Article: 'Done That'
Date: Monday, July 14th, 2003
Source: www.NationNews.com - Barbados
IT'S nothing new.
A concept paper on a political union among three of the More
Developed Countries of the region (Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and
Tobago) was prepared in 1993, says former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd
He made the disclosure recently during an interview with the DAILY
At a recent Press conference Prime Minister Owen Arthur said he fully
supported a political union with Trinidad and Tobago, St Vincent and
The Grenadines and Grenada, but stressed that a concept paper
outlining its framework must be prepared for discussion among the
leaders and the citizens of the respective territories.
Giving the background to the first initiative in 1992, Sir Lloyd
said: "The idea came from Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad
and Tobago in 1991-1992. He raised the idea that Barbados, Trinidad
and Tobago and Guyana should work together in order to `ginger up'
the integration movement which was really lagging at the time, as it
has been lagging since the collapse of West Indies Federation in 1962.
"In the opinion of the leaders of the early 1990s, it was felt that
the central CARICOM movement was only making haste slowly, therefore
Manning came up with the idea that the three Most Developed Countries
(MDCs), Trinidad, Guyana and Barbados, should act as a magnet to the
other territories," he said.
"But it was only an idea. There is no magic in calling something a
task force. A task force is only a group of people working together.
`Framework drawn up'
"We were the task force. I undertook to draw up a framework within
which that initiative by Prime Minister Manning could be given flesh
"I sat and worked with the then Attorney-General of Barbados, Maurice
King QC, to put together a confederal framework. We drew up the
framework, but certain developments arose. I became ill and there was
a delay caused by my illness.
"After that, Barbados ran headlong into a political crisis. Then
there was a change in the Trinidad government and all of these
developments prevented us from discussing the framework and taking
steps to push it forward," Sir Lloyd added.
Pointing out that the three prime ministers of the day were in
possession of the concept paper, Sir Lloyd argued that in the
Caribbean the wheel was often reinvented.
"Let us take the question of the Court of Appeal. There was a West
Indian Court of Appeal established in 1920. This court was
established through the joint efforts of the territories of the
region and the British Colonial Office.
"In 1958, the Federation had a West Indian Court as part of the
institution of the Federation, but we are now reinventing the wheel
with much fanfare with the establishment of the Caribbean Court of
Justice," Sir Lloyd said.[-End]