipped for a key place in Guianese society. Yet almost every student leaves to study either medicine or law-the Colony is immensely litigious. When I expressed my amazement to Gufanese that they did not study geology, forestry, agriculture, sociology, engineering, architecture or any of the other skills which produce an integrated society I was always told that such jobs were kept for expatriates and they could only make a living in medicine or law. I told them I was convinced that if a man came back with a good degree in agriculture or drainage engineering and was prepared to gain experience first in a subordi nate position he would get the senior position in time. ‘No,' they replied, 'they would say we weren't good enough and get a man from England.' As far as I could discover too little is done to dispel this idea. If Britain genuinely wishes her colonies to govern themselves she should see that their men and women are actively and positively encouraged, by scholarships and grants, to study the arts and sciences by which the economy of the Colony is run. The dreary succession of barristers fighting each other in petty litigation is not only a waste of the best talent of the country; it breeds the climate out of which a People's Progressive Party arises.

In British Guiana culture in its more limited sense shares some of the problems which I have outlined, but in many ways it has outgrown the more overt forms of the colonial sense of inferiority. Literature, as in the West Indies as a whole, has become its most successful cultural form, and a literature which seriously realizes the danger of imitating the literature of Europe. Writers in the West Indies are handicapped; there is only one small publishing house in the British Caribbean,

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