REFERENCE NO. [unclear]
OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE,
[Seal and Motto]
March 19, 1980
Comrade Maurice Bishop,
Prime Minister's Office,
You have asked me to prepare a chronological account on the River Antoine Issue, this I present to you as coming from reliable sources including Agents, Informants and Contacts.
- Three (3) weeks before the Take-Over an Agent informed me that a Committee was formed and meetings were being held at a nucleus house "Janet House" in the area.
- A week after the first information the Leaders were identified. Their names were mentioned.
- Five (5) days before the actual Take-Over my Special Agent asked me to meet him at Sauteurs. We chatted and he was confident that the Take-Over was to be during the next week.
- As informed the action did happen, another Agent called me up the morning and told me who were the ring leaders. I went into the area but did not visit the Estate. I left St. George's at 9.15 a.m. and remained up to 1 p.m. I returned to Headquarters at 3 p.m. and informed Special Branch who were not yet sure of the situation.
At that point information was passed through Special Branch to Comrade Whiteman who issued certain instruction on which Head of Special Branch [Michael D. Roberts] and I noted.
We visited the Scene along with the Commissioner of Police who had similar instructions from the Grenada Prime Minister.
We discovered that:
- What we were told before was true.
- That there was an organised gang pushing the People.
- That these Instigators were intelligent and apparently well read in current affairs and recent history.
- That humane and charitable actions of the Estate Owners were presented to the Estate Workers as tools of Oppression and Slavery.
- That the ring leaders had projected that Government was not a Champion of the little people but an exploiting Agent of the Party.
We then left to return a second time. On our return the next day the people were more relaxed. There was no evidence of drug-taking and drunkenness nor was there the hostility and show of cutlasses that marked the previous day.
The Comrade [Vincent] Noel made an appearance along with [Caldwell] Taylor. There was no general meeting but we dispersed ourselves among the leaders and spoke freely and uncompromisingly about the Take Over. We stressed:
- They were wrong; the action had nothing to do with the Leaders of the Country, therefore it was Sectarian and could not be accepted.
- That their action was destabilizing, it resembled action taken elsewhere which lead to the fall of a Revolutionary Government.
- That their action could not be condoned; If this was allowed then other Estate Workers would take this as a precedent and there would be a repeat of this action all over the State so that confusion would arise.
- The Government had other plans for brining about the formation of co-operative Farms.
- The Government Farms operated at a loss at the end of 1978.
- That large estates privately owned as well as State owned, peasant farmers and co-operatives have all a great part to play in the economic advancement of the fatherland and that things could not be accepted in the form that it was presented.
After much private discussion we left Comrade Taylor and proceeded to the Grenville Receiving Station where the Comrade [Vincent] Noel had a Meeting.
After this I continued to receive Information which explained many things which baffled me in the first instance.
- I thought there were external Agencies pushing the ring leaders.
- I believed that the men could be trouble makers themselves and had notions of becoming leaders.
- I thought that the leaders could have been ignored in the process of Nation building and they were becoming restless because of this neglect and anxious because their peers elsewhere in the State were given a change to promote themselves.
That perhaps the Administration was not sufficiently aware of the burning desire of the Leaders who youthful as they were found it difficult to communicate their inner thoughts without feeling inferior.
That their attempt to misbehave was a method of coming to notice, a way of expressing the fact that they read, they think and they are adventurous.
I received information that many of the workers were not with the leaders; in fact only six (6) workers sympathised with them.
(2) [2 in the text] Two persons were included on the Pay List - Charles and Peters, Votes were not paid. I advised the Management not to pay them so that we could see the Outcome.
This brought on the wrath of the Leadership who assembled one day to have the matter explained and thrashed out. The Manager did not attend on the Estate that day. He was advised against going.
Subsequently the Leaders commanded him to pay least he should be dealt with in a very drastic manner. He did not pay. Nothing has yet happened.
(3) At one stage one Phillip an Adventist who had been a leader in the Preliminary Stage, went back to the Leaders after he had cut off himself from them. He thought he had seen the light and believed they were evil; so after praying on them individually he advised them to make an apology to the Owners. This was agreed upon and Monday 10th March was fixed for this; but the scheme failed. We cannot find the reason but it is believed that they could not humiliate themselves as Leaders to do such a thing.
(4) It was discussed in some quarters that action would be taken after the Celebrations. This the group anticipated and Charles and Peters agreed to leave the Estate but their Counterparts Evan Bhola, Kenneth Budhlall and Briggs Le Moth's Nephew Vespo protested; therefore Charles and Peters remained.
(5) At that stage the people were asked to go on Strike but they could not agree because they saw that they were the losers, one of their member then suggested to the Manager that he would beat Charles and run him off the Estate. The Manager advised him against this.
- At present the people of the area are stealing Cocoa, coconuts, bananas.
- The Leadership made three (3) shipments of bananas through Grenada Banana Co-operative Society. The cheques are still in the hands of the Society (G.B.C.S.).
- The Watchman who was dismissed by the Leadership lost his Cow and went in search of it through the Estate. He was driven off at gun point.
- Considerable damage is being done to the Estate and people of the Fatherland are watching the situation.
- The Estate Owners are tempted to believe that Government is slow in acting.
- The General Plantocracy is anxious, they wonder what is next. This is not a good climate for economic growth.
- Production at the estate is at a standstill and possibly so on the other estates.
- The Leaders are becoming established and might acquire a measure of strength by planning and other tactics. They might even be developing or have already developed a strategy of action.
- The situation is relatively calm; but the men are armed.
- There is no external interference; the leaders appear to have been motivated by an Inferiority complex by what they read or hear or by the quest for romance which is the usual haunting of youthfulness.
- Morale is low among the Leaders. They do not know what exactly is going to be the action of Government. They fear violent action and the hurt of their pride when they would be ultimately thrown out.
This means that they would be expected to retaliate violently if here be tactical errors in any attempt to subdue them.
We must not rule out the possibility that these men could be influenced by evil in our Society, that takes in all kinds of evil forces.
- I am not sure what part the Army will play in handling of the situation. I wish I knew.
- The workers have been dis-united, disillusioned and disgraced by these outside young men who up till now have been the brains and beacon of the Community.
(A) Government can give direction from two standpoints.
- It can take the soft paternal attitude, call the men in and have a Conference with a view to find out more from them and to pacify them.
- Government can have meeting in the area and expose their action. This will embitter them.
- Government can cause Police Cases to be brought against them. That would be too delaying but could be expedited.
- Government can move in with its arms and men and push them out. That would be unnecessary, though it would give satisfaction to many. We have an Image to Build and to Protect.
ANTHONY LUCKY BERNARD
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF POLICE