Mr John Hatch

Mauritius Times – 60 Years

When Karl Marx launched his galvanizing war cry – “Workers of the World Unite!”, he certainly did not realize that it was also going to have a far-reaching impact on non-communist workers throughout the world. For there is no doubt today that workers the world over, though separated by mountains and oceans, are making common cause in their heroic struggle for political emancipation and social and economic freedom.

That is why John Hatch, Commonwealth Officer of the British Labour Party, who arrived on Wednesday is especially welcomed to our shores. He is more especially welcomed because he comes from a great political party which is a source of inspiration to workers all over the world including Mauritius.

Between 1950 and 1970, John Hatch served as Commonwealth correspondent for the New Statesman, and developed a lifelong interest in African affairs, serving as a policy adviser to leaders such as Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda amongst others. He was Commonwealth Secretary of the Labour Party during the 1950s, before becoming Director of the Extra-Mural Department of the University of Sierra Leone in 1961. He was made a life peer on 5 May 1978 as Baron Hatch of Lusby of Oldfield in the County of West Yorkshire.

We welcome him warmly because in him we find a distinguished representative of the great British traditions. And we welcome him because of the tremendous help he and the British Labour Party extended to our delegates when they were in London to discuss our Constitution. It can be said, without fear of contradiction, that the British Labour Party and its zealous and illustrious members of the calibre of John Hatch have tremendously influenced the course of our destiny.

In our attempt to build up a solid working-class movement the British Labour Party stands as a model to which we always look up. And we have no doubt that this official visit of Mr Hatch, who happens to be from the Commonwealth section of the British Labour Party, will go a long way towards strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation which so closely bind us together. We are sure Mr Hatch will get first-hand information about our situation over here; he will be able to see for himself what the local Labour Party is doing or is attempting to do, and when he goes back to London he will certainly take with him a lot of useful information which will further enrich the large amount of documentation which the British Labour Party already has about Mauritius.

Mr Hatch seems to have come at the right moment. He comes at a time when the Labour Party has just been returned to power with an overwhelming majority under a new constitution — a Constitution which the advisers of the British Labour Party helped to bring about. It was agreed that the present constitution is a transitional one and if Mr Hatch has the opportunity of assessing its foibles, and we are sure he will do so, he will certainly realise how inadequate it is.

The Mauritius Labour Party has proved its mettle; it has shown that it can supply the brains and the initiative a cabinet system of government would require and if people in Whitehall would say that we are immature Mr Hatch will be there to take up the cudgels on our behalf with greater authority and connaissance de cause.

During his visit, Mr Hatch may well share with us his views on the organisational aspect of the Mauritius Labour Party. Undoubtedly, his rich and valuable experience of party organisation will prove helpful to our Party. It will be also interesting to have his views regarding the relations which now exist between the trade union movement and the Labour Party. We may well let Mr Hatch know that it is being said in so-called responsible quarters that the trade union movement should have nothing to do with the Labour Party. Nay, it is even suggested that the trade union movement should side or should be made to side with anti-Labour forces!

But how much can Mr Hatch see and do within so short a stay! It is indeed a thousand pities that we should say welcome to him and in the same breath to bid him Bon Voyage and happy return home. Nevertheless, we do hope that as an ambassador of goodwill and friendship from the British Labour Party his short but sweet visit to our tiny island would have served its purpose.

Let him take to London our good wishes and our very best greetings of Mauritian workers to our fellow British workers. We do assure them, through him, of our spirit of solidarity and we look forward to the day when the British Labour Party will be installed at Whitehall. May we also assure him of our devotion and sincerity to the Commonwealth family so ably defined by the Vice-President of India in these words:

Commonwealth means for us complete independence and informal association, sharing of ideals though not of allegiance, of purposes though not of loyalties, common discussions which lead to better understanding of our problems and not binding decisions which restrict the independence of member States.

So once again, welcome to our island and bon voyage !

The Dahal Case

It is indeed unfortunate that through a technical mishap on his part Mr Ajum Dahal, President of the Comite d’Action Musulman, should have been unseated from the Legislative Council.

We are sure that Labourites all over the Island and especially those of the Riviere des Anguilles Constituency must deplore the accident which has befallen Mr Dahal. But we can’t help it. The law has to be applied and we think Mr Dahal must take the decision as such and should not get discouraged. Legion are those who are ready to come out and help him in the by-election.

We have every reason to believe that the STAR and KEY entente will work once again. Let our friends be ready at their respective posts.And when the signal is given, Ajum Dahal will again carry the day at Riviere des Anguilles!

6th Year – No 253
Friday 19thJune 1959

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 20 October 2023

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