British Guiana | Guyana Then And Now
8 results I was born in in British Guiana, a British Colony in South America Can anyone tell me if they know the rich neighborhood and what streets that would have been. It was finally decided to defer a decision to some future date. Mr. Fraser said that he felt British Guiana was in the United States' sphere of He had urged Jagan to consider himself as the premier of a country and not just in May would discuss two things; a date for British Guiana's independence and . since the date of British occupation, and what is its character at the present day. We shall see it on its defence against the encroaching influence of. English law, in Colony of Essequibo and Demerara, another for Berbice. In the last years.
In discussing Burnham, Fraser said that he was intelligent and opportunistic. He was, however, an African and would lose out in the long run unless he broadened the base of his support.
He pointed out that Burnham had campaigned almost entirely on a racial basis during the last election. He had not even bothered to issue an election manifesto. Burnham damns all parties concerned. Fraser felt nevertheless that all elements were shocked by the racial factor in the recent riots.
He pointed out that Jagan could easily have called in the Indian canecutters from the field to attack the African rioters. This was probably prevented by the rapid British action in bringing troops to the city.
The violence in Georgetown had been directed mainly against Indian shops. The causes of the rioting would be determined by the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry which had recently been announced. Fraser did not believe that there was an alternate Indian leader within the PPP who could command support equal to Jagan. Rai had been spoken of in this connection but Fraser seriously doubted whether he had the capacity to lead the PPP.
In discussing the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry, Mr. Fraser emphasized that its terms of reference were deliberately being kept narrow. Jagan had initially asked for a United Nations commission which would have placed the problem squarely into a cold war situation.
Fraser had talked him out of this and obtained his agreement to a commission appointed by the United Kingdom. He explained that the United Kingdom had strong moral obligation to hold such an inquiry in view of the presence of British troops in the colony.
He emphasized that it would not in all probability delay independence. In response to a question, Mr. Fraser expressed the opinion that independence would come possibly at the end of but more probably in early He felt the situation would not improve and delaying independence would make things worse. Johnson said that we were worried about things getting worse in the colony and wondered what would happen when the troops were pulled out.
Fraser said that the police force which was now largely African would have to be strengthened. Safeguards would be put into the constitution. He felt that British troops should be pulled out as soon as possible and that the number should be cut down to two companies immediately. Fraser said he was aware of the recent offer by Cuba to take a large number of British Guiana students. It was clear to him that an independent British Guiana would have a neutralist foreign policy.
Fraser urged in the strongest possible terms the importance of the United States sending the economic mission to British Guiana as soon as possible. He said that the time was psychologically right for such a mission and it would have a most favorable impact on the people there. Johnson expressed his concern at the amount of aid which Jagan demanded from the United States. Since this amount was so disproportionate with that available to be given he wondered whether the dispatch of a United States mission and the provision of a very modest amount of money would only cause more trouble.
Schlesinger added that we must also think of the effect on other Latin American countries of aid to British Guiana. He pointed out that on a per capita basis a significant grant of United States aid to British Guiana would place our program out of balance with that being given to an important country such as Brazil.
Fraser indicated that Jagan was desperate for money. The arrival of a U. Jagan himself liked strutting on the world stage and was probably bored with the prospect of tending to his internal domestic knitting. Fraser indicated that the British planned to leave British Guiana quickly but they hoped to leave conditions there as tidy as possible. He said the British companies in the colony were not worried about this and that Bookers and Alcan were not worried about nationalization.
It has yet to be proved whether it would be equally possible if a far greater measure of self-government were given. Jagan himself with is insistent wife at his elbow dominates his party.
Major decisions are made to his dictation in an inner council usually consisting of himself, his wife, Mr. The party executive is then required to endorse these decisions.
Those who are brave enough to resist or question are discredited among the rest of the party. Beharry alone gained some position as a dissident but has not the strength to lead a major break-away. The leaders' preoccupation with Ministerial duties has led to a marking time in party organisation and the spread of Communist teaching. But the party organisation, particularly in the rural areas, is a very long way ahead of its rivals. There is no change in Dr.
He fills his head with Marxist politico-economic theories. They seem to mean more to him than present realities. Perhaps he has faith that world Communism will triumph even in this hemisphere early enough for him to try out his theories.
But with all his theories and arguments, and with all his obsessions and conceits, he has not insisted on any action which seems calculated purposefully to disrupt the present economy and way of life. The minor pinpricks have been all in keeping with much publicised past party manifestos.
It has been noticeable that although the local economy is still buoyant, and all existing projects have been continued, since he came to power there has been no new major investment in the country. It is still difficult to say however whether this return to a previous rate in commercial and industrial development after the sudden flowering of alumina and manganese and oil exploration is due to the uncertainties of investors about Dr.
Jagan's policies and abilities and long-term intentions, or merely to the general North American recession or the non-discovery of sufficiently favourable opportunities.
He has learnt something about development finance; his visit to the United Kingdom and the United States and the subsequent visit here of a World Bank official have taught him that neither threats nor charm will bring money without sound plans, and that the scale of his dreams has little relation to the amount of development capital likely to be available and supportable in this country.
He was a bit thrown off balance by his complete failure to frighten Her Majesty's Government into disproportionate financial help. And he was further shaken by the outright rejection of his subsequent call for coalition to "demand" more financial help and constitutional advance to internal self-government. He has not been so easy to work with since. But his economic theories and the economic vicissitudes of the country take a second place in his thinking.
Self-government and the end of colonialism will always come first. It is for that reason that however difficult the finances and economics, however unfair and disconcerting the political opposition, however seemingly unaccommodating the Colonial Office and local officials, he does not want to give up office. He cannot let anybody else lead the national struggle for independence.
Jagan is feeling the strain of his position. He has ages ten years since the election. He will not accept without suspicion unwelcome advice, even professional advice of those outside his own way of thinking, however distinguished; he has almost nobody inside his party with the ability to help him to resolve his suspicions. He follows his star. He is forced to carry almost the whole intellectual burden himself.
Instead of getting ahead with practical action he causes delays and frustration by his opinions and antagonisms by his dialectics and theorising. Examples of such delays concern the future of rice milling and the marketing of rice, the generation of electricity by nuclear reactors or conventional plant, taxation and development policy, the encouragement of trade unionism and the choice of economic advisers.
He is losing popularity and he knows it but puts it behind him. The opposition to him in the urban and African areas is open and abusive. He must be worried that the latest split in his party executive is no longer led by African Left-wing intellectuals who find it impossible to work with him, but by Mr. Beharry, an East Indian and a popular member of the Government who has gained a slightly spurious reputation for getting things done.
In his own East Indian rural areas Dr. Jagan is perhaps no longer a Messiah. His followers will now discuss and criticise his Government actions. But he has only to speak to them to win them back.
They have certainly not yet reached the stage when they would vote for anybody else. Under our present franchise he would in my opinion undoubtedly still carry the P. His Government does not know how to win friends. It does not seem to want to win friends. It will take on anybody. Let them all come! It has the courage of its convictions. But its convictions are too often irrational obsessions.
I am sure that there is not yet an alternative elected Government.
Jagan's resignation at present would be a disaster. Burnham is the only alternative leader of national size. He is not an attractive character like Dr. The West Indies do not respect him so much and he will never attract the world Press in the same way. He is cynical, superficial, unreliable, prejudiced and irrational.
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But he is the man who appeals to the African masses, and with his wit and cleverness he shows no signs of losing his leadership. In Legislative Council he sneeringly and unscrupulously attacks the Government without regard to the running of the country. He dominates the scene like a favourite pupil more than the Speaker should allow and frequently behaves more like a cross-examining counsel than a Parliamentary debater.
Jagan of the elected Ministers has the authority to stand up to him and Dr. Jagan, with his stubborn confidence in his own opinions, has only minor interest in Parliamentary matters and seldom bestirs himself. But for all his unpleasantness Mr. Burnham seems to be growing and if his turn comes he is perhaps no longer unthinkable as a chief Minister or Premier however difficult and untrustworthy a colleague he might be. During the year, he has brought off on his terms rather than theirs the essential merger of his party with the more moderate African and commercial opinion represented by the United Democratic Party.
The City Council by majority vote have elected him Mayor of Georgetown.
He has established a considerable liaison between his party, the People's National Congress and Dr. Williams' party in Trinidad, the People's National Movement. He has still to succeed in attracting the non-Jaganite East Indians to his party and making it the Guianese Nationalist Party which might be able to challenge the P.
Some people doubt whether he sincerely wishes to have East Indians with him. But he has come out openly against Communism and declared himself clearly for democratic Socialism within the Commonwealth and the Western world. He is taking more advice and of better quality and may even as Mayor learn that with and cleverness are not a substitute for thoroughness and hard work. He has no love for Great Britain. A constitutional convention convened in London in March reached agreement on another new legislature, to consist of an elected House of Assembly 35 seats and a nominated Senate 13 seats.
In the ensuing election of 21 Augustthe PPP won 20 seats in the House of Assembly, entitling it as the majority party to appoint eight senators. Upon the election, British Guiana also became self-governingexcept as to defence and external matters.
The leader of the majority party became Prime Minister, who then named a Council of Ministers, replacing the former Executive Council. From toriots, strikes and other disturbances stemming from racial, social and economic conflicts delayed full independence for British Guiana. The leaders of the political parties reported to the British Colonial Secretary that they were unable to reach agreement on the remaining details of forming an independent government.
The British Colonial Office intervened by imposing its own independence plan, in part requiring another election under a new proportional representation system.
Britain expected that this system would reduce the number of seats won by the PPP and prevent it from obtaining a majority. The December elections for the new legislature gave the PPP In November an independence conference in London quickly reached agreement on an independent constitution; it set the date for independence as 26 May On that date, at 12 midnight, British Guiana became the new nation of Guyana.
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British Guiana and its boundary lines, Western boundary with Venezuela[ edit ] Inthe British Government assigned Robert Hermann Schomburgk to survey and mark out the western boundary of British Guiana with newly independent Venezuela. Venezuela did not accept the Schomburgk Linewhich placed the entire Cuyuni River basin within the colony.
Venezuela claimed all lands west of the Essequibo River as its territory see map in this section. The dispute continued on and off for half a century, culminating in the Venezuela Crisis ofin which Venezuela sought to use the United States' Monroe Doctrine to win support for its position.
US President Grover Cleveland used diplomatic pressure to get the British to agree to arbitration of the issue, ultimately agreeing terms for the arbitration that suited Britain. An arbitration tribunal convened in Paris inand issued its award in A commission surveyed a new border according to the award, and the parties accepted the boundary in There the matter rested untilwhen Venezuela renewed its 19th-century claim, alleging that the arbitral award was invalid.
The British Government rejected this claim, asserting the validity of the award. Efforts by all parties to resolve the matter on the eve of Guyana's independence in failed; as of today, the dispute remains unresolved.
Eastern boundary with Suriname[ edit ] See also: Borders of Suriname Robert Schomburgk's commission also included a survey of the colony's eastern boundary with the Dutch colony of Surinamenow the independent nation of Suriname. The arbitration award settling the British Guiana—Venezuela border made reference to the border with Suriname as continuing to the source of the Courantyne Riverwhich it named as the Kutari River.
The Netherlands raised a diplomatic protest, claiming that the New Riverand not the Kutari, was to be regarded as the source of the Courantyne and the boundary. The British government in replied that the issue was already settled by the longstanding acceptance of the Kutari as the boundary. Inthe Kingdom of the Netherlandson behalf of Suriname, which had become a constituent country of the Kingdom, finally made formal claim to the " New River Triangle ", the triangular-shaped region between the New and Kutari rivers that was in dispute.