Thoughts & Comments

MT 60 Yrs – 2nd YEAR NO. 48 – 8th  July 1955

His many well-wishers in Mauritius will be delighted to hear that Mr Johnson has been elected to the Executive Committee of the UK Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Mr Johnson tells me that he is looking forward to meeting Dr Ramgoolam, Mr Rozemont, Mr Forget and Mr Seeneevassen when they come here for the Constitutional discussions. Dr Kumria too hopes to see something of the delegation.

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Election in Malaya

People are speculating as to the outcome of the Legislative Council elections in Malaya on July 27. The old Council which had 75 Members, all nominated, has been dissolved. Under the new Constitution, the Council will have 98 Members of whom 52 will be elected. But the Nominees will be appointed after consultation with the Majority Party and will have scheduled interests to represent. It is not thought likely that there will be a leftwing victory so clear-cut as in Singapore recently, but the election will show how much popular support there is for the Malayan parties demands for independence.

The proposals made by Sir Louis Chick’s World Bank Mission include the establishment of a government bank for Malaya and Singapore (and possibly Borneo), with large Government capital expenditure on the rubber industry, agriculture generally, social services and public utilities. These proposals fit in well with the programme of economic development put forward by the Pan-Malayan Labour Party to whom the Mission’s Report comes as a timely ally.

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Soviet church dignitaries in the UK

Exchange visits of church leaders are taking place between the UK and Russia. Eight church leaders from Russia are now in Britain: 4 Orthodox, 2 Baptist and 2 Lutheran. They are here at the invitation of the Church of Scotland whose guests they are in Scotland until July 10. Then, they travel to London and spend a week as guests of the Archbishop of Canterbury at his official residence, Lambeth Palace. The 2 Baptist leaders will be joined later in July by other Russian Baptists who will be coming to London for the jubilee Congress of Baptists World Alliance.

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Political development in the Gold Coast

A group of MPs and journalists spent an interesting two hours last week in the House of Commons, listening to Mr Ako Adjei, Minister of Trade and Labour in the Gold Coast Government, speaking on the political development of his country. Through the dynamic and selfless action of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, that great son of Africa, the Gold Coast has reached its present status of internal self-government; but the nationalist movement, the Convention People’s Party, keep as their goal full independence with – what they still lack – control of the police, armed forces and foreign affairs.

Alongside this political aim, the Government (in which the CPP has a clear majority, with 72 of the 104 seats in Council) is pursuing a policy of progressive economic development and planning aimed at fulfilling the basic needs of the common people. Roads, housing, health services, schools and training colleges – all are vital factors in the development of the country in the interests of the people. Education in particular is being developed, since education is the key to the future, the bedrock of modern democracy.

The opponents of the CPP have failed to make any headway by constitutional methods so they have resorted to violence. The CPP refuses to retaliate however, as it has no wish to discredit itself by stooping to strong-arm tactics. At the back of the opposition to the CPP are the old men, the traditionalists, who wish to see the privileges of chieftaincy restored in full.

The progressive policies of the CPP, opposed by non-constitutional means by those who hate to yield even one jot of their aristocratic privileges, is very reminiscent of Mauritius where the Labour Party, the virile force in Mauritian politics, is opposed by the hysteria of Le Cernéen whose splenetic editorials reek of the atmosphere of pre-Revolutionary France.

But like progressive parties everywhere, the CPP clings resolutely to its proud motto: “Forward ever, backward never!”

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Penguin Book on the Colour Problem

An excellent and cheap book on colour prejudice is The Colour Problem by Anthony H. Richmond, published by Penguin Books at 3s 6d. I heartily recommend this book of over 350 pages; as well as covering the whole field of the colour problem, it is a useful handbook to recent political and constitutional developments in Africa. Mr Koenig and the Parti Mauricien will not however find much comfort in Dr Richmond’s pages where we read, inter alia, that “There is no foundation for the view that because a man is illiterate he is incapable of voting intelligently. The illiteracy rate in Britain was still very high when the franchise was extended to the working man and there were many people who raised their voices in protest…”

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Arya Sabha Mauritius

The Managing Committee of the Arya Sabha Mauritius for the year 1955-56 has been constituted as follows:

Hon S. Boolell President

Mr Sookhoo Rampersad Vice President

Mr Deepnarain Padaruth Secretary

Mr Hurrylall Chooroomoonee Ass. Secretary

Mr Roodraduth Kinnoo Treasurer

Mr Ramlall Goomanee Ass. Treasurer

and

Messrs Ramroop Bhageerutty, Mohit Fokeer, Dr J. Seegobin, Naraindass Sookun, Ramsoondar Deelchand, Giandhun Bundhoo, Pandit Atmaram, Ramkrit Juggessur, Heeraman TeeluckCommittee Members.

  • Published in print edition on 18 September 2015

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