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It happened this week in politics - 1959

Published:Wednesday | November 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Robert Lightbourne
Earle Maynier
Morris Cargill
Lord Hailes
Norman Manley (left) and Vernon Arnett.
Edwin Allen
Robert Bradshaw
Donald Sangster
Rita Landale
H.E. Pengelly


Sunday, November 15


Senator Homer Capehart, member of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Sub-Committee, and a party of leading US industrialists made a tour of Jamaica, assessing development and business prospects.

At the end of the day, the senator, one of the top men in the US, declared: "We have a lot of money in the States looking for places to go, and Jamaica is certainly one of the places where it ought to go."

Travelling in a three-car Cadillac motorcade and by plane, the party saw some of the bauxite industry, agriculture and the tourism business.

The day climaxed with supper with the US Consul General Robert McGregor. There, they talked with American and Jamaican businessmen, manufacturers, and labour leaders.

Premier Norman Manley and Finance Minister Vernon Arnett, Jamaica's representatives on the two inter-governmental committees set up by the September Federal Constitution Revision Conference, met with their advisers in a two-hour session. They met to finalise the study of Jamaica's case to be put before the committee, which is to deal with constitutional and political issues at its first session.


Monday, November 16


A National Airlines Miami-to-New Orleans plane with 36 passengers and six crew members crashed into the fog-topped waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Little, if any, hope was held for survivors as rescue and search units sighted several bodies with clothing in tatters floating in the 300-foot deep waters off the southern Louisiana coast.

The Inter-Governmental Committee on Constitutional and Political Issues is expected, at its second sitting at Federal House, to decide on a formula for the composition of working parties, whose job will be to investigate fully all relevant data which can be obtained on the subjects within the committee's terms of reference.

The committee met for the first time and sat for six hours under the chairmanship of Federal Minister of Finance Robert Bradshaw.

It is the first of two committees set up to review the Federal Constitution.


Tuesday, November 17


Basis of representation in the Federal House of Representatives will be considered by a working party of ministers from the 10 territories of the West Indies Federation, it was decided at the second sitting of the The Inter-Governmental Committee on Constitutional and Political Issues.

The working party will prepare detailed proposals in connection with this vital issue, as well as the consideration of interim measures, pending dominion status. The committee had a second day of harmonious deliberations.

The first set of the island's largest cattle sale left the island for Venezuela. The cattle are part of a set of 500 purchased by Vincenti Gilbert, a Venezuelan rancher who owns 10,000 acres of land and expects to use Jamaican bloodstock to build up the pedigree of his herd.

His purchase cost some £30,000. The cattle was bought from all the leading stock farms in the island on a two-week tour Gilbert undertook under the auspices of the Jamaica Livestock Association.

Two flights were made from the Palisadoes Airport and a total of 31 heads left.

The headmistress of St Hugh's High School, Rita Landale, presented her report at the school's prize-giving exercise. A record in examination results and training in rounded citizenship were the main features.

She reported that the largest number of girls ever to sit the higher schools examination entered last year. All the girls who entered passed all subjects taken. The girls won several scholarships, including the Jamaica Scholarship for Girls. Other scholarships were won for the University College of the West Indies and elsewhere.

The girls also entered and did well in the fields of sport, drama, art, essay writing, verse speaking, and music.

Mrs Landale attributed their success to the wonderful staff and the cooperation of the pupils.


Wednesday, November 18


His Excellency the Governor General of the West Indies Lord Hailes warned the West Indies that Federation as an institution is a challenge to the ingenuity and tolerance of a people, and the young Federation of the West Indies is no exception to that challenge.

Lord Hailes delivered his second speech from the throne since the inauguration of the Federation in the small and tightly packed Senate Chamber at the Federal House.

His speech, which lasted 20 minutes, reviewed the activities of the Federal Government over the past 19 months, and gave bare outlines of the Government's proposals for the new session.

The colourful ceremonial added a bright splash of colour to downtown Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, where the Federal House is situated.

Morris Cargill, Federal member of parliament for St Mary, Jamaica, filed a motion for debate in the Federal House of Representatives deploring the failure of the Inter-Governmental Conference held in the Federal capital during September-October, and setting out four principles for implementation in any revision of the Federal Constitution.

The motion reads: "Resolved the House deplores the failure of the Inter-Governmental Conference held in Port-of-Spain during September-October of this year, and requests the Federal Government, in any revision of the Federal Constitution, to implement following principles:

1) Representation in the Federal House of Representative should be based on population.

2) That the Federal Government should have no power to impose income tax, customs or excise duties on imports of any kind on any unit territory without the consent of that territory.

3) That the Federal Government shall not acquire land under the Federal Compulsory Land Acquisition Act in any territory until after consultation and Agreement with the government of the unit territory concerned.

4) No Federal policy on industrial incentives or protection shall be enacted into law so as to affect any unit territory without its consent."


Thursday, November 19


The Honourable Solomon Hochoy was appointed governor of Trinidad and Tobago to succeed His Excellency Sir Edward Beetham, who retires next June.

Hochoy, born in Jamaica on April 20, 1905, is the first native West Indies governor. He joined the civil service in 1927, and started out as depot keeper of the Government Coastal Steamers Department.

He went to Trinidad as baby, and grew up in Blanchisseuse, a fishing village 40 miles from Port-of-Spain.

He was educated in Trinidad, and after winning Government Exhibition in 1917, he worked in several government departments, and was at one time a solicitor's clerk before his first big appointment in 1949 as labour commissioner.

He was appointed deputy colonial secretary in 1951 and is the current chief secretary of the territory. He acted as governor while Sir Edward Beetham was away in England on leave. Hochoy has been especially knighted for the governorship.

Jamaica's proposal, by Premier Norman Manley, for the establishment of a working party to examine the social and economic affairs of the West Indies Federation was adopted by Committee II of the Inter-Governmental Conference Committees set up to consider those aspects of the Federation.

Each unit government will be represented on the working party, which will be under the chairmanship of Earl Maynier, permanent secretary in the Federal Trade Ministry.


Friday, November 20


Two biochemists, one a Jamaican, reported the discovery of a new antibiotic which will attack bacteria immune to older 'wonder drugs' such as penicillin and aureomycin. The antibiotic, named monamycin, is effective against staphylococci, a bacteria strain which is the bane of modern hospitals.

C.H. Hassall of the Swansea, Wales, University College, and Jamaican Kenneth E. Magnus of the University College of the West Indies, told of monamycin in an article published in the scientific magazine Nature.

They said the substance was isolated in a search for a means to curb the fungus, which causes Panama disease in the banana plant. Bacteria of the staphylococci family have become increasingly resistant to the use of older antibiotics in recent years.


Saturday, November 21


A new post of third deputy leader was created in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) by constitutional amendment, and Robert Lightbourne, member of the House of Representative for Western St Thomas, was elected to this post.

Election of officers at the JLP Annual Conference resulted in the return of Sir Alexander Bustamante as leader, Donald Sangster as first deputy leader, and Edwin Allen second deputy leader.

In addition to Lightbourne, two other new top executives were named. They were Gerald Mair, treasurer, and Ian Ramsay, assistant secretary. The post of chairman is held by Rose Leon. Vice-chairman Linden Newland and Secretary D.C. Tavares were appointed to the Executive as elected at the conference.

A call to the island's banana growers to acquire and operate their own line of ships to the United Kingdom, and to set up their own marketing organisation there, was made and fervently acclaimed in the theatre at Morant Bay.

The call was led by H.E. Pengelley, custos of St Thomas, who, in the course of his remarks on the returns which banana growers are getting in the present state of the banana business, declared that the time has come when banana growers should have their own steamship line to take their fruit to the United Kingdom, and their own marketing organisation over there to sell their produce. This will allow for them to get the profits made from carriage as well as marketing, and not just the banana price they get here.