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Letter: Could we have gained independence ten years earlier?
Published on February 12, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Could we have gained independence ten years earlier if it wasn’t for Mr and Mrs Joshua sticking their hands in the cookie jar? Do we really consider that E. T. Joshua should be considered as a ‘National Hero’ or under this ULP administration does it qualify him?

Excerpt from the debate of the second reading of the 'West Indies Bill'

House of Commons Debate 31 January 1967
page 19/20 Hansard

Mr Donald Chapman (Birmingham, Northfield)

The real worry is corruption in St Vincent. It has been proved before and it is time we said so. I know that the hon. Member for Surbiton (Mr Fisher) will allow me to say that I blame him partly for some of the situation. Mrs Joshua, the wife of the Chief Minister, was convicted by a judicial inquiry of paying non-existent people from public works funds. The payments were made from her own house and in one case the money to pay them was cashed in the island's treasury by the Chief Minister, Mr Joshua, himself. So I do not believe that he was innocent of the whole matter. What happened? The then British government refused to do more than deprive Mrs Joshua of her portfolio as a minister. There have never been proper proceedings in the courts against her to get the money back. She was not, as she should have been, turned out of the legislature.

Allegations of corruption in the sale of land followed and it is even significant now that, in the present dispute, there is an allegation that an attempt was made to bribe one of the judges with an offer, again, of land below the market price. It all adds up to a picture in St Vincent -- and there is no point in beating about the bush -- of corruption. I hold Mr Joshua chiefly responsible and I think that it was the fault of the British government of the day that the situation was not handled better.

In the circumstances, I do not want to take sides on the election petitions, for that would be quite improper; but in the final settlement of this position it must be accepted that there shall be some arrangements to clear up all these doubts, suspicions and allegations of corruption and some attempt to provide assurance that, when elections are held, the result is not in doubt.

page 21 Hansard

Mr Chapman

Today there must be some way of clearing up other suspicions. There is now this trouble about the accounts of the new deep-water wharf, and I understand that the Canadian government, to some extent, are not entirely happy about the final fate of some of the money that they have put into this project.

Peter Binose
Reads: 1843

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Ricardo Francis:

You are very informed as I am on the issues. I am also very familiar with some of these matters from a Vincentian perspectives, as the information was passed on to me, by the older folks. I appreciate your efforts to spread the information since the public at large may not have this knowledge.

Ricardo Francis
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in waiting

Allan Palmer:

Peter you really dig deep for this information, I never knew that the Joshua couple was up to their neck in corruption. I always thought they were straight up and respected politicians. Peter, Thanks for the useful information.

D. Markie Spring :

I think that if this disqualifies ET Joshua then a lot more will be. Corruption has been the helm of almost every administrations in side SVG and the world around us.

It hard to find perfect quality, however, the qualities should be weighed and discuss nationally before a decision be made

Great inside --- as usual

Peter Binose:

All the other islands got independence from this Bill, SVG were removed from the final bill. I believe it was because of this corruption that it was decided we were not ready.

Peter Binose:

Joshua is one of the Gonsalves prefered people to get SVG National Hero Award. By all means give him the HLP Hero Award, but not National Hero Award.

Give him the Red Rat Award.

RICARDO, most Vincentians don't give a damn.

ALAN, how is the van?

Peter Binose:

Well does anyone at all other than Gonsalves, think that Joshua should be a recognised as 'National Hero'?

Or is this acceptable under the general ULP rules of behaviour.


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