Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part III

The Royal Grenada Police Force and the Recruitment and Function of Police Aides

Paragraphs 51 thru 52. - "Black Power in Grenada" - The Premier's Broadcast, May 3, 1970

51. On April 21, 1970, a mutiny occurred in the 1st Battalion of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment at Teteron Bay where an Army encampment was established.

On May 3, the Prime Minister, the Hon. E.M. Gairy, delivered a Radio Broadcast on 'Black Power in Grenada.' He said:

There are no significant threats in Grenada today. However, being aware of what has been happening to some of our neighbouring islands - Trinidad and Tobago in particular - one cannot be too cautious, and, consequently, as Premier of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, I feel myself, in duty bound, to address you at this time . . .

There has been quite some talk recently throughout the region about 'Black Power,' about acts of violence and talks about threats . . . I have absolutely no doubt that 'Black Power,' as manifested in Trinidad and Tobago can do a tremendous amount of harm to any country . . . I cannot speak on the merits or demerits of Trinidad and Tobago's case . . . I cannot boast of having the patience of Dr. Eric Williams.

It is said that when your neighbour's house is on fire, keep on wetting your own house.

We are now doubling the strength of our Police Force, we are setting in almost unlimited supplies of new and modern equipment . . . The Opposition referred to my recruiting criminals in a reserve force. To this I shall not say yea or nay. Does it not take steel to cut steel?

I am proud of the ready response to my call on Grenadians, regardless of their record, to come and join in the defence of my Government and in the maintenance of law and order in their country. Indeed, hundreds have come and some of the toughest and roughest roughnecks have been recruited . . . I know that I would have a ready response from the very responsible people of this country who would be dedicated to protecting themselves and their families, their properties and estates and the good name of Grenada as a whole, and if and when the call is made for the formation of the VIUPP - Voluntary Intelligence Unit for Property Protection - men, intelligent young men and old men - and perhaps women will be called upon to join. Our Police Force is being doubled to meet the situation.

The force are aware of the diligence exercised by the Trinidad Police. Grenada's Police Force is certainly not on a lower level than the Trinidad Police Force in any respect. Today, the Grenadian Policeman knows that by his efforts in stamping out the attempts of those involved in Black Power or any other subversive movement, he can win the award of 'Policeman of the Year' and climb the ladder of promotion or receive monetary awards. The Police are geared to keep this country clean and in an atmosphere of peace and quiet at all times.

52. The strength of the Police Force was not doubled; although any Grenadian hearing the speech of the Premier would have been justified in believing that any increases in the strength of the Police Force would necessarily have been done under the provisions of the law.

That speech set the stage for the recruitment of a force of men by the Premier without any legal authority nor statutory control and this state of affairs was fully disclosed in the totality of the evidence of Mr. Gairy himself and that of several other witnesses.

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