D E D I C A T I O N
This reprint is dedicated to the memory of Cedric Dover (1904-1961) who was among those who assisted George Padmore in the preparation of the original edition. The author of Cimmeri (1929) Half-Caste (1937) Know this of race (1939) Hell in the sunshine (1943) and Brown Phoenix (1950), the problems of the coloured peoples and the cultural achievements of oppressed peoples were his lifelong concern.
First edition published 1947
Second edition with new material 1963
Portrait on cover by W. Eugene Smith
GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM NNAMDI AZIKIWE
My good friend, George Padmore, alias Malcolm, I. Nurse, was one of the most outstanding protagonists of Pan-Africanism, and I am certain that the decision to reprint the report of the 1945 Pan-African Congress held in Manchester, published under the title The History of the Pan-African Congress, will be received with gratification everywhere.
The roots of Pan-Africanism can be traced to the post-slavery period and during the partition of Africa. The first Pan-African Congress was held in London in 1900; but the Pan-African Congress held in Manchester in 1945 marked the turning point in Pan-Africanism from a passive to an active stage.
This obvious transmutation in the character of the movement was precipitated by the Second World War. The war years had brought a new kind of awareness to many old and young African leaders of the indignities suffered by the black man, everywhere and especially in his own home in Africa. The time was ripe for positive action.
Among the resolutions which were passed at that epoch-making Pan-African Congress of 1945 was the following extract from the Declaration to Colonial Peoples:
"We affirm the right of all colonial peoples to control their own destiny. All colonies must be free from foreign imperialist control, whether political or economic."
Africa has gone a long way since the adoption of this historic resolution, and the time is not far distant when this great continent will be rid completely of all colonialist elements and enemies of progress lurking within its borders — notwithstanding the futile efforts of the misguided racial minority in southern and eastern Africa who still struggle to uphold the tottering fortress of a decadent and moribund imperialism.
What Africa has achieved today is a fitting tribute to men like J. Africanus Horton, Edward W. Blyden, Marcus A. Garvey, William E. B. Du Bois, Caseley Hayford, Herbert Macauley, George Padmore and their successors who were pioneers in this great struggle to restore the pristine dignity of man in the continent of Africa.
The erstwhile sleeping giant is gradually rising from the stupor and debris of the past, and I believe that in a world plagued by greed and self-interest, torn by hatred, cruelty and fear, Africa can yet set a pattern in happy and brotherly peaceful co-existence that will restore sanity of civilisation, may yet prove to be its saviour.
GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM W. E. B. DU BOIS
Today, in the ninety-fifth year of my life, I am happy to write a word of preface to this short history of the Pan-African Congress written by my friend, George Padmore, and containing much of my own writing. It carries messages which must not die, but should be passed on to aid Mankind and to inspire the darker races of Man to see themselves of one blood with all human beings.
I especially remember that great Pan-African Congress of 1945, held in Manchester, England, whose Co-Secretaries were he who has gone on to become Founder of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and that valiant, intrepid leader, Jomo Kenyatta, who will not stop until Kenya has attained its full independence. George Padmore was the organizing spirit of that congress. There were many others there with whom I have worked through the years and whom the world should remember. For that was a decisive year in determining the freedom of Africa.
GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM JOMO KENYATTA
I welcome the decision to reprint the report of the 1945 Pan-African Congress. The Congress was a landmark in the history of the African people's struggle for unity and freedom and I am proud of the fact that I took part in its proceedings.
Pan-Africanism has always influenced my political thinking as well as the political work that I have been able to do. The Pan-African movement was always of importance to our Continent, but now that the area of freedom is becoming vaster and vaster everyday the importance of the movement is increasing tremendously.
I am sure that the report of the 1945 Congress will find a permanent place in the political literature of Africa. It will serve another useful purpose, and that is to remind us of the debt we all owe to the pioneering work of our late lamented friend and colleague George Padmore.
Long live Unity and Pan-Africanism. UHURU
GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM MRS. GEORGE PADMORE
There is absolutely no doubt that the Fifth Pan-African Congress played a key role as the rallying point of the anti-imperialist struggle, and that its resolutions and resulting programmes inspired the leaders who participated in its deliberations to carry forward their endeavours in their native territories.
This is not to say that independence would not have been won if there had not been a Fifth Pan-African Congress; but it may well have been longer delayed and may have been deprived in some measure of the continuity and fusion that have marked the historical sequence of independence in Africa.
That Congress, whose moving spirit and indefatigable convener and arranger was George Padmore, set precise objectives for attainment which formed in essence the basic programme of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People's Party, and governed its organisation.
The Pan-African motif of the African liberation movement was at once struck by Dr. Nkrumah after the accession of Ghana to sovereignty, in his declaration that the independence of Ghana was meaningless unless supported by the freedom of the rest of the continent, a concept which he took a stage further in the call for the unification of the succeeding independent states.
Both the First Conference of Independent States, of April 1958, and the first All-African People's Conference, in December of the same year, were the legitimate heirs on African soil of the Manchester Congress. Nor was it accidental that Dr. Nkrumah and George Padmore, who had been joint secretaries for the Fifth Pan-African Congress, should have been associated in bringing these two conferences together, one as Prime Minister of the newly independent State of Ghana, the other as his Adviser on African affairs.
Much of what has happened since in Africa can be directly traced to the exchange of ideas and experience of the hundreds of militants brought together in Accra in 1958. The contacts then established have been maintained ever since, even if tenuously at times. And they have served to sustain that continuity and purpose engendered at the Fifth Pan-African Congress, which all those who have the interests of Africa and her peoples sincerely at heart must hope will end, before too long, in the emergence of this great continent into total African independence and, for its greater glory and well-being, inter-African unity.
RECEIVED AS WE GO TO PRESS - A GOODWILL MESSAGE FROM DR. KWAME NKRUMAH, PRESIDENT OF GHANA
The Fifth Pan-African Congress which took place in Manchester, England, in October 1945, set as its goal the liquidation of colonialism and imperialism from the Continent of Africa. But from Manchester to the Addis Ababa Conference is a far cry, and Africa has seen great changes in the historic events that have taken place in the life and destiny of her people between those two significant landmarks. We can say with confidence today that our vision has been richly rewarded, for African Unity is no longer a dream.
Previous Pan-African Congress had laid emphasis on agitation for amelioration of colonial conditions. They called for reforms and pressed for nothing more than a voice by colonial people in their own government. The Fifth Pan-African Congress struck a new note. Those of us from Africa, more numerous at this assembly than on the earlier ones, had decided that reformism offered at best a delaying strategy. At worst, it could be met Just as sharply as outright demand for complete and absolute independence.
The most devastating war in history had Just ended, and we felt that it should bring to us of the colonial world, whose labours and resources, whose human and natural wealth had contributed as much as anything else to the defeat of the fascist menace, the same freedom that the conquered countries of Europe were assuming. Freedom, we considered, like peace, was indivisible. Hence we shot into the limbo the gradualist aspirations of our African middle classes and intellectuals and expressed the solid, down-to-earth will of our workers, trade unionists, farmers and peasants who were decisively represented at Manchester, for independence.
We made our resolutions and set out our programmes. It is no exaggeration to say that we went from Manchester knowing definitely where we were going. We were primed for action in the tearing struggle we clearly saw ahead. We had resolved to recover a continent in which only two small corners were free from imperialist occupation. Thirteen years later, in 1958, Heads of eight Independent African States met in Accra. Another five years enlarged our number to thirty-two, and we gathered at Addis Ababa to discuss our unity and to confer with our brothers, the Freedom Fighters from the remainder of the continent, on how to carry on the fight to extend independence to the last corners of Africa.
At Manchester, we knew that we were speaking for all Africa, expressing the deepest desires and determination of a mighty continent to be wholly free. The desire was very emphatically reiterated in Addis Ababa whore the Heads of State and Government of 32 Independent African States representing 250 million Africans, witnessed probably the most important turning point In the political and economic history of any continent.
A good part of that task, still remains, and our determination to complete it is stauncher than ever. We are reinforced by the strength of the Independence that has been won; and our bond of unity, laid at Addis Ababa, will give added force to our efforts to overcome the formidable barrage that is flanked against us.
Although Imperialism is well served by its twin handmaidens of colonialism and neo-colonialism, we will not allow it to remain in Africa to plunder our rightful heritage. The pioneers of the African Liberation Movement who, as a small group of unknown men, met in Manchester in 1945 to challenge and overthrown imperialism, as yet arrogant and powerful, cannot be defeated now, when the people of Africa are awake and vigilant, prepared for any sacrifices. Imperialism's wall has been well breached. Soon all of Africa shall be free. Free In the fullest sense of a continent holding Itself politically sovereign, ordering its economic destiny, and achieving its own cultural and spiritual personality.
Since the Manchester Conference, we have experienced much and learned much. But our aims to liberate and unite the whole of the African continent are undiminished. The republication of this History of the Pan-African Congress comes at a timely Juncture, an occasion not only for looking back over the victories of Pan-Africanism, but as a spur to the achievement of the tasks which still lie ahead.
THE HAMMERSMITH BOOKSHOP LTD.
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LONDON SW13 ENGLAND
Acknowledgements are gratefully made to all those who gave their time and financial contributions in the effort to make the Congress a success. Special thanks are due to the ladies of the Entertainment Committee, who unsparingly devoted themselves to making the delegates as comfortable as possible during their week's stay in Manchester. Their task was competently performed in difficult circumstances of paucity of accommodation and rationing. They were also responsible for the very pleasant social functions which were arranged fro the delegates.
My thanks are also due to Mrs. Dorothy Livings for reporting the conference proceedings and typing the manuscript for publication.
Also to my esteemed colleagues, Miss Dorothy Pizer, Peter Abrahams, Cedric Dover and M. Joseph-Mitchell for their generous advice and assistance in preparing the pamphlet.
CONTENTS. ————————Page WILLIAM EDWARD BURGHARDT DUBOIS—BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - - - - - - - 4 THE CHALLENGE TO THE COLONIAL POWERS - - - 5 DECLARATION TO THE COLONIAL WORKERS, FARMERS AND INTELLECTUALS - - - - - 6 MEMORANDUM TO U.N.O. - - - - - 8 THE CONGRESS IN PERSPECTIVE, By Peter Abrahams - 11 THE PAN-AFRICAN MOVEMENT, By W. E. Burghardt DuBois 13 THE COLOUR PROBLEM IN BRITAIN - - - - 27 IMPERIALISM IN NORTH AND WEST AFRICA - - - 32 OPPRESSION IN SOUTH AFRICA - - - - 33 THE EAST AFRICAN PICTURE - - - - - 40 ETHIOPIA AND THE BLACK REPUBLICS - - - 44 THE PROBLEM IN THE CARIBBEAN - - - - 46 CONGRESS RESOLUTIONS - - - - - 55 FRATERNAL GREETINGS - - - - - 67 DELEGATES AND ORGANISATIONS - - - - 71 COMMITTEES - - - - - - 74 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY - - - - - ?? FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF FIFTH PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS ??
WILLIAM EDWARD BURGHARDT DUBOIS.
"Father of Pan-Africanism."
"There is slowly arising not only a curiously strong brotherhood of Negro blood throughout the world, but the common cause of the darker races against the intolerable assumption and insults of Europeans has already found expression. Most men in this world are coloured. A belief in humanity means a. belief in coloured men. The future world will, in all reasonable possibility, be what coloured men make it."
W. E. BURGHARDT DUBOIS in The Negro, 1315.
William Edward Burghardt DuBois was born at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on February 23rd, 1868. He was graduated B.A., Fisk University, 1888; B.A., 1890, M.A., 1891, and Ph.D., 1895, Harvard University. He also studied at the University of Berlin. From 1896 to 1910 Dr. DuBois was Professor of Economics and History at Atlanta University, where he edited the Atlanta University Studies, 1897-1911. He was Director of Publicity of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, which developed out of the Niagara Movement, of which he was one of the founders in 1905, and Editor-in-Chief of the Crisis, the official organ of the Association, from 1910 to 1932. He returned to Atlanta University and served as Professor of Sociology during 1932-44. Dr. DuBois, who was Spingarn Medallist in 1920, is the "Father" of Pan-Africanism.
In 1924, he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Liberia on the occasion of the inauguration of the President, in addition to contributions to the leading magazines. Dr. DuBois has written Suppression of the African Slave Trade (1896); The Philadelphia Negro (1899); The Souls of Black Folk (1903); John Brown (1909); Quest of the Silver Fleece (19H); The Negro (1915); Darkwater (1920); The Gift of Black Folk (1924); Dark Princess (1927); Black Reconstruction (1935); Black Folk Then and Now (1940); Dusk of Dawn (1941); Colour and Democracy (1945); The World and Africa (1946) He was 1940-44 editor of Phylon, The Atlanta University Review of Race and Culture, which he founded.
The delegates to the Fifth Pan-African Congress believe in peace. How could it be otherwise when fur centuries the African peoples have been victims of violence and slavery. Yet if the Western world is still determined to rule mankind by force, then Africans, as a last resort, may have to appeal to force in the effort to achieve Freedom, even if force destroys them and the world.
We are determined to be free. We want education. We want the right to earn a decent living; the right to express our thoughts and emotions, to adopt and create forms of beauty. We demand for Black Africa autonomy and independence, so far and no further than it is possible in this "One World" for groups and peoples to rule themselves subject to inevitable world unity and federation.
We are not ashamed to have been an age-long patient people. We continue willingly to sacrifice and strive. But we are unwilling to starve any longer while doing the world's drudgery, in order to support by our poverty and ignorance a false aristocracy and a discredited Imperialism.
We condemn the monopoly of capital and the rule of private wealth and industry for private profit alone. We welcome economic democracy as the only real democracy. Therefore, we shall complain, appeal and arraign. We will make the world listen to the facts of our condition. We will fight in 'every way we can for freedom, democracy and social betterment.
Les délégués du Ve Congrès Pan-Africain croient en la pais. Comment en serait-il autrement lorsque depuis des siècles les peuples africains ont été les victimes de la violence et de l'esclavage. Cependant, si le monde occidental est toujours décidé à mener l'humant é par la force, les Africains en dernier ressort pourront en appeler à la force dans leur effort pour gagner la liberté même si la force les détruit 'eux et le monde.
Nous sommes décidés à être libres. Nous voulons l'instruction, le droit à une vie décente, le droit d'exprimer nos pensées et nos émotions et d'adopter et de créer des formes de beauté que nous voulons, sinon nous mourrons pour vivre.
Nous réclamons pour l'Afrique Noire l'autonomie et l'indépendance dans la mesure et dans toute la mesure où dans ce "Mond Un" il est possible aux groupements et aux peuples de se gouverner eux-mêmes tout en restant nécessairement liés à l'unité et à la fédération mondiale.
Nous n'avons pas honte d'avoir été un peuple séculairement patient. Nous consentons maintenant encore à des-sacrifices et à tous les efforts pour 'nous corriger de nos défauts trop humains. Nous ne voulons pas mourir de faim plus longtemps, alors que nous assurons toute les corvées du monde, afin de soutenir par notre pauvreté et notre ignorance une aristocratie perfide et un impérialisme discrédité.
Nous condamnons le monopole du capital et le règne de la richesse et de l'industrie privée pour de simples profits personnels. Nous souhaitons une démocratie économique puisque c'est là la seule démocratie vraie; c'est dans ce sens que nous allons nous plaindre, réclamer, accuser. Nous ferons en sorte que le monde entende les caractères de notre malheureuse condition. Nous lutterons par tous les moyens pour l'amélioration de ces conditions.
The delegates of the Fifth Pan-African Congress believe in the right of all peoples to govern themselves. We affirm the right of all Colonial peoples to control their own destiny. All Colonies must be free From foreign imperialist control, whether political or economic. The peoples of the Colonies must have the right to elect their own governments, without restrictions from foreign powers. We say to the peoples of the Colonies that they must fight for these ends by all the means at their disposal.
The object of imperialist powers is to exploit. By granting the right to Colonial peoples to govern themselves that object is defeated. Therefore, the struggle for political power by Colonial and subject peoples is the first step tow towards, and the necessary prerequisite to, complete social, economic and political emancipation.
The Fifth Pan-African Congress therefore calls on the workers and farmers of the Colonies to organise effectively. Colonial workers must be in the front of the battle against Imperialism. Your weapons—the Strike and the Boycott—are invincible.
We also call upon the intellectuals and professional classes of the Colonies to awaken to their responsibilities. By fighting for trade union rights, the right to form cooperatives, freedom of the press, assembly, demonstration and strike, freedom to print and read the literature which is necessary for the education of the masses, you will be using the only means by which your liberties will be won and maintained. Today there is only one road to. effective action—the organisation of the masses. And in that organisation the educated Colonials must join.
Colonial and Subject Peoples of the World—Unite!
Nous croyons aux droits de tous les peuples à se gouverner eux-mêmes. Nous affirmons le droit de tous les peuples coloniaux à contrôler leur propre destinée. Toute les colonies doivent être libérées du contrôl'e impérialiste étranger qu'il soit politique ou économique. Les peuples des colonies doivent avoir le droit de choisir leur propre gouvernement, un gouvernement sans limitations d'aucune puissance étrangère. Nous appelons tous les peuples des colonies à lutter pour ces fins, par tous les moyens a leur disposition.
Le but des puissances impérialiste est d'exploiter. En octroyant aux p'euples coloniaux le droit à se gouverner eux-mêmes, ils feraient échec à leurs propres visées. C'est pourquoi la lutte des peuples coloniaux pour le pouvoir politique est lre premier pas en avant et la condition nécessaire à l'émancipation complète, sociale, économique et politique.
C'est pourquoi, le Ve Congrès Pan-Africain demande aux travailleurs et aux paysans des coloni'es de s'organiser effectivement. Les travailleurs coloniaux doivent être à l'avant-garde de la bataille contre l'impérialisme. Vos armes (la grève et le boycottage) sont invincibles.
Le Ve Congrès Pan-Africain exhorte les intellectuels et les classes ouvrières des colonies à se réveiller et à prendre concîence de leurs responsabilités. La longue, très longue nuit est finie. En combattant pour les droits syndicaux, pour les droits à former des coopératives, pour la liberté de presse, de réunion, de manifestation et de grève, pour la liberté de lire la littérature nécessaire à l'éducation des masses, il vous faudra employer les seuls moyens par lesquels vous acquérez et conserverez vos libertés. Aujourd'hui, il n'y a qu'une seule voie qui mène à l'action efficace: l'orpanisatlon des masses.
Colonicux et peuples détendants du monde, unissez-vous!
A Resolution calling for adequate representation of the coloured peoples of the world within the United Nations Organisation was presented to the United Nations Secretariat by Dr. W. E. Burghardt DuBois, International President of the Pan-African Congress. It states:
"The undermentioned organisations and individuals representing or supporting the rights of African Negroes and descendants of Africans in the West Indies and the United States of America, strongly endorse and respectfully submit the following proposals initiated by the Pan-African Congress.
1. The great need of the world today is intelligent citizenship capable of controlling the actions of men by democratic methods of government
2. One of the greatest obstacles to this accomplishment is the poverty, ignorance and disease in colonies, especially those in Africa.
3. In spite of all efforts to overcome these conditions by the colonial powers, by philanthropy and missions, and by the efforts of the Negroes themselves, progress is hindered by the difficulties which these Negroes have in making known their needs and wants and the opposition that confronts them. In addition, there is the widespread assumption that Negroes lack the intelligence to express their views and can only be represented by imperial governments or by other spokesmen not of their own choosing.
4. It is just, proper, and necessary that provision be made for the participation of designated representatives of the African colonial peoples in such business of the United Nations as concerns them. The truth of this principle cannot be denied. Provision should be made for such participation to the maximum extent possible under the present charter of the United Nations, so that the grievances and demands of the Africans can be freely expressed.
Already for nearly half a century peoples of African descent have been holding Congresses. Their object has been to increase mutual knowledge of each other and cooperation among the various African peoples and their descendants in America. Such Congresses have been lie Id in London, 1910; Paris, 1919; London, Paris, Brussels, 1921; London, Paris, Lisbon, 1923; New York, 3927; Manchester. England, 1945. Other conferences of African peoples have also been held during recent rears. The organisation of
the Pan-African Congress has not been wholly representative, but it has far-reaching and increasing influence among Negroes and has helped to bring persons of Negro descent in the Americas in sympathy and co-operation with their African brethren.
American and West Indian citizens of Negro descent regard it as especially appropriate that they should share in the responsibility for the liberation and modern development of Africa. They have already shown the world that they contribute to human progress. Moreover, African Negroes themselves have made far more progess [sic] in modern culture than they are usually given credit for and have a growing class of educated persons capable of expressing their desires. Even those who lack modern education have die training of ancient and highly developed cultural patterns which render their opinions and desires of value."
Organisations which supported the petition:—
New York State Conference, NAACP; James Egert Allen, President.
National Council of Negro Women, Inc.; Mary McLeod Bethune, Founder, President.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Mae Wright Downs.
National Sunday School, B.T.U. Congress; Dr. W. H. Jernagin, President.
National Bar Association; Earl B. Dickerson, President.
West Coast Regional Office, NAACP; N. W. Griffin. Regional Secretary.
American Teachers' Association; Walter N. Ridley President.
National Association of Coloured Women, Inc.; Mrs. Christine S. Smith, President.
Non-Partisan Interfaith Citizens Committee; C. B. Powell, A. Qayron Powell, Co-Chairman.
National Negro Congress; Max Ycrgan, President. Council on African Affairs; Max Yergan, Executive Director.
Southern Negro Youth Congress; Esther V. Cooper, Executive Secretary.
Improved Order of Elks of the World; J. Finley Wilson, Grand Exalted Ruler.
Negro Newspaper Publishers Association; Frank L. Stanley, President.
National Baptist Convention, U.S.A.; D. W. Jemison, President,
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; George A. Parker, National President.
National Medical Association; W. A. Younge, President.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity; Augustus G. Parker, Grand Polemarch.
Second Episcopal District, A.M.E. Zion Church; Bishop W. J. Walling, Presiding.
Alpha Phi Alpha; Belford Lawson, President. Pan-African Federation, Manchester, England, affiliated with 12 organisations of Negroes in Europe and Africa; Peter Milliard, M.D., President; T. R. Makonnen, Treasurer.
League of Coloured Peoples, M. Joseph-Mitchell, Secretary.
National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons, representing 140 organizations, 410 towns in British West Africa; Nnamdi Azikiwe, President.
Non-European Unity Committee, Union of South Africa; Z. R. Mahabane, Chairman.
His Excellency Ras Hss Immru of Imperial Ethiopian Legation has expressed his "sympathy for your efforts in the interest and welfare of the African people and to wish you success."
Nyasaland African Congress; C. Matinga, President-General.
The African Development Association; F. C. Archer, Founder, Secretary-Treasurer.
St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union; Jos. N. France, General Secretary.
Trades Union Congress of Jamaica; Ken Hill, Vice-Chairman.
The Barbados Progressive League; Grantley Adams, President; H. W. Springer, General Secretary.
The Barbados Workers' Union; H, W. Springer, General Secretary.
International African Service Bureau; George Padmore, Chairman.
Kenya African Union; W. W. W. Awori, Secretary.
Kikuyu Central Association of Kenya; Jomo Keryatta, Secretary.
West African Youth League (Sierra Leone); Wallace Johnson, Secretary.
Caribbean Labour Congress; Richard Hart, Secretary.
By Peter Abrahams (South Africa).
Publicity Secretary, Pan-African Congress.
The Fifth Pan-African Congress was held in the Chorlton Town Hall, Manchester, from October 13th—21st, 1945. Some two hundred delegates holding mandates from political, social and trade union organisations, attended. Dr. W. E. Burghardt DuBois, the eminent Negno scholar and writer, was unanimously elected International President of the Congress. This Congress, therefore, was the most representative yet assembled by African and peoples of African descent to plan and work for the liquidation of Imperialism.
On the occasion of the British Labour's victory over Toryism, the Pan-African Federation issued an Open Letter to Prime Minister Attlee, in which it declared that "to condemn the Imperialism of Germany, Japan and Italy while condoning that of Britain would be more than dishonest. It would be a betrayal of the sacrifice and sufferings and the toil and sweat of the common people of Britain. All Imperialism is evil." Believing this, the Federation therefore demanded "for the Colonial peoples the immediate right to self-determination" as an effective step in the process of banishing wars.
Once again at the Fifth Pan-African Congress the banner against Imperialism, against man's political and territorial domination by other men was raised high by representatives of the Colonial and Coloured masses. By its behaviour, the European Left, with rare exceptions, has forfeited the right to leadership of the struggle against Imperialism. The delegates to the Fifth Pan-African Congress brought the spirit and purpose of a new leadership.
The background of the Congress is discussed by Dr. W. E. B. DuBois in the address which follows. He can, justly, be called the "Father" of the Pan-African movement, motivated by the inspiration of contacts with Negroes of different origins and nationalities. "My plans," he writes In Dusk of Dawn, "had in them nothing spectacular nor revolutionary. If in decades or a century they resulted in such world organisation of black men as would oppose a united front to European aggression, that certainly would not have been beyond my dream . . . . Out of this there might come, not race war and opposition, but broader cooperation with the white rulers of the world, and a chance for peaceful and accelerated development of black folk."
The more immediate inspiration of the Fifth Congress arose after the World Trade Union Conference in London in February, 1945. The Colonial delegates to the World Trade Union Conference were invited to Manchester, where the British section of the Pan-African Federation was just in the process of coming to life. An informal meeting was held, at which representatives from the various Colonies exchanged information and discussed their problems. As a
result of these discussions, George Padmore, Chairman of the International African Service Bureau, threw out the idea of convening another Pan-African Congress. It was warmly received and endorsed by Dr. Peter Milliard, President of the British Section of the Pan-African Federation, and its Treasurer, T. R. Makonnen; Jomo Kenvatta, Secretary of the Kikuyu Central Association of Kenya, I. T. A. Wallace-Johnson, General Secretary of the West African (Sierra Leone) Youth League, and representatives of Negro organisations in Great Britain. The oversea delegates took it to their respective countries and discussed it with their peoples. The response was immediate, and the business of organising the Fifth Congress quickly proceeded.
Earlier in 1945, a Subject Peoples' Conference was held in London. It was not as representative as the Fifth Pan-African Congress, but Indians, Burmese, Ceylonese, Malayans, Africans, West Indians, and others, took part. Representation was mainly from Colonial organisations in Britain.
This Subject Peoples' Conference was largely an exploratory gathering aimed at the setting-up of some permanent organisation for the co-ordination of the Colonial struggle. Its success and the warm response to the World Pan-African Congress and officially organised Asian Relations Conference in India, bring international Colonial and Coloured unity in sight.
Our own contribution to this unity has expanded, since the Fifth Pan-African Congress, into the closer establishment of fraternal contacts between the African and Asiatic liberation movements, out of which it is hoped that in due course a Colonial and Coloured Peoples' Freedom Front will develop.
We see, then, that the Colonial struggle has entered a new phase, a militant phase. It is important that the Left in Britain and other Imperialist countries should recognise this and aid it. But while militant, this phase is not chauvinistic, narrow or racial. It is positive and constructive. This is evident in the declarations made at the Fifth Pan-African Congress and the resolutions adopted by it, which are recorded in this report. It is a synthesis of experience and deliberate opinion that clearly reflects the political economic and social aspirations of Africans and peoples of African descent. Indeed it constitutes the programme upon which the struggle for national liberation and social emancipation of the Colonial and Coloured peoples will be based, a struggle which must be fought and won before we can establish the Century of the Common Man.
FORWARD TO THE SOCIALIST UNITED STATES OF AFRICA!
LONG LIVE PAN-AFRICANISM!
By W. E. Burghardt DuBois (U.S.A.)
International President, Pan-African Congress.
The idea of one Africa uniting the thought and ideals of all native peoples of the dark continent belongs to the twentieth century, and stems naturally from the West Indies and the United States. Here various groups of Africans, quite separate in origin, became so united in experience, and so exposed to the impact of a new culture, that they began to think of Africa as one idea and one land. Thus, late in the eighteenth century, when a separate Negro Church was formed in Philadelphia,, it called itself "African"; and there were various "African" societies in many parts of the United States.
It was not, however, until 1900 that a black West Indian barrister, H. Sylvester-Williams, of Trinidad, practising in London, called together a "Pan-African" Conference. This meeting attracted attention, put the word "Pan-African" in the dictionaries for the first time, and had some thirty delegates, mainly from England and the West Indies, with a few coloured Americans. The Conference was welcomed by the Lord Bishop of London, and a promise was obtained from Queen Victoria through Joseph Chamberlain not to "overlook the interests and welfare of the native races."
This meeting had no deep roots in Africa itself, and the movement and the idea died for a generation. Then came the First World War, and among American Negroes at its close there was determined agitation for the rights of Negroes throughout the world, particularly in Africa. Meetings were held, a petition was sent to President Wilson, and finally, by indirection I secured passage on the Creel press boat, the "Orizaba," and landed in France in December, 1918.
I went with the idea of calling a "Pan-African Congress" and trying to impress upon the members of the Peace Congress sitting at Versailles the importance of Africa in the future world. I was without credentials or influence, but the idea took on.
I tried to get a conference with President Wilson, but only got as far as Colonel House, who was sympathetic but non-committal. The Chicago Tribune said, January 19th, 1919, in a dispatch from Paris dated December 30th, 1918:
An Ethiopian Utopia, to be fashioned out of the German colonies, is the latest dream of leaders of the Negro race who are here at the invitation of the United States Government as part of the extensive entourage of the American peace delegation. Robert R. Moton, sucessor of the late Booker Washington as head of Tusk ogee Institute, and Dr. William E. B. DuBois, Editor of the Crisis, are promoting a Pan-African Conference to be held here during the winter while the
Peace Conference is on full blast. It is to embrace Negro leaders from America, Abyssinia, Liberia, Haiti, and the French and British colonies and other parts of the black world. Its object is to get out of the Peace Conference an effort to modernize the dark continent, and in the world reconstruction to provide international machinery looking toward the civilization of the African natives.
The Negro leaders are not agreed upon any definite plan, but Dr. DuBois has mapped out a scheme which he has presented in the form of a memorandum to President Wilson. It is quite Utopian, and it has less than a Chinaman's chance of getting anywhere in the Peace Conference, but it is nevertheless interesting. As "self-determination" is one of the words to conjure with in Paris nowadays, the Negro leaders are seeking to have it applied, if possible, in a measure to their race in Africa.
Dr. DuBois sets forth that while the principle of self-determination cannot be applied to uncivilised peoples, yet the educated blacks should have some voice in the disposition of the German colonies. He maintains that in settling what is to be done with the German colonies the Peace Conference might consider the wishes of the intelligent Negroes in the colonies themselves, the Negroes of the United States and of South America and the West Indies, the Negro Governments of Abyssinia, Liberia and Haiti, the educated Negroes in French West Africa and Equatorial Africa, and in British Uganda, Nigeria, Basutoland, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Gold Coast, Gambia and Bechuanaland and in the Union of Africa.
Dr. DuBois' dream is that the Peace Conference could form an inter-nationalized Africa, to have as its basis the former German colonies, with their 1,000,000 square miles and 12,500,000 population.
"To this," his plan reads, "could be added by negotiation the 800,000 square miles and 9,000,000 inhabitants of Portuguese Africa. It is not impossible that Belgium could be persuaded to add to such a State the 900,000 square miles and 9,000,000 natives of the Congo, making an international Africa with over 2,500,000 square miles of land and over 20,000,000 people.
"This Africa for the Africans could be under the guidance of international organization. The governing international commission should represent not simply Governments, but modern culture, science, commerce, social reform, and religious philanthropy. It must represent not simply the white world, but the civilised Negro world.
"With these two principles the practical policies to be followed out in the government of the new States should involve a thorough and complete system of
modern education, built upon the present government, religion, and customary law of the churches. Within ten years 20,000,000 black children ought to be in school. Within a generation young Africa should know the essential outlines of modern culture. From the beginning the actual general government should use both coloured and white officials.
"We can, if we will, inaugurate on the dark continent a last great crusade for humanity. With Africa redeemed, Asia would be safe and Europe indeed triumphant."
Members of the American delegation and associated experts assured me that no congress on this matter could be held in Paris because France was still under martial law; but the ace that I had up my sleeve was Blaise Diagne, the black deputy from Senegal and Commissaire-Général in charge of recruiting native African troops. I went to Diagne and sold him the idea of a Pan-African Congress. He consulted Clemenceau, and the matter was held up two wet, discouraging months. But finally we got permission to hold the Congress in Paris. "Don't advertise it," said Clemenceau, "but go ahead." Walter Lippman wrote me in his crabbed hand, February 20th, 1919: "I am very much interested in your organization of the Pan-African Conference, and glad that Clemenceau has made it possible. Will you send me whatever reports you may have on the work?"
The Dispatch, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 16th, 1919, said: "Officials here are puzzled by the news from Paris that plans are going forward there for a Pan-African Conference to be held February 19th. Acting Secretary Polk said today the State Department had been officially advised by the French Government that no such Conference would be held. It was announced recently that no passports would be issued for American delegates desiring to attend the meeting." But at the very time that Polk was assuring American Negroes that no Congress would be held, the Congress actually assembled in Paris.
This Congress represented Africa partially. Of the fifty-seven delegates from fifteen countries, nine were African countries with twelve delegates. The other delegates came from the United States, which sent sixteen, and the West Indies, with twenty-one. Most of these delegates did not come to France for this meeting, but happened to be residing there, mainly for reasons connected with the war. America and all the colonial powers refused to issue special visas.
The Congress influenced the Peace Conference. The New York Evening Globe, February 22nd, 1919, described it as "the first assembly of the kind in history, and has for its object the drafting of an appeal to the Peace Conference to give the Negro race of Africa a chance to develop unhindered by other races. Seated at long green tables in the council room today were Negroes in the trim uniform
of American Army officers, other American coloured men in frock coats or business suits, polished French. Negroes who hold public office, Senegalese who sit in the French Chamber of Deputies . . . . "
The Congress specifically asked that the German colonies be turned over to an international organization instead of being handled by the various colonial powers. Out of this idea came the Mandates Commission. The resolutions of the Congress said in part:
(a) That the Allied and Associated Powers establish a code of law for the international protection of the natives of Africa, similar to the proposed international code for labour.
(b) That the League of Nations establish a permanent Bureau charged with the special duty of over-seeing the application of these laws to the political, social, and economic welfare of the natives.
(c) The Negroes of the world demand that hereafter the natives of Africa and the peoples 01 African descent be governed according to the following-principles:
1. The land and its natural resources shall be held in trust for the natives and at all rimes they shall have effective ownership of as much land as they can profitably develop.
2. Capital. The investment of capital and granting of concessions shall be so regulated as to prevent die exploitation of the natives and the exhaustion of the natural wealth of the country. Concessions shall always be limited in time and subject to State control. The growing social needs of the natives must be regarded and the profits taxed for social and material benefit of the natives.
3. Labour: Slavery and corporal punishment shall be abolished and forced labour except in punishment for crime; and the general conditions of labour shall be prescribed and regulated by the State.
4. Education: It shall be the right of every native child to learn to read and write his own language, and the language of the trustee nation, at public expense, and to be given technical instruction in some branch of industry. The State shall also educate as large a number of natives as possible in higher technical instruction in some branch of industry. The State shall also educate as large a number of natives as possible in higher technical and cultural training and maintain a corps of native teachers . . . .
5. The State: The natives of Africa must have the right to participate in the Government as far as their development permits in conformity with the principle that the Government exists for the natives, and not the 'natives for the Government. They shall at once be allowed to participate in local and tribal government according to. ancient usage, and this participation shall gradually extend, as education and experience proceeds to the higher offices of State, to the end that, in time, Africa be ruled by consent of the Africans . . . . Whenever it is proven that African natives are not receiving just treatment at the hands of any State or that any State deliberately excludes its civilised citizens or subjects of Negro descent from its body politic and cultural, it shall be the duty of the League of Nations to bring the matter to the civilized World.
The New York Herald, Paris, February 24th, 1919, said: "There is nothing unreasonable in the programme, drafted at the Pan-African Congress which was held in Paris last week. It calls upon the Allied and Associated Powers to draw up an international code of Jaw for the protection of the nations of Africa, and to create, as a section of the League of Nations, a permanent bureau to ensure observance of such laws and thus further the racial, political, and economic interests of the natives."
The idea of Pan-Africa having been thus established, we attempted to build a real organization. We went to work first to assemble a more authentic Pan-African Congress and movement. We corresponded with Negroes in all parts of Africa and in other parts of the world, and finally arranged for a Congress to meet in London, Brussels, and Paris, in August and September, 1921. Of the hundred and thirteen delegates to this Congress, forty-one were from Africa, thirty-five from the United States, twenty-four represented Negroes living in Europe, and seven were from the West Indies. Thus the African element showed growth. They came for the most part, but not in all cases, as individuals, and more seldom as the representatives of organizations or of groups.
The Pan-African movement this began to represent a growth and development; but it immediately ran into difficulties First of all, there was the natural reaction of war and the determination on the part of certain elements in England, Belgium, and elsewhere, to recoup their war losses by intensified exploitation of colonies. They were suspicious of native movements of any sort. Then, too, there came simultaneously another movement, stemming from the West Indies, which accounted for our small West Indian representation. This was in its way a people's movement rather than a movement of the intellectuals. It was
led by Marcus Garvey, and it represented a poorly conceived but intensely earnest determination to unite the Negroes of the world, more especially in commercial enterprise. It used all the nationalist and racial paraphernalia of popular agitation, and its strength lay in its backing by the masses of West Indians and by increasing numbers of American Negroes. Its weakness lay in its demogogic leadership, its intemperate propaganda, and the natural fear which it threw into the colonial powers.
The London meetings of the Congress were held in Central Hall, opposite Westminster Abbey, August 28th and 29th, 1921. They were preceded by conference with the International Department of the English Labour Party, where the question of the relation of white and coloured labour was discussed. Beatrice Webb, Leonard Wolf, Mr. Gillies, Norman Leys, and others were present.
Paul Otlet, once called Father of the League of Nations, wrote me in April, 1921: "I am very happy to learn your decision. We can put at your disposal the Palais Mondial for your Pan-African Conference, August 31st and September 1st and 2nd." Otlet and La Fontaine, the Belgian leaders of internationalism, welcomed the meeting warmly to Belgium, but strong opposition arose. The movement was immediately confounded by the press and others as a part of, if not the real, "Garvey Movement."
The Brussels Neptune wrote, June 14th: "Announcement has been made . . . of a Pan-African Congress organized at the instigation of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People of New York. It is interesting to note that this association is directed by personages who it is said in the United States have received remuneration from Moscow (Bolsheviki). The association has already organized its propaganda in the lower Congo, and we must not be astonished if some day it causes grave difficulties in the Negro village of Kinshasa, composed of all the ne'er-do-wells of the various tribes of the Colony, aside from some hundreds of labourers."
Nevertheless, meetings of interest and enthusiasm were held. The Crisis reported: "The Congress itself was held in the marvellous Palais Mondial, the World Palace situated in the Conquantenaire Park. We could not have asked for a better setting. But there was a difference. In the first place, there were many more white than coloured people— there are not many of us in Brussels—and it was not long before we realized that their interest was deeper, more immediately significant, than that of the white people we had found elsewhere. Many of Belgium's economic and material interests centre in Africa in the Belgian Congo. Any interference with the 'natives might result in an interference with the sources from which so many Belgian capitalists drew their prosperity."
Resolutions which were passed without dissent at the meeting in London contained a statement concerning Bel-
gium, criticizing her colonial regime although giving her credit for plans of reform for the future. This aroused bitter apposition in Brussels, and an attempt was made to substitute an innocuous statement concerning good will and investigation which Diagne declared adopted in the face of a clear majority in opposition.
At the Paris meeting the original London resolutions, with some minor corrections, were adopted. They were in part:
To the World: The absolute equality of races, physical, political, and social, is the founding stone of world and human advancement. No one denies great differences of gift, capacity, and attainment among individuals of all races, but the voice of Science, Religion, arid practical Politics is one in denying the God-appointed existence of super-races, or of races, naturally and inevitably and eternally inferior.
That in the vast range of time, one group should in its industrial technique, or social organization, or spiritual vision, lag a few hundred years behind another, or forge fitfully ahead, or come to differ decidedly in thought, deed and ideal, is proof of the essential richness and variety of human nature, rather than proof of the co-existence of demigods and apes in human form. The doctrine of racial equality does nut interfere with individual liberty: rather it fulfils it. And of all the various criteria of which masses of men have in the past been prejudged and classified, that of the colour of the skin and texture of the hair is surely the most adventitious and idiotic . . . .
The beginning of wisdom in inter-racial contact is the establishment of political institutions among suppressed peoples. The habit of democracy must be made to encircle the earth. Despite the attempts to prove that its practice is the secret and divine gift of the few, no habit is more natural or more widely spread among primitive people, or more easily capable of development among masses. Local self-government with a minimum of help and oversight can be established tomorrow in Asia, in Africa, America, and the Isles of the sea. It will in many instances need general control and guidance, but it will fail only when that guidance seek ignorantly and consciously its own selfish ends and not the people's liberty and good.
Surely in the twentieth century of the Prince of Peace, in the millenium of Mohammed, and in the mightiest Age of Human Reason, there can be found in the civilized world enough of altruism, yearning, and benevolence to develop native inst tiit'ons whose aim is not profit and power of the few . . . .
What, then, do those demand who see these evils of the colour line and racial discrimination, and who believe in the divine right of suppressed and backward people
to learn and aspire and be free? The Negro race through their thinking intelligentsia demand:
1. The recognition of civilized men as civilized despite their race or colour.
2. Local self-government for backward groups, deliberately rising as experience and knowledge grow to complete self-government under the limitation of a self-governed world.
3. Education in self-knowledge, in scientific truth, and in industrial technique, undivorced from the art of beauty.
4. Freedom in their own religion and social customs and with the right to be different and nonconformist.
5. Co-operation with the rest of the world in government, industry, and art on the bases of Justice, Freedom, and Peace.
6. The return to Negroes of their land and its natural fruits, and defence against the unrestrained greed of invested capital.
7. The establishment under the League of Nations of an international institution for study of the Negro problems.
8. The establishment of an international section of the Labour Bureau of the League of Nations, charged with the protection of native labour . . . .
In some such words and thoughts as these we seek to express our will and ideal, and the end of our untiring effort. To our aid, we call all men of the earth who love justice and mercy. Out of the depths we have cried unto the deaf and dumb masters of the world. Out of the depths we cry to our own sleeping souls. The answer is written in the stars.
The whole press of Europe took notice of these meetings, and more especially of the ideas behind the meeting. Gradually they began to distinguish between the Pan-African Movement and the Garvey agitation. They praised and criticized. Sir Harry Johnston wrote: "This is the WEAKNESS of all the otherwise grand efforts of the Coloured People in the United States to pass on their own elevation and education and political significance to the Coloured Peoples of Africa: they know so LITTLE ABOUT REAL Africa."
Even Punch took a good-natured jibe (September 7th, 1921): "'A PAN AFRICAN MANIFESTO,' 'NO ETERNALLY INFERIOR RACES' (headlines in The Times) No, but in the opinion of our coloured brothers some infernally superior ones!"
The Second Pan-African Congress had sent me with a committee to interview the officials of the League of Nations in Geneva. I talked with Rappard, who headed the Mandates Commission; I saw the first meeting of the Assembly; and especially I had an interesting interview with Albert Thomas, head of the ILO. Working with Monsieur Bellegarde of Haiti, a member of the Assembly, we brought the status of Africa to the attention of the League. The League published our petition as an official document, saying in part:
The Second Pan-African Congress wishes to suggest that the spirit of the world moves toward self-government as the ultimate aim of all men and nations, and that consequently the mandated areas, being peopled as they are so largely by black folk, have a right to ask that a man of Negro descent, properly fitted in character and training, be appointed a member of the Mandates Commission so soon as a vacancy occurs.
The Second Pan-African Congress desires most earnestly and emphatically to ask the good offices and careful attention of the League of Nations to the condition of civilised persons of Negro descent throughout the world. Consciously and sub-consciously, there is in the world today a widespread and growing feeling that it is permissible to treat civilized men as uncivilized if they are coloured and more especially of Negro descent. The result of this attitude and many consequent laws, customs, and conventions, is that a bitter feeling of resentment, personal insult, and despair is widespread in the world among those very persons whose rise is the hope of the Negro race.
We are fully aware that the League of Nations has little, if any, direct power to adjust these matters, but it has the vast moral power of public world opinion, and as a body conceived to promote Peace and Justice among men. For this reason we ask and urge that the League of Nations take a firm stand on the absolute equality of races, and that it suggest to the colonial powers connected with the League of Nations to form an International Institute for the study of the Negro problem, and for the evolution and protection of the Negro race.
Late Bellegarde revealed to the world the disgrace of the bombing of the African Bondelschwartz, and in retaliation was recalled by the American forces then in power in Haiti.
We sought to have these meetings result in a permanent organization. A secretariat was set up in Paris and functioned for a couple of years, but it was not successful. Just as the Garvey movement made its thesis industrial co-operation, so the new young secretary of the Pan-African movement, a coloured Paris public school
teacher, wanted to combine investment and profit with the idea of Pan-Africa. He wanted American Negro capital for this end. We had other ideas.
This crucial difference of aim and method between our Paris office and the American Negro interested in the movement nearly ruined the organization. The Third Pan-African Congress was called for 1923, but the Paris secretary postponed it. We persevered, and finally without proper notice or preparation, met in London and Lisbon late in the year. The London session was small and was addressed by Harold Laski and Lord Olivier and attended by H. G. Wells. Ramsay McDonald was kept from a tending only by the pending election, but wrote: Anything I can do to advance the cause of your people on your recommendation, I shall always do gladly."
The meeting of the Congress in Lisbon was more successful. Eleven countries were represented there,. and especially Portuguese Africa. The Liga Africana was in charge. "Thee great association of Portuguese Negroes with headquarters at Lisbon which is called the Liga Africana is an actual federation of all the indigenous associations scattered throughout the five provinces of Portuguese Africa and representing several million individuals . . This Liga Africana which functions at Lisbon in the very heart of Portugal, so to speak, has a commission from all the other native organizations and knows how to express to the Government in no ambiguous terms but in a highly dignified manner all that should be said to avoid injustice or to bring about the repeal of harsh laws. That is why the Liga Africana of Lisbon is the director of the Portuguese African movement; but not only in the good sense of the word, but without making any appeal to violence and without leaving constitutional limits."
Two former colonial ministers spoke, and the following demands were made or Africans:
1. A voice in their own government.
2. The right of access to the land and its resources.
3. Trial by juries of their peers under established forms of law.
4. Free elementary education for all; broad training in modern industrial technique; and higher training of selected talent.
5. The development of Africa for the benefit of Africans, am not merely for the profit of Europeans.
6. The abolition of the slave trade and of the liquor traffic.
7. World disarmament and the abolition of war; but failing this, and as long as white folk bear arms against black folk, the right of blacks to bear arms in their own defence.
8. The organization of commerce and industry so as to make the main objects of capital and labour the welfare of the many rather than the enriching of the few . . . . .
"In fine, we ask in all the world, that black folk be treated as men. We can sec no other road to Peace and Progress. What more paradoxical figure today fronts the world than the official head of a great South African state striving blindly to build Peace and Good Will in Europe by standing on the necks and hearts of millions of black Africans?"
From that Lisbon meeting I went to Africa for the first time, to sec the land whose history and development I had so long been studying. I held from President Coolidge of the United States status as Special Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to represent him at the second inaugural of President King of Liberia.
So far, the Pan-African idea was still American rather than African, but it was growing, and it expressed a real demand for examination of the African situation and a plan of treatment from the native African point of view. With the object of moving the centre of this agitation nearer other African centres of population I planned a Fourth Pan-African Congress in the West Indies in 1925. My idea was to charter a ship and sail down the Caribbean, stopping for meetings in Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the French islands. But here 1 reckoned without my steamship lines. At first the French Line replied that they could "easily manage the trip," but eventually n6 accommodation could be found on any line except at the prohibitive price of fifty thousand dollars. I suspect that colonial powers spiked this plan.
Two years later, in 1927, a Fourth Pan-African Congress was held in New York. Thirteen countries were represented, but direct African participation lagged. There were two hundred and eight delegates from twenty-two American states and ten foreign countries Africa was sparsely represented by representatives from the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. Chief Amoah III of the Gold Coast spoke; Herskovits then of Columbia, Mensching of Germany, and John Vandercook were on the programme.
Negroes everywhere need:
1. A voice in their own government.
2. Native rights to the land and its natural resources.
3. Modern education for all children.
4. The development of Africa for the Africans and not merely for the profit of Europeans.
5. The reorganization of commerce and industry so as to make the main object of capital and labour the welfare of the many rather than the enriching of the few.
6. The treatment of civilized men as civilized despite difference of birth, race, or colour.
The Pan-African Movement had been losing ground since 1921. In 1929, to remedy this, we made desperate efforts to hold the fifth Pan-African Congress on the continent of Africa itself, and selected Tunis because of its accessibility. Elaborate preparations were begun. It looked as though at last the movement was going to be geographically African. But two insuperable difficulties intervened: first, the French Government very politely but firmly informed us that the Congress could take place at Marseilles or any French city, but not in Africa; and finally, there came the Great Depression.
The Pan-African idea died, apparently, until fifteen years afterwards, in the midst of the second World War, when it leaped to life again in an astonishing manner. At the Trades Union Conference in London in the winter of 1945 there were black labour representatives from Africa and the West Indies. Among these, aided by coloured persons resident in England, there came a spontaneous call for the assembling of another Pan-African Congress in 1945, when the International Trades Union had their meeting in Paris.
After consultation and correspondence a Pan-African Federation was organized.
On August eleventh and twelfth there was convened at Manchester, the headquarters of the Pan-African Federation, a Delegate Conference representing all of the organizations which have been invited to participate in the forthcoming Congress. At that ad hoc meeting a review of the preparatory work was made. From the reports it revealed that the position was as follows:
"A number of replies had been received from Labour, Trade Union, Co-operative, and other progressive organizations in the West Indies, West Africa, South and East Africa, in acknowledgment of the formal invitation to attend the Conference. Host of these bodies not only approved and endorsed the agenda, making minor modifications and suggestions here and there, but pledged themselves to send delegates. In cases where either the time is too short or the difficulties of transport at the present time too great to be overcome at such short notice, the organizations will' give mandates to the natives of the territories concerned who are travelling to Paris to attend the World Trades Union
Conference. Where territories will not be sending delegates to the Trades Union Conference, organizations will mandate individuals already in Great Britain to represent them.
"In this way we are assured of the widest representation, either through people travelling directly from the colonial areas to Britain, or individuals from those territories who are already in the British Isles. Apart from these overseas delegates, more than fourteen organizations of Africans and peoples of African descent in Great Britain and Ireland will participate in the Conference."
There is no organization in the British colonial empire which has not been invited. The philosophy back of this meeting has been expressed by the West African Students Union of London in a letter to me:
"The idea of a Congress of African nations and all peoples of African descent throughout the world is both useful and timely. Perhaps it is even long overdue. But we observe that four of such Pan-African Congresses had been held in the past, all within recent memory, and that the one at present under discussion will be the fifth. It is unfortunate that ail these important conferences should have been held outside Africa, but in European capitals. This point is significant, and should deserve our careful attention . . . .
"Our Executive Committee are certainly not in favour of this or any future Pan-African Congress being held anywhere in Europe. We do rather suggest the Republic of Liberia as perhaps an ideal choice. All considerations seem to make that country the most favourable place for our Fifth Pan-African Congress. And, especially, at a time like this when Liberia is planning to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Republic two years hence, the holding of our Congress there seems most desirable. We have good reason to believe that the Government of Liberia would welcome this idea, and would give us the encouragement and diplomatic assistance that might be necessary to ensure success."
The convening committee agrees that: "After reviewing the situation, we do feel, like you, that our Conference should be merely a preliminary one to a greater, more representative Congress to be held some lime next year, especially as a new Government has come into being in Britain since we started planning the forthcoming Conference." But they decided to call a congress this year in Manchester, since "it is now officially announced that the World Trades Union Conference will begin on September twenty-fifth and close on October ninth, we are planning to convene the Pan-African Congress on October fifteenth.
It should last a week. This will enable the colonial delegates to get from France to England between the ninth and fifteenth of October. It will also enable us to hold some informal meetings and finish off our plans."
Difficulties of transportation and passport restrictions may make attendance at this Congress limited. At the same time there is real hope here, that out of Africa itself, an 1 especially out of its labouring masses, has come a distinct idea of unity in ideal and co-operation in action which will lead to a real Pan-African movement.
Singularly enough, there is another "Pan-African" movement. I thought of it as I sat recently in San Francisco and heard Jan Smuts plead for an article on "human rights" in the preamble of the Charter of the United Nations. It was an astonishing paradox. The Pan-African movement which he represents is a union of the white rulers of Kenya, Rhodesia, and Union of South Africa, to rule the African continent in the interest of its white Investors and 'exploiters. This plan has been incubating since 1921, but has been discouraged by the British Colonial Office. Smuts is now pushing it again, and the white legislatures in Africa have asked for it. The San Francisco trusteeship left a door open for this sort of thing. Against this upsurges the movement of black union delegates working in co-operation with the labour delegates of Russia, Great Britain, and the United States in order to build a new world which includes black Africa. We may yet have to see Pan-Africa as a real movement.
October 15th, 1945. First Session
Chairman: Mrs. AMY ASHWOOD GARVEY (Jamaica).
Rapporteurs: E. J. Duplan & E. A. Aki Emi (Gold Coast).
Dr. Peter Milliard, President Pan-African Federation welcomed the delegates warmly. He referred, in a brief history of the Fifth Pan-African Congress, to the assistance Dr. Du Bois had given in publicising it in America, and said that the Pan-African Congress was Dr. Du Bois's child. Dr. Milliard pledged the determination of the Fifth Pan-African Congress to assist the child to grow to manhood. The lesson to be learned from the response to the Congress was that our people are ready for the call and only waiting for intelligent and honest leadership. We cannot and must not fail them. The Pan-African Federation had drawn up the Agenda, but it was for the delegates to express their views, as it was their Congress. He thanked those who had helped with the organisation, especially Councillor Harper of Manchester who had helped to secure the hall in which the Congress was held and promised to be of service to the Pan-African Federation and other African organisations in Manchester at any time if he was able.
Mr. John MacNair brought fraternal greetings from the Independent Labour Party.
Mr. E. J. Duplan (Gold Coast) Negro Welfare Centre, reported on the position of coloured people in the British Isles. He said that in the war of 1914-18 coloured workers had taken a very major part in the defence of Britain, and were given all sorts of promises of employment and benefits, which were not fulfilled. In fact, they were in many instances the victims of riots. Despite any technical qualifications they had, it was impossible for them during the inter-war period to secure employment and the majority of them in Liverpool, Cardiff and Hull lived below the subsistence level on the dole and public assistance, when they received it. How they lived otherwise was difficult to describe. When war broke out in 1939, a number of Africans, because of the untrue picture they had been given of Britain, stowed away on ships and came to England. Owing to the scarcity of labour which was arising, they managed to become absorbed into factories and the forces, including the Air Force. But even though this began to give Africans a sense of belonging, yet they were still victims of the colour bar.
At the present moment there were many coloured people in Britain who had come to the country by various means during the war. Only those whose papers showed that they had been at sea for the past ten or fifteen years would be allowed to remain in the Mercantile Marine Pool.
Those who had started since 1939, could not be guaranteed a job for longer than six month?. They could take the alternative and go back to their own countries.
Then there was the question of illegitimate coloured children who had been born to white women whose husbands in many cases were in the U.S. forces. Homes were being broken up when the husbands came back, and the undesired coloured children were not received into homes for white children. It was a large problem, in which the Government was taking no hand to provide shelter or assistance for the mothers or children.
Mr. A. Aki-Emi (Gold Coast) Coloured Workers' Association, supplemented Mr. Duplan's report. One of the reasons why coloured people come to Britain is imperialism in our own countries, which is uncomfortable to live with. But in England there are obstacles to finding a livelihood. We have the right to jobs, but difficulty in get tin., them. He mentioned what the Colonial Office did in regard to seamen during the war who were brought over by the shipping companies and then abandoned until they were wanted to man ships going to the tropics. The struggle to gain a certain security from the shipping authorities had been going on for a number of years, and he asked that every support be given to the claims of the seamen.
Mr. A. E. Moselle, United Committee of Coloured Peoples' Association (Cardiff): He came from an are, which has the largest coloured population in Great Britain created by conditions governing the employment of coloured seamen. As a rule coloured seamen were given employment only on coal-carrying ships, those with clea[illegible] cargoes carrying white seamen. Since Cardiff was the largest coal port, it became the centre where most coloured men went for employment. Inter-marriage had brought about it a community of coloured youths, and the question in Cardiff is: What are we going to do with them? The Juvenile Department of the Ministry of Labour had made a serious investigation, tabulating the number of childen and noting the increase in those attending school over the age of ten years. Their report had been circulated to industrial undertakings in the area and certain suggestions were in made, the final one being that they must be got rid of. Employment must be distributed among them sparsely, with the result that the Labour Exchange was not at all anxious to place these youths.
Therefore, we are faced with a determination to exclude these coloured youths and it is strongly suggested that, though born in Britain with mothers and grandparents here, they should migrate to Africa Is there much employment for the youths in Africa and the West Indies? The authorities should train, educate and [illegible] them for educational positions in Africa and the West Indies. "We must take hold of the problem here, for here is the centre of the trouble.
Mr. De Graf Johnson, Coloured Peoples' Association (Edinburgh) agreed that the student class in Great Britain had cut itself aloof from the general body of coloured people in Great Britain, and that this made the struggle more difficult. As a student he had from time to time taken an active interest in the coloured problem, and pointed out that students are sometimes treated with an air of suspicion. He said that tins meeting was bringing together both the student and non-student sections, and hoped that out of it a new solidarity would be born. They must work together to put an end to the imperialists who are against us.
Mr. Peter Abrahams, International African Service Bureau (South Africa), spoke of the injustice suffered by coloured people in Britain, particularly those living in poorer quarters such as the East End of London. He told of cases where individuals had been unjustly treated by the police, one instance being where coloured and white men had been arrested for gambling together. The white men were dismissed and advised not to associate with coloured men, the latter being sentenced to fines or terms of imprisonment.
October 15th, 1945. Second Session
Owing to the fact that His Worship The Lord Mayor of Manchester was not able to attend in the morning, the official opening of the Fifth Pan-African Congress took place in the afternoon at Chorlton Town Hall. The hall was decorated with the flags of the Republics of Haiti and Liberia, and the flag of Ethiopia. Printed slogans were placed along the walls, with a map of Africa occupying an important place.
Mrs. Amy Ashwood Garvey announced that His Worship The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Alderman Jackson, had kindly consented to welcome the delegates, and called upon Dr. Peter Milliard to welcome him.
Dr. Milliard said he found special pleasure in the privilege of receiving His Worship The Lord Mayor. He had lived in Manchester for twenty-one years, and fell that it must be the most liberal city in England. He recalled how in the Civil War between the Northern and Southern States of America, the South was blockaded by the North. The cotton mills of Lancashire were largely dependent upon the South for their cotton and the mill-owners decided that Me British Government would send warships to break the blockade to the Southern States. The cotton-workers stood up as a man against his decision arid thus helped to destroy slavery. This assistance should never be forgotten. It illustrated the hospitality and human understanding of the Lancashire people. He hoped that Manchester would continue to merit this high opinion which held by the Negroes who have lived in the city. Therefore it was no surprise when the Lord Mayor agreed to come arid address the delegates today, for he was simply expressing that high liberalism which Mat Chester has always maintained throughout the world.
His Worship the Mayor expressed his pleasure at coming to the Congress and in welcoming the delegates to the city. He hoped they would carry away very pleasant recollections and that the Conference would be an important and profitable one.
Mr. I. T. A. Wallace-Johnson, Sierra Leone Trade Union Congress, seconded the vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor. That afternoon would go into history and Manchester. was helping to make this history. We were there that day to demand equal status, equal rights, not merely to exist, but to live in the real sense of the word. He extended thanks to the Lord Mayor for honouring the Congress by his presence.
The Lord Mayor then left the meeting, which returned to the business of the report on conditions of coloured people in Britain.
Mr. S. O. J. Andrews (Grenada, B.W.I.) was highly pleased to see that we had at last decided to take up the challenge to night for our rights. The Negro problem is a heavy task, the journey long, but our shoulders are broad. As he looked round, he saw the strength and the will to succeed. We were here with one under standing, that the Colonial Office will have to realise the time has come when we no longer beg' for what we deserve, but that we are demanding that which is ours. He had heard quite a lot about the Mother Country, and he was very pleased when he had the opportunity to come and see for himself. He had been in South Wales. There are a lot of coloured residents, and employment in many instances is very scarce. We want to tell the Colonial Office that the time has come when they must assist us to educate our children properly and to find homes. He meant homes, not shacks. He hoped that before the end of the week we would have a report to put before the leaders of the Government to say that we have this week joined hands from all over the British Empire to demand a proper place, justice and our share in the winning of the peace, because Negroes from all over the world have died for freedom and are prepared to die for peace.
Mr. E. P. Marke, Coloured Workers' Association, London (West "Africa), was glad that we are at last beginning to awaken from our long sleep. We have been kept down so long that if we had not begun to realise that we are members of the human race, we should have been kept permanently down. Negroes had fought in the two great wars, and he hoped that the things which happened in 19[?]9 would not occur again in 1945. Our cooperation must prevent that.
Mr. A. Richardson (Barbados) said that it was the best moment of his life to see his brothers gathered together to demand their rights. We must support each other to the limit.
Miss Alma La Badie, Universal Negro Improvement Assn. (Jamaica), said she was interested in child welfare. One of the most vital problems that the Congress is asked
to consider is that of the children left behind by coloured American troops. Many of these babies were born to married women whose husbands were serving overseas. Now that the husbands were returning the condition of forgiveness was that the children be sent elsewhere. Consequently it was imperative to form a. committee to look after these babies. There is a home actually in existence, but money is needed to help it to function. We cannot allow the children to suffer for the mistakes of their fathers and mothers.
Mr. C. D. Hyde, Negro Welfare Centre, Liverpool, said that in Liverpool there is an organisation which will look after the children born in Britain of Americans and West Indians. He thought we should have a central organisation, and was pleased to learn that there are people in America who are willing to lend a hand.
Mr. F. O. B. Blaize (Nigeria), said that the problem of the black seamen is a great one. So many sacrifices were made by these people, and many risked and lost their lives for England, but have not been well treated. We must see that these people get justice. Some people felt that the Labour Government would take notice, but we must not wait to see what they can do. We must demand that something be done at once. About the coloured children, those born in Britain have the right to stay here. If the British people think they have the right to live in Africa, then we have the right to stay here. We have the right to get together and see that something is done for us here.
October 16th, 1945. First Session
Chairman: Dr. W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS (U.S.A.).
Rapporteur: F. K. Nkrumah (Gold Coast).
Mr. George Padmore, in opening the session, said he had the great honour of ivelcoming Dr. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, the "father" of Pan-Africanism to the Congress. In his life Dr. Du Bois epitomised the straggles, sufferings, and aspirations of the thirteen millions of our people in the United States.
Dr. Du Bois had come by plane to identify himself with on" deliberations. He is a distinguished scholar, writer, and publicist; but perhaps his most distinguished characteristic is his constant awareness of the trends of human development and thought. Dr. Du Bois has a youthful, vigorous mind, younger and more alive than many a youth's. It was with great pleasure that he called upon Dr. Du Bois to preside over this session of the Congress.
Dr. W. E. Burghardt Du Bois said he appreciated the honour that had been done him and wanted to communicate to the meeting the greetings of American Negroes and others whom he was representing.
Mr. F. K. Nkrumah (Gold Coast), on lined the political and economic trends in North and West Africa. Six years of slaughter and devastation had ended, and peoples everywhere were celebrating the end of the struggle not so much with joy as with a sense of relief. They do not and cannot feel secure as long as Imperialism assault the world. He indicted Imperialism as one of the major causes of war, and called for strong and vigorous action to eradicate it.
Mr. G. Ashie Nikoi, Chairman, West African Cocoa Farmers' Delegation (Gold Coast). British Imperialism is responsible for all the troubles in West Africa, it has broken our homes, deprived our natural rulers of their rights, and we must give these back to them. Therefore we must destroy British Imperialism. The Aborigines' Rights Protection Society, one of the oldest societies in British West Africa, had championed the cause of labour in West Africa since 1898. It represented the first West African delegation to come to Britain, and when the Crown seized lands in the Gold Coast the Society led the delegation here. Now the British imperialists had found a way to destroy the Society or to put it in the position of being unable to exercise any influence over the natural rulers of West Africa, especially the Gold Coast. They have set up the machinery of Provincial Councils, which is nothing short of Government Departments controlled by political officers. Our natural rulers are told what they have to
discuss. I have come to ask this Congress to see that West Africa gets its political emancipation, It is our right and we must have it. Let us tell the British people and the world that we want our freedom. We do not want freedom that is partially controlled—we want nothing but freedom.
Mr. J. S. Annan, Secretary, Gold Coast Railway Civil Servants and Technical Works' Union: I am going to sound a different note altogether. I am here as a workman. a man who wields tools, a man who knows no colour. I want you to feel that nothing we can do here is of any avail unless we are in a position to implement the resolutions that we are going to make. Then this Congress will be a power which Governments will have to reckon with. So I suggest that before this Congress breaks up on Sunday we set up administrative machinery to cope with the difficulties which lie ahead of us. My workers have given me this mandate: to inform you that they are prepared to spend their last penny in order to maintain an office in London. That is a practical issue.
The Gold Coast is one of the countries conveniently referred to as a Colony with Trusteeship. The supposed rulers have been with us for over one hundred years and the result is wretched ignorance, bad health, poverty. I agree entirely with political freedom, but before we have political freedom we must have something to live on, or we will die before we get it. To live, the working class people I represent must get together to build up a strong Trade Union. We must exert ourselves, and it is here that we call upon the help of our loyal friends.
Chief A. Soyemi Coker, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria: This Pan-African Congress is a unique opportunity for African people from every part of the world to assemble together for a common conclave. If it bespeaks anything, it bespeaks the future independence of Africa. I say this from experience. For example, there was a big strike, which involved 500,000 people and it was supported by the entire population of Nigeria. The first organisation to come to our aid, I am happy to say, was the Pan-African Federation. They gave moral and financial support far beyond our expectations. Africa needs constructive planning and action, and the points I wish to stress are these: (1) adequate living wages for the working classes; (2) co-operative societies throughout Africa to oust the big pools; (3) nationalisation of industries transport, mines, for the common people of Africa; (4) scholarship. It is by scholarship that Russia rose to be the Great Power to be reckoned with that she is today.
Mr. I. T. A. Wallace Johnson, West African Youth League (Sierra Leone Section), said that he represented the Yoith League, the Moslem League in Sierra Leone, and the trade union movement in West Africa. Altogether he represented some 10,000 organised and 5,000 unorganised
workers. In a conversation in London a Member of Parliament said that the British must keep the Colonies in order to protect them from the tribal wars which took place in bygone years, and which might break out again if they left West Africa. He referred to the vastness of the territories in question and compared them with the countries of Europe and the wars from which they had suffered. Africans had been living in peace until the Europeans taught them to fight.
After 155 years of administration the British Government had only 'educated 5 per cent of the people of Sierra Leone. Even those who were willing to pay their own expenses to come to school in England were not granted passports. In this connection he appealed to returning students to identify themselves with the working class
Mr. J. Downes-Thomas, Committee of Citizens, Gambia: The Colonial system of Government is out of date, undemocratic and unprogressive. It gives us no voice in the management of our own affairs. In Britain if they do not want Churchill's Party, they can vote it out, but we are not in that position. It is argued that we must have economic independence and then political independence will follow. But history shows that independence always has to be fought for.
Mr. F. O. B. Blaize, West African Students' Union, outlined the methods by which he thought the general liberation struggle could be guided, as well as the immediate political, social and economic demands of the African people being advanced. Inside Africa he called for the perfection of the system of general strikes and boycott, and firmness in dealing with Quislings. Abroad he asked for the continued efforts of the Congress to focus public opinion upon conditions in Africa, and for the establishment of a permanent Pan-African Congress Continuation Committee in order to ensure continuity.
Mr. Blaize declared that we are not going to lend ourselves any more to this system of the domination of man by man and race by race. We are fighting towards one goal—the independence of Africa. There must be something very good in the Colonies that makes the big powers cling to them, British democracy seemed designed only for home consumption. Nigeria has been given a new Constitution, but her people cannot accept it because it is undemocratic. They demand that if the Atlantic Charter is good for certain people, it is good for all. It is sometimes said that the Colonies are a liability. If that is so you would think that Britain would like to cut down her liabilities and leave the Colonies. Britain left to herself without the resources of the Colonies would not live six months. We have seen the remarkable rise of the Soviet Union. This can be done for the Colonies, and we demand that it shall be done. Freedom is our right and we have got to fight until we get it.
Mr. Magnus Willimans, The National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons: The Colonial Office has always told us by words and implication that there is a happy land; and we have always answered "far, far away." We have come to this Congress to decide and enforce the means by which we shall make that happy land our own The Colonial Office is an instrument of oppression and we must do our best to abolish that office. When the war came, with its clash of interests between imperialists, the Nigerian Government vested the mineral wealth in the Crown, and the Government of "Britain says that every mineral in the Nigerian ground must come to them. While the people of Nigeria are contributing to the revenue of the country, the sons and daughters of the rulers reap the benefits. We must do our best to right these wrongs.
October 19th, 1945. Second Session.
Dr. Raphael Armattoe (Togoland): I would like to tell you something about the political and social state, of West Africa south of the Sahara to the Congo. This area, much larger than Western Europe, has a population of 60 millions. In studying the political development of this region, under French, British and Belgian rule, we shall find out what guides their actions and what the fate of the Congo will ultimately be. [illegible]
In the territory under French rule, the administration operates the principle of educating a certain section of the people sufficiently to assimilate French culture. Emphasis here is laid on legal and social equality rather than on political theory and freedom. West Africans under French rule are trained with a view to becoming Frenchmen The African populations in the French territories are divided into two classes—subjects and citizens. The majority are "subjects" and without rights, the "citizens" have the same rights as Frenchmen. The subjects are those born outside certain areas of West Africa, and they have the opportunity of qualifying for citizenship.
The population of the Belgian Congo is 12 millions. Belgian workers—not always the best elements from Belgium—are displacing Africans in the lower 'grade jobs. The only training given to Africans is of a vocational mature to fit them for working in the mines and plantations. There are only two high schools, one for the training of Catholic priests and the other for training in medicine. For the Belgian African there is no possibility except to work in the mines or tap rubber. The history of the Belgian Congo is indeed tragic.
As to British territories—Nigeria, Gold Coast, etc.—for political or economical reasons, the British do not believe in the equality of Africans with Anglo-Saxons. There are missionary enterprises and a few Government-sponsored schools, but they are not free. The educational policy is the gradual absorption of Africans into some minor positions in the Civil Service—to absorb them into the ambit of Indirect Rule. Indirect Rule is being raised to the status of a political philosophy, which it is not. Most people in Africa feel that they want self-government.
It is sometimes Questioned whether French West Africans have any feeling of national consciousness, but I can say that French West Africans would be happier if they were governing themselves. They sometimes envy the British Africans their intense national feeling—oppression has bound them together. A French West African should feel that he is an African first, before he is anything else.
In West Africa the natives hold little allotments where expenses are not always very high, but the native has to support numerous dependents. The natives own the land in a communal way in West Africa and the Europeans take as much profit from it as they possibly can. they are only concerned with economic exploitation, regardless of the condition of the people—the maximum profit with the minimum effort. Unless the Africans are allowed to market their products abroad they will not be able to reap any benefit at all.
In reply to questions which were put to him, Dr. Armattoe explained that at one time all Africans born in the French Empire were citizens. It was only when the Anglo-Saxons brought their influence to bear on the French that the position changed and fewer Africans were regarded as citizens, though all can qualify through education, etc. The French West African is better educated than the British and knows more about his own country and history. He thought that all French Africans feel that it is better to be governed badly by your own people than to be governed well by anyone 'else. Regarding education in French Africa, he said there may be regions in the hinterlands where there are not schools, but as a general rule, schooling up to a certain standard is available- to all, and the brilliant and the rich are able to go further and become highly educated.
October 16th, 1945. Second Session.
Chairman: Dr. W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS (U.S.A.).
Rapporteurs: Peter Abrahams and Marko Hlubi
(Union of South Africa).
Mr. Marko Hlubi (South Africa) described how 2 million white people of English and Dutch descent live by the exploitation and degradation of 8 million coloured people in the Union of South Africa, where the white minority controls 230 million acres of land and the 8 million blacks are squeezed into seven million acres. The whole policy of South African rule is based upon the segregation of the Africans, and all legislation is based upon discrimination. The Africans are deprived of the vote and pay poll and hut taxes amounting to about thirty shillings a year, irrespective of whether they are employed or not. These direct taxes are paid by males from the age of 18 and continue indefinitely, usually until they are 65, if they live to be as old as that. For the conditions of their life gives the Africans a short span of existence. The infant mortality rate is as high as 500 per thousand.
Urbanisation has been growing apace under the impact of industrial development, and the Africans who come into the towns to work are herded into "allocations," which are nothing more than ghettoes under the supervision of the European authority. Conditions are infamous, and dwellings are nothing more than shanties made out of bits of old packing case lining, flattened kerosene tins, sacking and other odds and ends. Overcrowding is of nightmare proportions., and the darkness, dirt and rubbish among which the Africans live provide hothouse conditions for the growth of disease. Tuberculosis is rampant, and the death rate from this disease as well as dysentery and syphilis, is inordinately high.
Wages in the mines average about 2/3d. a day for African workers, while the average European wage is twenty shillings a day. On the farm black labour earns a cash wage of from 5/- to 10/- a month. There is an ever-present colour bar which prevents the African from under-taking any skilled labour, and places him outside the benefits of industrial and social legislation. lie is given no unemployment pay, no old-age pension, and does not qualify for health insurance. Even workers' compensation is strictly limited, in no case exceeding 60 per cent of the monthly earnings, and then applying only to those earning higher wages.
At the same time the black workers are obliged to pay for their food the same high prices as the Europeans, and the standard of living of the white folk in South Africa is among the highest in the world. They are also subject to
criminal prosecution for breach of labour contract, and all Africans coming to the mines are obliged to sign a contract, usually for a period of nine to twelve month. They are also fined for coming late to work.
Nor are the Africans able to get these conditions altered, as they have no union which is recognised by the employers, and the white unions rigidly exclude them. Politically, they are completely frustrated, for the Riotous Assembly Act prevents their meeting to voice protests. The lot of the African in the Union of South Africa is certainly one of the most unhappy in the world, and he calls upon his brothers everywhere to help him to break the bonds which shackle him to the white Herrenvolk masters.
Mr. Peter Abrahams (South Africa) Pan-African Federation, continued the recital of the disabilities under which the majority population of South Africa suffer. He drew especial attention to the Pass Laws, which everywhere in the Union hedge the native in. In addition to their poll and hut tax receipts, which act as passes, there are ten others which the Africans are obliged to carry at one time or another. Passes are needed to leave the reserve to go to town, to travel on the railway, to seek work, to visit another location, to stay out after the nine o'clock curfew hour. The African is also obliged to get a pass to live within a municipal location, to carry on trade. And finally, if he be a teacher or a preacher, he has to get a special pass to show that he is exempted from carrying all the others.
While the African has been alienated from his land and "forced to work, he is not guaranteed employment, and while "he pays the bulk of the taxes he is denied the benefits of education. Out of the African population less than 500, COO attend school, and upon them the Government spends about €2 per head. Approximately the same number of European school-children receive education costing the Government more than £25 per head. The increasing number of fines inflicted upon the African for contravention of the numberless restrictions and regulations which hamper his freedom go to swell the revenue. It is a very frequent occurrence for the police to raid the locations and reserves during the night and arrest those who do not instantly produce their tax receipts. They are beaten up, driven into black marias and taken to the lock-up. The next morning they come in droves before the magistrate who hands out fines with a bland impartiality. In fact, the practice has reached such a state that the police have been asked in exercise some discretion in the carrying out of their duties
These were some of the hard facts, which we must fiercely condemn. We must indict an imperial Government which, after 40 years of Trusteeship, left the native people with but 5% of its number literate, and grit line; poverty, and slave conditions as the common lot.
The theme of other speeches was "Down with Imperialism," and 100 per cent sympathy and support was expressed to the South African people by representatives from the West Indies and other Colonies. A number of concrete demands were made, which are set out in the Resolution included elsewhere in this pamphlet.
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October 17th, 1945. First Session.
Chairman: Dr. W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS (U.S.A.).
Rapporteur: Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya).
Mr. George Padmore said he had been asked to make an announcement. The delegates would remember that they had decided to have a panel of Chairmen, the procedure to be that each of these Chairmen would preside over a session of the Congress. The Standing Orders Committee now reported that as a token of esteem and respect we should elect our distinguished guest Dr. Du Bois permanent Chairman of the Congress. It was further suggested that each of the original Chairmen should be invited in turn to come to the platform as a supporting Chairman of the Congress. On this occasion he welcomed Mr. Wallace Johnson to be associated with Dr. Du Bois on the platform.
Mr. Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) said that his task that morning was a hard one, for he had to report on six territories. Somaliland, Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Nyasaland, and the Rhodesias.
Before he proceeded to state the conditions under which our people live in East Africa, he would like to say a little about the people themselves and how they lived before the advent of the Europeans. In the whole of East Africa people were grouped or divided into three sections: an agricultural group; a pastoral group which lived by rearing cattle, sheep and goats; arid a group of hunters. Each group had its own territories, which it considered its own property, and on which it could move as it pleased, cultivating here today and there tomorrow building its villages here and there as it wanted, or hunting as it wished. Many of these people lived happily and contented.
What is the picture today? It is quite a different one. Many of us talk about home, but have no home, because in order to have a home you must have land on which you ran stand your house or hut and say, "this is my home." Today we find that practically throughout the whole of East Africa a no African can claim that right, and he spoke on behalf of nearly 14 million people in East Africa. It is their call that he brought to the Congress. If conditions were possible for them to come, he thought many of them would be there with them.
He first looked at Uganda, which has a population of 3[illegible] million Africans, 16,000 Indians, and 2,000 Europeans. In Luanda, the African enjoys a little more privilege than in any other part of East Africa because, according to the 1900 Agreement, the land is supposed to belong to the people. But consider for a moment the position of the King of Buganda. He is the king of his own country, no doubt; but the District Commissioner or his assistant is the man who gives orders to that king. That is the position of the kings of Uganda.
In Uganda the people grow coffee and cotton. In fact, Uganda is becoming almost as important as the Sudan as a cotton-growing country. Last year there was a big strike, which the Government called a disturbance, but it was really a protest by the people against the political, as well as economic, oppression under which they suffer. There is not a single African doctor in Uganda, and any demonstration or agitation for the improvement of educational and social opportunities often means deportation of the leaders. The youth of Uganda are suffering strongly from a sense of frustration and need the support of their friends outside their country in their fight against their own Quislings and for the advancement of their people.
He then spoke about Tangayika, a mandated territory with a population of 5-mill on Africans, 30,000 Indians and 9,000 Europeans. Here again the African grows coffee and cotton. And it suits the British Government here, too, to use a native ruler with the District Commissioner in control.
Let us see what kind of wages the people get In Tanganyika. We find that the highest wages that are paid for skilled or semi-skilled labour is 30/- to 50/- per month. What about labourers? Many of them have during the war, been conscripted to work on the white plantations and while the cost of sisal was increased because of the war, the African still got only from 5/- to 12/- for month's work. According to the British Government, the people will never reach a high enough level to govern their own country. Well, he as [illegible] the Congress, if you are only getting 5/- or 12/- for one month's work, what kind of living standard can you be expected to reach? On top of that these people have to pay taxes, heavy taxes.
In Kenya we have the methods which have been transplanted from South Africa. Here there are 4,000,000 blacks, 45,000 Indians, 13,000 Arabs, and 2,000 European. In 1914, 300,000 warriors were conscripted to go to German East Africa, of whom 60,00 did not return. There were told they were going to fight the German barbarians. And at that time we found two most important ordinances being passed. One was [illegible] Land Ordinance of 1915, which made all lands formerly occupied by Africans crown land. Africans found their land taken away from them, and were turned into tenants of their own land. The other was the Native Registration Ordinance of 1919, which made it obligatory for all natives in Kenya over the age of 16 to have their fingerprint taken. Therefore, when we finished the war for freedom we found that we had to go and have our finger prints taken as though we were common criminals. This second Ordinance requires each African to carry his registration certificate on his person, so it is worn around the neck in a little box and must be produced on demand by the police or employer. Failure to produce means prison for [illegible] to two months or a fine of £7 10s. The wage paid to the holder is entered upon the certificate, and as the labourer cannot read or write, they find when
they receive their money at the end of the first month that very often they have been cheated. It often occurs that when a labourer has asked for 12/- a month he is given 5/-, and when he refuses to work further, he is chased by the police and forced to work a contract he has never signed.
As to education in Kenya, 4/6d. per head is provided for African children and £27 for the European. Although there are 500,000 of school age only 100,000 ran find any education at all, and many of them are in missionary schools.
Just a word about Somaliland, a great section of which has been fighting the British Government for over 25 years. One thing we must do, and that is to get political independence. If we achieve that we shall he free to achieve other things we want. We feel that racial discrimination must go, and then people, can perhaps enjoy the right of citizenship, which is the desire of every East African. Self independence must be our aim.
Mr. Marko Hlubi (South Africa): We are faced with a very crucial and serious situation in Africa. In Nyasaland, while there is a parliament, the coloured people, who are in the majority, are not represented there. The National Congress of Nyasaland is asking that our Pan-African Congress should do everything to fight the question of the amalgamation of North and South Rhodesia, which is wanted by the Government. One white man represents each state, but no black represents his own part of the country. These same things apply in South Africa. Three only represent the whole of the people who live there, and these three must be white people. The wages in these territories are so ridiculous as to be unbelievable, and seine-thing must be done and done by this Congress. We must produce something constructive.
Mr. C. D. Hyde, Negro Welfare Assn. (Gold Coast): I come from West Africa, but the repression we are discussing is my affair too. 1 went to South Africa as a seaman, because I knew that if I wanted to go as a student I should not get a visa. On arriving we went to the Seamen's Institute and were told by the superintendent that we would not be able to share the Institute with our white comrades amongst the crew, but cur officers said that the coloured crew would have the same privileges as the white men, or they would leave. They tried to make us have passes to stay out late, but we refused. We shall have to face the challenge now, and see that something is done for the whole of Africa. Wherever we are, the challenge is ours.
Mr. Garba Jahumpa (Gambia) said that the Congress
resolved to demand, first and foremost, the complete freedom of our South African bro hers. We were here [-. learn about all our peoples from all over the world, and if we went back to our different countries and remained dormant, the Congress will have been a failure. The Congress should resolve to set up somewhere in the world a central council which would keep in touch with the whole of the African world and know what is going on. It was essential to bring the aftermath of the Congress to a successful conclusion.
Mr. Wallace-Johnson (Sierra Leone) stated that the attitude of the British Press was to print statements not relative to the main issues. They were keeping back the hard facts about the coloured peoples and shelving the truth. Before 1937, only one day in every year was set aside in the House of Commons for the discussion of African affairs, and the House was nearly empty. It was now a recognised fact that at least one day in every week should be given to African affairs. Out of the Congress we must make up our minds that we will carry on the struggle from one stage to another until final victory is achieved.
Mr. George Padmore (Trinidad): In Southern Rhodesia there are about 60,000 Europeans and a population of nearly 2-million Africans. Before bills concerning the black people can be made law they must have the sanction of the Dominion Office. Lands have been taken from the Africans and given to the Europeans, and these people have introduced legislation compelling the black people to work upon the farms and tobacco plantations, where wages are so very low.
The Europeans want the three states of Southern and Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland to come together because, if united, then the laws now prevailing in Southern Rhodesia will be extended. In Northern Rhodesia, the white population "is smaller than the black population on account of the climate. Here there are about 8 million blacks. It is the best copper producing state in the world, but the mines are owned by a foreign company which is controlled in London, and also by American capitalists. The wages paid to the coloured copper miners average 2/6d. per day. During the last two to three years there have been a series of strikes demanding better working conditions for these miners. White miners get £1 a day as a minimum wage. Black miners are not allowed to have organizations, but the white miners have their own trade unions.
Today, the young element is more progressive and is coming more and more to the forefront, demanding from their imperialistic masters a greater extension of democracy. He sincerely hoped that the resolutions on East Africa would reflect the aspirations and demands of the people of the East African territories.
October 17th, 1945. Second Session
Chairman: Dr. W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS (U.S.A.).
Rapporteur: T. R. Makonnen (Ethiopia).
Mr. T. R. Makonnen (Ethiopia): It is my task to appeal to you this afternoon on what is known as the Ethiopian problem. Historians may differ as to when the Second World War began, but it was on October 1st, 1935, that the Italians declared war against Ethiopia. Three months after that there was the massacre of the flower of our manhood, of 5,000 students, many of whom had spent years in the universities of Europe and America. The Ethiopian people endured such tyranny for seven years, until 1941, when our supposed collaborators thought it wise to enlist our services and drive the Italians away.
Host of you believe that Ethiopia is a free sovereign State, but if that is your belief, you are very much in error. In March, 1941, a treaty was signed between Britain and Ethiopia, when the Emperor was in no position to demand everything. The British Government promised certain help reluctantly, and the Emperor had to concede demands made by the British, who occupied the Ogaden Province, claiming that it was necessary for them to prepare their campaign in Egypt. The treaty was to be reviewed at the end of two years. In 1944, a new treaty was signed, and the British held to their traditional policy and still laid claim to Ethiopia—the richest part of the country. They are not satisfied with this but want to join the Ogaden province, a section of ancient Ethiopia, to British and Italian Somaliland in order to enlarge the Empire. As compensation the British are prepared to hand back to Ethiopia part of Eritrea, which formed an integral part of Ethiopia before it was grabbed by Italy.
Therefore, it is no accident that the British are today in certain parts of Ethiopia. The Bank of England lent money to the Bank of Italy, and the only way for them to be paid is by having control of parts of Ethiopia. The fact that a large part of the two million pounds sterling lent to Ethiopia 'goes to pay the salaries of Europeans who are in Ethiopia makes it difficult for the Stale to get far with its work of reconstruction. I hope that my comrades will put forward the legitimate claims of the Ethiopian people for freedom from imperialist opportunism.
Mr. Peter Abrahams (South Africa): There are only three States in the world that are free states run and controlled by black men Haiti Liberia, and Ethiopia, and it
is important that we should be most vigilant in the interests of these three states. Some of the extreme Socialists felt they could not support (he claims of a sovereign country like Ethiopia. I disagree, for before you can talk in terms of international liberty you must talk in terms of national liberation. With regard to Somaliland, the Somalis with whom I carne in contact while working my way from Africa in 1941 looked upon Ethiopia as their motherland. Ethiopia has become self-supporting as far as possible. She is grossly overtaxed, and one of greatest needs is an outlet to the sea. The federation of Somaliland with Ethiopia would provide that outlet to the sea. It was deplorable that while help had been given to Italy, and even to Germany by U.N.R.R.A., no help had been given to Ethiopia.
The Chairman said that there had been through the years propaganda in the United States against the ability of the black people to rule themselves. He had visited all these free states and was impressed by their ability to rule, and their various achievements. It was well to remember that what you know about black countries has possibly been learned through white writers.
Mr. E. P. Marks, Coloured Workers' Association, denounced the Anglo-Saxons for their exploitation of the African peoples from the time they first went into Africa until the present day. The existence of the Negro is necessary to the white man's existence, or he would have wiped out the Negro long ago. It was only by co-operation that this terrible scorpion can be driven out of our land. Rome," Portugal and Spain had all been powerful nations at one time, but no one power could dictate to the world for ever, and any day the coloured peoples would unite and crush Imperialism, just as Germany had been crushed. He sympathised strongly with the grievances of Ethiopians.
Mr. A. E. Mossell, Coloured and Colonial Assn. (Cardiff) pointed out the need for Africans to rise above their differences. In Cardiff, people of one tribe did not always mix freely with people of another, and that was also his experience when living in South Africa. Africans who had lived in other parts were often treated as foreigners. He himself was called a white black man. There was a clannishness it was difficult to get to the bottom of, and unless something was done to dig it out, it would hinder consolidation. In this consolidation Ethiopia and the Black Republics should have much to teach.
Discussion then followed upon the Resolution on East Africa, which is included in its final form towards the end of this pamphlet.
October 18th, 1945. Second Session
Chairman: Dr. W. E. BURGHARDT DU BOIS (U.S.A.).
Rapporteurs: George Padmore (Trinidad) and Ken Hill (Jamaica).
Mr. George Padmore (Trinidad) International African Service Bureau, said that the West Indies could briefly be described as the sugar section of British imperialism, for in the West Indies you have a Government of sugar for sugar by sugar. Sugar dominates every aspect of social existence. Tracing the history of the West Indies, he indicated the area which constituted the Caribbean territories, some of which are under French sovereignty, some under British and American rule, and others belong to the Dutch.
When Columbus came upon the West Indies in the fifteenth century he found them inhabited by Red Indians. They were exterminated, and in the search for labour to work the lands the Spanish turned to Africa. In this way the slave trade began. The Spanish were followed by the French and British, who, in their turn, also used Africa as a reservoir for the supply of labour to work the sugar plantations. And that is how the African population came to the West Indies. They were emancipated in 1851 after three centuries of slavery, and the question of labour came up again for the landowners, who this time went to Asia, from where they indentured Indian labour. So today in many parts of the West Indies there are large Indian communities living side by side with the descendants of African slaves. There are other races, too. The Chinese, who were brought as labourers, and also Portuguese, and various other European peoples, are component sections of the West Indian population. He did not know of any racial struggle between them. On the political side, the West Indies are administered by the Crown Colony system.
Mr. Ken Hill, Jamaica Trades Union Council: I bring you greetings from Jamaica. I want you to know that widely separated though we are from Africa, we in the West Indies who belong to the progressive political and trade union movements in the West Indies take a keen interest in African affairs. We always have. We have never forgotten our racial origins and look upon Mother Africa with pride. We pledge ourselves to work for her redemption and to support the fight of African peoples for full freedom and independence.
Now in dealing with the question of freedom for Colonial peoples, I venture to suggest that the first thing which people of the industrial powers want to be educated to recognise is that paternalism and benevolence are not adequate or just substitutes for national home rule or independence in Colonial territories. These people want to
recognise that native peoples who pay the economic piper are entitled to call the political tune. We who pay the piper, through manifold measures of indirect and direct taxes imposed upon us, are entitled in practice to direct representation in, and because of the tact of our majorities in our respective communities, are also entitled to control of, the administration of our respective territories. We want the people of these Imperial Powers to understand that the only good government is self-government.
For instance, the wealth of Jamaica is produced by Jamaicans. Yet a Government Committee on Nutrition found that 900,000 persons out of a population of 1.1/4 million earned less than 15/- per week. Meantime 100,000 Jamaicans walk the streets and roam the byways in search of work and are condemned to live lives of enforced unemployment. There is little or no native industrialisation—not even secondary industries are locally encouraged or protected. And non-industrialisation means an inevitable outward flow of the wealth of the country, in one form or another.
Mr. Hill put forward six demands, which are included in the Resolutions recorded elsewhere in this pamphlet.
Mr. E. D. L. Yearwood, Barbados Progressive League and Workers' Union, reviewed the history of labour in Barbados, in the course of which lie paid tribute to Messrs. G. H. Adams, H. W. Springer, and other colleagues who pioneered the movement and laid the foundation of trade unionism in the island Barbados has a population of 200,000, of which 180,000 are of African descent.
Mr. Yearwood sketched the structure and programme of the League, which believes in the equitable distribution of the wealth of the island among its inhabitants. This cannot be achieved until the sources of that wealth are controlled by a people's government on behalf of the community. The League is also a keen supporter of the federation of the West Indies, believing that the future of Barbados is inseparably bound up with the whole of the Caribbean area, and that the major economic and social problems of the region can only be solved by co-operative action. The League also believes in the essential need of a higher standard of living for the workers through higher wages, better health and housing conditions, and is agitating for free technical schools, more scholarships, compulsory education, and a graded system of appointment and increase in salaries for teachers in elementary and secondary schools.
Mr. Claude Lushington (Trinidad) West Indian National Party. A few years ago irked by the iniquities of Crown Colony rule, we got together and organised this party to deal with the evils of that government. We have declared that we want self-government for the West Indies for as long as we remain a subject people we shall be
exploited by absentee owners. We are prepared to say: "Let us govern ourselves, if even badly at first, rather than be well governed by others."
Most of the land in the West Indies is owned or leased by large sugar companies whose head offices are in London, oil companies in Trinidad backed by South African and British capital, and the landed gentry. Very few peasants own any land. In the sugar industry before the war, wages were 35 cents a day for males and 14 cents a day for females. Since the war, though the cost of living has increased over 200%, wages are only 60 cents for males and 45 cents for females. Prices paid to the cane farmers are $400 a ton and more. Salaries paid to doctors and members of the medical services are far below the standard of many clerical workers.
In 1937 a strike broke out in Trinidad, for working conditions had become so intolerable that the people could no longer put up with them. In every Colony there were spontaneous outbreaks of strikes and riots. Many of the leaders were jailed.
Another irritation of British imperialistic rule in the West Indies is the lack of freedom. We want freedom of speech, of the press, and of action. We are not allowed to read all types of literature
A regulation exists prohibiting Trinidadian seamen from accepting work on shore while waiting for a ship, and at the moment there are more than 500 unemployed seamen who cannot get a ship because of racial discrimination. These are the seamen who, when the submarine menace, was at its height, brought to the United Nations' ports the articles from which were forged the weapons which made possible their victory over the enemy.
There is no legislation covering employers' liability, no law providing trade union immunity, and no law in respect of national health and unemployment insurance.
Mr. J. F. F. Rajas, Trinidad Socialist Party and T.U.C., said that the Conference was important because it served as a master link in bringing together Afro-West Indians and Africans and other peoples of African descent, thus affording an opportunity more clearly to understand the problems of each other, which after all are fundamentally the same. He went on to say that resulting out of perpetual agitation from the people and more recently from the working class, a trade union movement was organised in Trinidad. A Franchise Committee was appointed by the Governor in May, 1941, to consumer and report upon, among other things, the desirability of extending the franchise and of reducing substantially the qualification to vote and for membership of the Legislative, Municipal and County Councils. After almost two and a half years the Committee submitted its report, recommending adult suffrage and the reduction of property qualifications in respect of membership to the Legislative Council which, however is still left
high enough to debar workers. The recommendations constitute a marked advance on a broad basis, and that was achieved mainly as a result of the agitation and struggle by the trade unionists. There is now a struggle for federation of the West Indies and for self-government Since the wave of revolt which swept through the West Indies in 1937, the people have demonstrated in and out of season their resentment over Crown Colony rule, and they call upon the Labour Government to set up for Trinidad and Tobago a more balanced Constitution and purely elected Legislature and Executive.
Mr. D. M. Harper, British Guiana Trades Union Cornell: I bring you fraternal greetings from the British Guiana Trades Union Council. British Guiana is always included when mention is made of the West Indies. This is the only British possession in South America. It has an area of 89,000 square miles and a population of only 360,000. It is a cosmopolitan country: 42% are Indians, 35% Negroes, and 2 or 3% Europeans; the rest are mixed races. Prior to 1928, British Guiana enjoyed self-government. Then it was considered by the mother country that we were somewhat bankrupt and a mission was sent out, and we were dubbed politically precocious and educationally backward. From 1928 we have been under Crown Colony government, and I can safely say that we are worse off than we were before. The Government as it now stands consists of 14 elected members, 7 nominated, and 3 officials.
In our country we have various problems, all of them acute. When you consider the area of the country and the population, you can well imagine what unrest there is at the unemployment. Our general industries are diamonds, gold, mines, eucrium, sugar, rice, coffe [sic], cocoa, citrus, etc. The sugar industry is organised, and the rice industry is now being organised, but whether the British Government releases its present control remains to be seen. The question of labour is acute, and is intensified by the fact that apart from the low wages paid, the coloured men have a sense of racial discrimination. But after listening to this conference and hearing of the low wages paid to our African brothers, I think I shall be reluctant to tell our people what rates are paid when I get back. I must confess I have done a little reading but I have never imagined that the conditions in those countries were as bad as I have heard here.
Self-government, I agree, is the only order for us to assert ourselves as a people, and we must try to establish a West Indies Federation. I observe that in British Guiana and the West Indies we are claiming self-government. In Nigeria the people are claiming complete independance, and in America the Africans are claiming equality and no discrimination of race. It all leads to the fact that all over the world, wherever there are oppressed people, there is a demand for equality.
Mr. E. McKenzie-Mavinga, representing Antigua Trades and Labour "Union, read a statement of policy from the Union, whose aims are to advance the interests of the workers, economically, politically and socially. It put forward a programme for the revision of education providing for compulsory education, college-trained teachers, the amplification of the secondary school system, decently constructed school-buildings, the provision of free lunches to needy pupils, a West Indian bias in the teaching. It also set out a programme for improving the health of the population. On the question of food it endorsed the declaration of the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture at Hot Springs in 1943 and called for improved methods of agriculture through better methods of drainage and manuring as well as for the increase of the people's food resources and the improvement of their diet. It wants a contented peasantry, and made sweeping demands for reform on all sides in respect of the social services. It also asked for the stimulation of handicrafts and local industries to secure fresh sources of revenue.
Mr. Rupert Oittens, Trinidad Seamen's Union, in his review of conditions in the West Indies said that the bulk of labour there is casually employed. So ingrained is this condition that men working for the Trinidad Government regularly for as long as 17 years are yet regarded as temporary employees. European workers are imported to nil technical jobs and the positions of foremen. Workpeople are not opposed to the importation of technical and skilled workmen where this is done to improve local skill, but in the majority of cases there are local workmen available who could fill such positions. Negroes are not hired by the oil companies in Trinidad as drillers or on refining operations. In the service of the Trinidad Government there are European foremen. The workmen claim that they know nothing or little of the trade they are put to supervise. Further, no opportunities for promotion and advancement to important jobs are available to local craftsmen and technicians, and there is a colour bar to some extent in this sphere. Local men in instances act in important positions and technical jobs for years without confirmation.
The wages policy of all industries and occupations in the West Indies is influenced by plantation economy. Not only wages, but employment, public works, improvement, education. This was so to a marked decree before 1937, There has been a weakening of this policy with the growth and activity of trade unionism, but it Is not yet entirely removed. In Trinidad, the attitude of employers in oil and in other industries, and the Local Government as well in their wages policy, is still one of accommodation to the plantations. The trade unions are at the moment concerning themselves with claims for wage increases and it appears clearly that in the colony especially a new economic and social policy will have to be applied in sugar cultivation.
To accommodate the plantations, instances are known where public works improvement are delayed or postponed for some period. In the Colonies where it has been introduced, compulsory education has not been extended to dominantly plantation areas, and it is felt that here plantation economy is influencing Government educational policy.
For the future development and for employment possibilities in the West Indies, no serious effort has been made to survey material resources, to promote local industries, and to establish new ones with the protection they deserve. Before the war 80% of the food of the West Indians was imported. During the war the situation allowed for the food industry in each island to develop, and immediate protection is to be urged for its continuance and growth. In 1935, when the cost of living stood at 100, the average daily wage for labourers was 66 cents (2/9). At the moment the cost of living index stands at 195, with the average daily wage of labourers in the Government services at $1.18 (5/-), or 10% below the figure required to retain the 1935 standard of living.
Mr. Samuel I. O. Andrews (Grenada): I am from Grenada, one of the once proud but now derelict islands of the British West Indies—islands bled white by British Imperialism. Grenada, with its population of about '80,000 people, is situated north of Trinidad and about the distance of 96 miles by sea. It is primarily agricultural, its chief products being cocoa, nutmeg and sugar cane. The average pre-war wage per day was male 1/2d., and female 1/-. With an average of three working days per week, the worker finds it impossible to live and maintain a family of usually six to eight children. Consequently he has to augment his earnings by obtaining a plot of land costing about 5/- or 10/- an acre, on which he plants such vegetables as will be saleable.
Sanitation, although improved during the past years, is still deplorable in certain parishes, and the health of the people is affected by malaria, fever, dysentery, hookworm, etc. As for education there is a secondary school for boys and another for girls in the capital, St. Georges, and because of their boarding and school fees they are only attended by the children of the middle and upper classes. In the other parishes, children often have to walk two and three miles to and from school, with nothing but a cup of cocoa and possibly some cooked vegetable for breakfast, and a penny loaf of bread and a little salted butter, begged of the shopkeeper, for lunch. The schools are over-crowded, with classes of between 30 and 40 children to one teacher, whose pay starts at between 12/- and 16/- per month.
The West Indies as a whole have been robbed and plundered, and although King Sugar grows and lives all over the islands the benefits are not enjoyed by the workers, but by such firms as Tate & Lyle, who, with a capital of £10,000,000, made £11,000,000 profits in five years. I warn
this Government and the Colonial Office that the time has come when our eyes are wide open, and we will no longer tolerate the injustices which have been imposed on us for so long. This Government will do well to take heed of what Lord Halifax said in 1921: "The whole history of the African population of the West Indies inevitably drives them towards representative institutions, fashioned after the British model. We shall be wise if we avoid the mistake of endeavouring to withhold a concession ultimately inevitable until it has been robbed by delay of most of its usefulness and of all its grace."
The Africans and African people are on the march and they will not halt until they reach their goal.
October 19th, 1945. First Session
Chairman: Dr. PETER MILLIARD (British Guiana).
Rapporteur: W. E. Burghardt Du Bois (U.S.A.)
Mrs. Amy Ashwood Garvey (Jamaica): Very much has been written and spoken of the Negro, but for some reason very little has been said about the black woman. She has been shunted into the social background to be a child-bearer. This has been principally her lot.
In the island of Jamaica, we have two classes of women: the rich and the poor. The rich can be divided into two grades: the idle and the section which goes into the civil service, the stores, business, etc., and become teachers. Among the poor people we have the domestic class and the labouring class of women. The women in the civil service, who belong to the intellectual section, take no active part whatever in the political development of the country. The very class from which we should derive inspiration remains indifferent. It is among the women teachers that we find a progressive movement. There are ten thousand black women in the schools of Jamaica.
A large group of women are employed in the postal services, and' they are doing good work, joining the trade union movement and quietly supporting the cause of development of the country.
The labouring class of women who work in the fields take goods to the market, and so on, receive much less pay for the same work than the men do. I feel that the Negro men of Jamaica are largely responsible for this, as they do little to help the women to get improved wages. Because of the low standard of living, our people find it necessary to emigrate to various places, and our women have gone along with our men to Cuba, Panama and America.
Miss Alma La Badie (Jamaica) stressed the great need for water in Jamaica, an agricultural country with no proper system of harnessing the water supply or storing it
against a drought. Water had to be carried by children, often great distances. Another worry is the poor wages received for work, so that while officially there is 'no child labour, poverty frequently makes it necessary for children to work alongside their parents. For example. 1/6d. per ton is paid for cane-cutting, so the man takes along his children in order that more money can be earned.
The reason for the high, illegitimate birth rate in Jamaica is that the women have little means of livelihood and. therefore, get into difficulties. There are no juvenile courts and reform schools are needed. As employment increases, crime decreases. She challenged the Church and State in England for making no attempt to put things right. The people of Britain are not unkind, but are entirely ignorant of conditions under which people are living in the territories where their flag is flying. There should be a free press throughout the world to make known the needs of humanity.
Mr. J. A. Linton read a Memorandum from the Joint Advisory Committee of Labour, representing the Directorate of the St. Kitts Workers' League and the Executive Committee of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union, which opened with greetings to the Conference, and stated that high significance was attached to its deliberations and conclusions. There was a natural striving towards the materialisation of the principles laid down in the Atlantic Charter, of which one of the prominent features is the right of self-determination. The pursuit of this objective has stimulated the inhabitants of their region with a desire for greater unity, which can be attained only by a federation of the islands. The end of the war encourages the hope of a quick realisation of the legitimate aims and aspirations of West Indians, in common with other dependent people. The ascent of Labour to power in Parliament gives an additional measure of hope for achievement of our great purpose.
The Memorandum asked for Constitutional changes giving an entirely elected Legislative Council, and at least half of the Executive Council. It also asked for manhood suffrage to supersede the present property qualifications. On the question of civil service appointments, it viewed with alarm the continued policy of appointing men from abroad, considering it inimical to the best interests of St. Kitts-Nevis. The time for West Indian Federation is overripe.
On the industrial side, the Memorandum looked to the nationalisation of factories and natural resources, and regarded the development of subsidiary industries to be of paramount importance, It considered the mono-crop economy as unstable and proposed a planned economy with the fullest development of natural resources as an effective remedy of unemployment.
Housing, nutrition standards, public health, medical services and education, were all considered by the Memorandum, which called for radical changes which would vastly improve all these services.
Mr. I. T. A. Wallace-Johnson (Sierra Leone): Though 1 am not a West Indian, I feel that I can speak with some authority, as part of my family are West Indian, and in Sierra Leone there are a number of children of West Indians. In 1885 the protectorate of Sierra Leone rose up against the infiltration of British Imperialism, and West Indians were brought into the Colony to suppress the natives. After a while the West Indians and Africans began to see that really they were of the same race, and this resulted in many marriages between them.
We are at this conference not to demand certain concessions for Africa and the West Indies, but to demand complete independence for the African peoples and peoples of African descent all over the world.
Dr. Peter Milliard (British Guiana), said that during Mr. Chamberlain's period of office it was suggested that 50,000 Austrian Jews should be settled on some of the best land in British Guiana, and millions of pounds were to be made available for this. Why was it not possible to find £300,000 to help 50,000 people from the over-populated West Indies to migrate to British Guiana, and thus give our own people a chance of employment. Some delegates had emphasised the fact that the West Indies must have self-government, others demanded Dominion status, but the delegate for Nigeria said that we should ask for independence. It is all the same. The British Government thought we were incapable of looking after ourselves and we must make them understand that we can and will.
Dr. W. E. Burghardt Du Bois (U.S.A.) said: It is very necessary when you consider great questions of this sort not to let yourselves be tied up with years. It is perfectly clear from hearing all the gentlemen have said as to what the African peoples want. They want the right to govern themselves. As to just how this is coming about and how it is going to be done we shall have to see. We must impress upon the world that it must be Self Government.
A great many of us want to say that we can govern ourselves now and govern ourselves well; that may not be true. Government is a matter of experience and long experience. Any people who have been deprived of self-government for a long time and then have it returned to them are liable to make mistakes. That is only human, and we are saying we have a right to make mistakes as that is how people learn, so we are asserting that we must have self-government even if we make mistakes.
(a) That since the advent of British, French, Belgian and other European nations in West Africa, there has been regression instead of progress as a result of systematic exploitation by these alien imperialist Powers. The claims of "partnership", "trusteeship", "guardianship", and the "mandate system", do not serve the political wishes of the people of West Africa.
(b) That the democratic nature of the indigenous institutions of the peoples of West Africa has been crushed by obnoxious and oppressive laws and regulations, and replaced by autocratic systems of Government which are inimical to the political wishes of the peoples of West Africa.
(c) That the introduction of pretentious constitutional reforms into the West African Territories are nothing but spurious attempts on the part of alien imperialist Powers to continue the political enslavement of the peoples.
(d) That the introduction of Indirect Rule is not only an instrument of oppression but also an encroachment oil the rights of the West African natural rulers.
(e) That the artificial divisions and territorial boundaries created by the Imperialist Powers are deliberate steps to obstruct the political unity of the West African peoples.
(a) That there has been a systematic exploitation of the economic resources of the West African territories by imperialist Towers to the detriment of the inhabitants.
(b) That the industrialisation of West Africa by the indigines has been discouraged and obstructed by the imperialist rulers, with the result that the standard of living has fallen below subsistence level.
(c) That the land, the rightful property of West Africans is gradually passing into the hands of foreign governments and other agencies through various devices and ordinances.
(d) That the workers and farmers of West Africa have not been allowed independent trades unions and cooperative movements without official interference.
(e) That the mining industries are in the hands of foreign monopolies of finance capital, with the result that wherever a mining industry has developed there has been a tendency to deprive the people of their land holding (e.g. mineral rights in Nigeria and Sierra Leone are now the property, of the British Government).
(f) That the British Government in West Africa is virtually controlled by a merchants' united front, whose main objective is the exploitation of the people, thus rendering the indigenous population economically helpless.
(g) That when a country is compelled to rely on one crop (e.g. cocoa) for a single monopolistic market, and is obliged to cultivate only for export while at the same time its farmers and workers find themselves in the grip of finance capital, then it is evident that the government of that country is incompetent to assume economic responsibility for it.
(a) That the democratic organisations and institutions of the West African peoples have been interfered with; that alien rule has not improved education, health or the nutrition of the West African peoples' but on the contrary tolerates mass illiteracy, ill-health, malnutrition, prostitution, and many other social evils.
(b) That organised Christianity in West Africa is identified with the political and economic exploitation of the West African peoples by alien Powers.
In view of these conditions, the Congress unanimously supports the members of the West African delegation in declaring:
That complete and absolute Independence for the Peoples of West Africa is the only to solution to the existing problems.
1.—This Congress views with great concern the deplorable conditions imposed upon the Africans by French and Belgian Imperialisms in the Congo and Equatorial Africa, and demands that immediate steps be taken to remedy conditions in these territories.
2.—That the demand of Egypt for the removal of British armed forces be conceded without delay, and that the Condominium over Sudan be abolished and the Sudanese granted complete independence from British and Egyptian rule.
3.—That the demands of the indigenous peoples of Tunis, Algeria, Morocco and Libya for democratic rights and independence from French and Italian rule be recognised.
That this Congress of African peoples demands democratic rights and self-government for the people of Kenya, Uganda, Tanganyika, Nyasaland, Somaliland and Zanzibar.
That this Congress calls upon the Secretary of State for the Colonies to implement the following immediate demands of the people of East African territories.
1.—The principles of the Four Freedoms and the Atlantic Charter be put into practice at once.
2.—The abolition of land laws which allow Europeans to take land from the Africans. Immediate cessation of any further settlement by Europeans in Kenya or in any other territory in East Africa. All available land to be distributed to the landless Africans.
3.—The right of Africans to develop the economic resources of their country without hindrance.
4.—The immediate abolition of all racial and other discriminatory laws at once (Kipandi system in particular), and the system of equal citizenship to be introduced forthwith.
5.—Freedom of speech, press, association and assembly.
6.—Revision of the system of taxation and of the civil and criminal code.
7.—Compulsory free arid uniform education for all children up to the age of 16, with free meals, free books and school equipment.
8.—Granting of the franchise, i.e., the right of every man and woman over the age of 21 to elect and be elected to Legislative Council, Provincial Council and all other Divisional and Municipal Councils.
9.—A state Medical Service, Health and Welfare Service to be made available to all.
10.—Abolition of forced labour, and the introduction of the principle of EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK.
This Fifth Pan-African Congress, representing millions of Africans and peoples of African descent throughout the world, condemns with all its, power the policy towards Africans and other non-Europeans carried out by the Union of South Africa which, although representing itself abroad as a democracy with a system of parliamentary government, manifests essentially the same characteristics as Fascism:—
(a) the Herrenvolk ideology which has transformed itself into a mania;
(b) the ruthless trampling underfoot of all human rights;
(c) the errection of one system of law and of morality for the "Aryans" and a different system of law and of morality for the non-white "non-Aryans."
This Congress demands for the non-European citizens of South Africa the immediate practical application of the following ten fundamental democratic rights.
1.—The franchise, i.e.. the right of every man and woman over the age of 21 In elect and he elected to Parliament, Provincil Council, and all other Divisional and Municipal Councils.
2.—Compulsory free and uniform education for all children up to the age of 6, with free meals, free books and school equipment for the needy.
3.—Inviolability of person, of one's house and privacy,
4.—Freedom of speech, press, meeting, and association.
5.—Freedom of movement and occupation.
6.—Full equality of rights for all citizens, without distinction of race, culture and sex.
7.—Revision of the land question in accordance with the needs of the Africans.
8.—Revision of the civil and criminal codes to accord with the foregoing demands.
9.—Revision of the system of taxation to bring it into line with the above.
10.—Revision of labour legislation and its application to (he mines and agriculture.
This Congress pledges itself to work unceasingly with and on behalf of its nun-European brothers in South Africa until they achieve the status of freedom and human dignity. This Congress regards the struggle of our brothers in South Africa as an integral part of the common struggle for national liberation throughout Africa.
MAYI BUYE I AFRICA!
1.—Since the Union of South Africa became a Dominion there has been developed an insistent urge to gain possession of the Native Protectorates of Bechuanaland, Basutoland and Swaziland, covering a total area of 293,420 square
miles, with a population of over 1,000,000. Control of these territories is desired in order to (1) exploit the mineral, (2) secure more land for agriculture and farming purposes, and (3) obtain additional supplies of cheap labour by taxing the natives.
2.—In recent years this desire for expansion has assumed an aggressive form and has created great alarm among the natives of the Protectorates for they are the last remaining Africans in the southern part of the continent who own land and enjoy a nominal independence.
3.—The Government of the Union of South Africa is demanding the immediate transfer of the Protectorates to the Union and is in correspondence with the Imperial Government on the subject. The Colonial Office has already set up a Joint Advisory Commission of South African and British officials to examine the question and propose ways and means of effecting transfer if and when Parliament agrees.
4.—The African people object bitterly to being used as pawns in bargains between different member states of the British Commonwealth as a means of settling imperialist adjustments. Africans are not chattels to be bartered like cattle in the markets of white nations, where statesmen and diplomats, like brokers, do their trade in the name of Democracy and Peace.
5.—The natives of the Protectorates look with horror upon such a proposal for they know of the slave conditions under which 8 million Africans in the Union live, who bear the brunt of taxation and other burdens but have no representation in Government. Eighty per cent of their lands have been taken away from them. They are denied the most elementary democratic rights—freedom of speech, press, assembly and movement. They are debarred from Trade Unions and excluded from skilled occupations by the Colour Bar. They are saddled with Pass Laws and other forms of repressive legislation. Recording their opposition to transfer, the Chiefs of Bechuanaland have adopted the following resolution:" This meeting of Chiefs and Councillors present on behalf of their respective tribes of Bechuanaland Protectorates records its protest and objection to the incorporation of the territory in the Union of South Africa."
6.—The natives of the Protectorates demand that the British Labour Government honour the promise of Protection made to their Chiefs by Her Majesty Queen Victoria'; Government during the latter part of the last century in return for their allegiance to the British Crown.
We, the accredited and recognised representatives of the people of the British West Indies and British Guiana in attendance at this Fifth Paul-African Congress, do hereby demand for our people:
1.—Federation of all British West Indian Islands on a voluntary and equal basis founded upon complete Self-Government.
2.—Self-Government based on universal Adult Suffrage for each island as a condition precedent to the establishment of such Federation, removal of all property and income qualifications for election to Public Offices.
3.—The establishment of new industries and the development of existing ones and adequate legal protection therefor.
4.—Opportunities for promotion and adequate facilities for native men and women to qualify for tie highest offices and positions in the Civil Se vice and private industry.
5.—Creation of a real Banking system to finance agricultural and industrial projects by presiding cheap long-term credit,
6.—Implementation of a Policy designed to make available, bring under useful cultivation and cure proper and efficient use of all arable land in order to obtain (a) production of food of sufficient quantity, quality and variety to secure good health for all the people; (b) the maintenance and extension of principal export crops and research for new crops as well as profitable markets; and (c) provision of the basis for industrial use and development, proper marketing facilities, guaranteed fair minimum prices, Extension Services.
7.—Immediate introduction of all forms of modern social legislation in existence in metropolitan areas, e.g., old age pensions, family allowances, national health and unemployment insurances, wages Courts of truly representative character, Employers' Liability. Acts, as well as improvement of existing Workmen's Compensation Laws.
8.—Immediate implementation of slum clearance and Housing Schemes designed to provide a sufficient number of good houses at economic rentals for workpeople, especially in rural areas.
9.—Compulsory free education for all, both elementary and secondary, with provision of free books for all as well as free lunches for needy children. In any event, elementary school leaving age to be raised to Id. Vocational and Technical training to be provided. Compulsory training in domestic science in all elementary schools. Immediate establishment of proposed West Indian University.
10.—Immediate overhauling and bringing up to date of all health laws and services.
11.—Immediate establishment of Juvenile Courts and introduction of modern system of reformatory schools, orphanages and children's homes with sociological treatment.
12.—Equal pay for equal work regardless of nationality, creed or sex.
13.—Removal of all disabilities affecting the employment of women, e.g., removal of "marriage bar" for women employed in government services.
14.—Modernisation of existing Bastardy Laws, with legal provision for registration of fathers with adequate safeguards.
15.—Raising of the Age of Consent to 16 (or 18).
16.—Abolition of school-girl system in domestic services.
17.—Legal enforcement for trades unions of all the rights and privileges enjoyed by trades unions in industrial countries including fair labour code and adequate and proper permanent machinery for the fair, speedy and effective settlement of all trades and industrial disputes.
18.—Creation of special departments for the development of all natural resources to provide (inter alia) regular employment at adequate living wages for all men and women able and willing to work—including establishment of organised water supplies in rural areas; irrigating and drainage schemes and provision of cheap electric light and power projects for agriculture and industry etc.
19.—Immediate geological surveys to determine natural resources of each territorial unit and of British West Indies and British Guiana as a whole.
20.—Nationalisation of all basic industries vital to life and welfare of the community and the de-casualising of Labour in Government as well as private undertakings.
21.—Public ownership of all public utilities, e.g., transportation.
22.—Proper and adequate system of gratuities and compensation for all demobilised service men and women and a comprehensive scheme for their re-absorption back into civilian life on equal basis with European service men and women.
23.—Development and encouragement of village and cultural life by provision of Community centres, playgrounds and libraries, etc.
24.—Increase of rate of taxes on higher income groups.
And we further declare that owing to the lack of travel facilities and the fact that West Indian Islands are over-populated, that West Indians domiciled in Europe and U.S.A. consider the formation of a West Indian Development and Welfare programme and the creation of a West
Indian Development Fund for purposes of the education and industrialisation of the West Indies and to assist the progressive movements in the respective West Indian Territories is necessary.
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTARY RESOLUTIONS presented by the delegation representing the Universal Negro Improvement Association of Jamaica.
1.—Whereas racial discrimination has been meted out to the Negro race in every walk of life throughout the world, i.e., in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, Universities and Colleges, hotel accommodation, employment, and in other economic and social respects:
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association of Jamaica, respectfully ask this Congress to place before the Authorities concerned, our resentment at such discrimination against the Negro race and our desire for its elimination as unjust and uncivilised.
2.—Whereas there are outstanding barriers connected with transportation, especially where African descendants are concerned; and whereas there are other signal impediments and restrictions to entering our Motherland, the Continent of Africa; and whereas it is the desire of African descendants, especially in the West Indies, to enter and domicile in Africa;
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the U.N.I.A. of Jamaica, respectfully ask this Congress to place before the Authorities concerned our demand for immediate removal of ail such barriers and restrictions.
3.—Whereas it is the desire of the Colonial Office and the inhabitants of the British West Indies that there should be a Federation of the British West Indies; and whereas there are overpopulated areas in some colonies while there are uninhabited areas in others; and whereas the development of intercommunication among the islands would create better understanding and relationship; and whereas there are many economic-benefits to be derived therefrom:
BE IT RESOLVED that we, the members of the U.N.I.A., request the Fifth Pan-African Congress to impress upon the Colonial Office the urgent necessity of bringing- into operation the proposed federation.
4.—Whereas World War No. 2 was fought, as expressed in the Atlantic Charter, for the freedom of all peoples:
BE IT RESOLVED that this Congress impress upon the Governments concerned that independence to African peoples throughout the world be given great and urgent consideration at the Peace Conference.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these Resolutions be placed before the proper Authorities for immediate consideration and action.
This Fifth Pan-African Congress sends fraternal greetings to the Governments and peoples of Ethiopia Liberia and Haiti, and pledges its support in mobilising world public opinion among Africans and peoples of Africa descent in defence of their Sovereign independence. We assure the Governments and peoples of these States that we shall ever be vigilant against any manifestation of Imperial encroachment which may threaten their independence.
We take this opportunity to inform the Imperial powers that we look with jealous pride upon these nations and regard them as symbols of the realisation of the political hopes and aspirations of African peoples still under Imperialist domination.
This Fifth Pan-African Congress sends its warmest greetings to the Emperor and peoples of Ethiopia, one of the three free states in the world that are controlled by African people. It pledges itself to guard with jealousy the interests of Ethiopia.
1.—This Congress condemns the suggestion that parts of Massawa and Asmara should be put under international control. It further condemns most strongly the attempts of the European Powers to impose conditions of Trusteeship which suggest that Ethiopia cannot be fully trusted to look after her own affairs.
2.—In the interest of justice as well as of economic geography this Congress supports most heartily the claims of the Somalis and Eritreans to be returned to their Motherland instead of being parcelled out to foreign powers.
3.—This Congress demands the immediate withdrawal of the British Military Administration from Ethiopian soil.
4.—This Congress calls upon the United Nations Relief Organisation to extend to Ethiopia the same aid as being afforded to the other victims of aggression.
This Fifth Pan-African Congress views with horror the treatment of disabled ex-Seamen, both African and of African descent, and particularly the case of B Johnson
of Manchester and others in Great Britain, and that a Committee be set up by the Colonial Office with the least possible delay, with a view to their repatriation to the homeland.
To secure equal opportunities for all Colonial and Coloured people in Great Britain, this Congress demand that discrimination on account of race, creed or colour be made a criminal offence by law.
That all employments and occupations shall be opened to all qualified Africans, and that to bar such applicants because of race, creed or colour shall be deemed an offence against the law.
That the Negro Welfare Centres, the League of Coloured Peoples, African Churches' Mission of Liverpool and other African organisations (social and religious) which have been doing legitimate welfare work among coloured children, students, seamen and others, shall be given every encouragement and assistance by the responsible Authorities to continue the vital social work in which they are engaged.
In order to register their protest against South Africa's demand for the abolition of the Mandate over South West Africa and the incorporation of the territory into the Union, the League of Coloured Peoples, the Pan-African Federation, the West African National Secretariat, and other coloured organisations in Britain, sent the following Resolution to the Trusteeship Committee of the United Nations:
(a) To reject categorically the claim of the Government of the Union of South Africa to incorporate the mandated territory of South-West Africa, (b) To request the surrender of the mandate of the territory of South-West Africa to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations Organisation by the European peoples of the Union of South Africa, (c) To investigate the conditions of life and work, the political rights and civil liberties of the non-European peoples of the Union of South Africa, and (d) to require of the Union of South Africa an undertaking to respect and abide by the principles of the United Nations Charter in the treatment of all peoples within the jurisdiction on pain of expulsion from membership of the United Nations Organisation.
As is generally known, the policy pursued by the Government of South Africa towards its subjects of non-European race is a direct negation of the principles of racial tolerance, justice and freedom. Since the year 1920 when the mandated territory of South-West Africa was placed under the Trusteeship of the Union of South Africa the Native Policy of the Union Government has steadily deteriorated. As the native in South Africa has become, in spite of Legislative and Administrative restrictions, more efficient in the field of industrial labour and more advanced in knowledge, so have the repressive measures directed against him been extended and intensified. The whole purpose of these measures is to make of the African nothing more than an "indentured labourer," a being in perpetual enslavement to the Mining and Agricultural enterprises of the country.
In 1936 the passing of the Native Franchise Act, the Native Land Act and the Urban Areas Act deprived the natives of the Cape Province of the right to buy, hire or occupy land wherever they chose and confined them to restricted areas; the right to be on the Common Voters Roll, their representation being limited to three appointed European members in a House of Assembly consisting of one hundred and fifty-three members; their right to sell their labour where they chose by restricting their movements. The Industrial Conciliation Act No. 36 of 1937 excludes from the definition of "Employee" over ninety per cent of the African workers merely because they are natives. The result of this Act is that the Minister of Labour refuses to recognize African Trade Unions or to implement any agreement negotiated between White employer and black employee under the terms of the Act. Under the covenant of the League of Nations the Mandatory Power was entitled to apply to the mandated territory the same law, as those in force in its own territory. Thus by means of proclamations some of the restrictive laws of the Union have been extended to South-West Africa. For instance, The Native Administration Proclamation No. 11 of 1924 and The Urban Areas Proclamation No. 34 of 1924 followed closely the lines of Urban Legislation and enforced segregation of the African peoples. In 1927 Proclamation No. 11 placed a restriction on the number of native squatters on farm and by the introduction of a system of "passes" restricted all movement including travel by rail.
There is little doubt that in its attitude to the territory of South-West Africa the Union Government has assumed a position which is not in keeping with that of a trustee but, on the contrary, in accord with that of a conqueror bent upon territorial aggrandisment and the spoliation and humiliation of the vanquished. The question arises whether the Union Government is one that should reasonably be entrusted with the care (if subject and helpless peoples. The racial policy of this Government is a direct affront to the express determination the United Nations "to re-
affirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights 01 men and women of nations large and small."
Africans are not the only victims of this racialism, for the Indians, who number a bare quarter of a million, suffer discrimination in a similar manner. Incidentally, the latest manifestation of anti-Indian Legislation, the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act forms the subject of a complaint to the United Nations Organisation by the Government of India.
We demand justice and social equality for the Indian community in South Africa.
The last session of the Congress was given over to a crowded mass meeting, marked by the exchange of many fraternal greetings. On the previous evening a banquet was held at which many complimentary speeches were made.
Mr. T. R. Makonnen, Treasurer of the Pan-African Federation, presented Dr. W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, on behalf of the delegates, with a silver cigarette box as a small token of the affection and esteem felt towards him and the great Africo-American people he represented.
Greetings to Afro-Americans. This ceremony was associated with the following resolution conveying the greetings and support of the Congress to National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People of America: "The Fifth Pan-African Congress greets the heroic struggles of the thirteen million people of African descent in the United States in their fight to secure the rights of full citizenship, political, economic and social. Africans and peoples of African descent throughout the world will continue to support their Afro-American brothers in their fight for their rights by intelligent organised planning, legal contention and political pressure. This Congress endorses Afro-American opposition to unequal distribution of wealth, the rule of wealth and the conduct of industry solely for private profit. This Congress supports- the attitude of Afro-Americans in offering- to unite their effort with trade union labour. This Congress believes that the successful realisation of the political, economic and social aspirations of the thirteen million people in the United States is bound up with the emancipation of all African peoples, as well as other dependent people and the working class everywhere."
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GREETINGS TO THE MASSES OF INDIA. Mr. George Padmore, on behalf of the Standing Orders Committee, proposed the following resolution conveying solidarity with the Indian struggle, which was seconded by Mr. Ken Hill and adopted by the Congress with loud acclaim: "We, the representatives of African peoples and peoples of African descent assembled at the Fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester, do hereby send fraternal greetings to the toiling masses of India through the Indian National Congress and pledge our solidarity with the Indian struggle for national freedom and social emancipation."
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GREETINGS TO INDONESIA AND VIET-NAM. The Fifth Pan-African Congress, representing people of Africa and African descent now in session in the City of Manchester, extends its fraternal greetings to the struggling peoples of Indonesia and Viet-Nam in their struggle against Dutch and French Imperialisms, and pledge solidarity with them in their fight for 'national freedom and economic emancipation.
HANDS OFF INDONESIA! HANDS OFF VIET-NAM!
FROM AFRICA—GOLD COAST. A cable was received from the President of the Aborigines' Rights Protection Society of the Gold Coast, instructing the delegates from that territory that there must be 'no compromise on the question of independence of the Colonies. The cable said: "We request you to emphasise that in considering any proposal or scheme for self-government, emphasis should be laid on two facts that are often overlooked, namely; first, that Africa was self-governing before Europe tampered with her usages and institutions; secondly, that self-government need not be according to English models or ideals. It is not true that responsible and representative government is the invention of British statecraft. The British are notoriously incapable of recognizing democracy in any country unless it wears an English garb or expresses itself in terms intelligible to the English mind. But the English form of democracy cannot work in man-English countries, Even the American variant differs essentially from the English. Provision should therefore be made in every constitution for the control of the legislature by a supreme court with wide powers, which can pronounce as to the validity or invalidity of questionable or unconstitutional measures."
From the Secretary of the JOINT PROVISIONAL COUNCIL OF THE GOLD COAST. "I have been instructed by the Joint Provisional Council of the Gold Coast to wish your congress all success."
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SOUTH AFRICA. From Professor D. D. T. Jabavu of South African Native College, President of the Non-European Convention: "It is absolutely impossible for an African to get a passage to England within so short a time. Nevertheless, both my wife and myself wish the congress all success and prosperity."
From the Secretary of the African National Congress of South Africa: "I can assure the Congress that my organisation appreciates your kind invitation. We are already making preparation and arrangements to attend if we can an obtain passports. These arrangements are being made in conjunction with our President-General of the African National Congress, Dr. A. B. Xuma."
(Unfortunately the South African delegates were unable to obtain passports and could not attend.—Editor).
WEST INDIES (Jamaica). Mr. T. E. Sealy, Coordinating Editor, The Daily Gleaner, Jamaica, British West Indies: "My message to the congress, one which I hope is consistent with your programme, is that respect will come to us Negro peoples, fully, only when we have won the fight for political self-determination wherever we may be. Where we are numerically in the majority we must have a correspondingly preponderant influence and power in a self-governing authority. Where we remain a minority we must have protection and privileges equal to those demanded by and afforded to the dominant majorities. I believe that until the world becomes a rational Utopia people will always have racial and other prejudices. But prejudices must not be allowed to have legal, political or economic status, must not be permitted to deprive of us of full opportunity. Give us—we demand it—educational, economic and political freedom, and we will by our own constructive lives prove fraudulent and empty the social prejudices of the 'superior peoples'."
* * *
MESSAGE FROM INDIA. Mr. Surat Ali, Federation of Indian Associations in Great Britain, expressed pleasure in being able to address the Congress, in which he was interested for three reasons: he had worked a great deal with African seamen, he was a working man, and he was an Indian. Relations between Indians and Africans were not only those of the common struggle, they were also historic. An Indian philosopher had said: "As long as there is one man oppressed the whole Indian nation feels oppressed: so long as there is one man who is not emancipated, I do not feel that I am emancipated." This is the message he brought to greet the Congress on behalf of the Indian people in Britain. Tins common struggle should bring Indians and Africans closer to realising their ancient relationship, so that coloured people would no longer be oppressed.
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BRITISH POLITICAL ORGANISATIONS.
COMMUNISTS. From the District Secretary, Communist Party (Lancashire and Cheshire District): "I have been instructed to convey to you our sincere fraternal greetings, and to say that we believe the following two points should be the basis of a campaign in the Labour Movement in this country on the problems with which you are dealing:
(1) A clear declaration from the British Government that the principles of the Atlantic Charter apply to the Colonial peoples, with special emphasis on Clause 3, as follows—'They respect the form of government under which they will live, and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-determination restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.'
(2) A comprehensive programme of immediate reforms to be applied to each colony at once, such reforms to cover the removal of restrictions upon civil rights; freedom of organisation and press; the abolition of the poll and hut tax; the abolition of pass laws; the securing of universal adult suffrage to the Legislative Council and local government; elementary education to be made accessible and compulsory for all children of school age; the extension of secondary, technical and higher education; the introduction of adequate public health services; the introduction of minimum labour and social legislation; access to the land and comprehensive housing programme.
Allow me to wish you the very best success in your efforts."—Pat Devine, District Secretary.
LANCASHIRE I.L.P. "Sends fraternal greetings to the delegates and wishes the congress all success."
COMMON WEALTH PARTY. "Sends fraternal greetings and best wishes to the congress for every success. Common Wealth wishes to be associated with the colonial peoples in the common struggle for the common man everywhere."
SOCIALIST VANGUARD GROUP. "We are in complete agreement and sympathy with the basic objects and proposed activities of the congress and wish you all success."
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SUPPORT FOR BRITISH POLITICAL PRISONERS. The Congress welcomed Miss Dinah Stock, delegate from the Freedom Defence Committee of London. Miss Stock asked the delegates to give their support to a petition by the Freedom Defence Committee to the British Government, asking that certain political prisoners held under Defence of the Realm Regulation 18b now be granted amnesty. This petition the delegates later signed.
Sierra Leone: Delegate: Teachers' Union ... ... Rev. HARRY E. SAWYER Trade Union Congress ... ... I. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON Youth League ... ... I. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON The People's Forum ... ... L. SANKOH Nigeria: Trades Union Congress ... ... A. SOYEMI COKER The National Council of Nigeria and MAGNUS WILLIAMS the Cameroons ... ... F. B. JOSEPH Nigerian Youth Movement ... ... O. AWOLOWO H. O. DAVIES Calabar Improvement League ... E. B. NDEM Gold Coast: Aborigines' Rights Protection Society G. ASHIE-NIKOI Gold Coast Farmers' Association ... W. J. KWESI MOULD G. ASHIE-NIKOI African Railway Employees Union ... J. S. ANNAN Friends of African Freedom Society B. A. RENNER Mrs. RENNER Gambia: National Council of Gambia ... J. DOWNES-THOMAS Trades Union ... ... ... E. GARBA-JAHUMPA Liberia: Progressive Society ... ... J. TOBIE R. BROADHURST
EAST AND SOUTH AFRICA.
Uganda: The Young Baganda ... ... I. YATU Tanganyika: ... ... S. RAHINDA Kenya: Kikuyu Central Association ... JOMO KENYATT African Union Nyasaland: Nyasaland African Congress ... Dr. HASTINGS K. BANDA South Africa: African National Congress ... MARKO HLUBI PETER ABRAHAMS
Antigua: Workers' Union ... ... ... R. G. SMALL W. R. AUSTIN Barbados: Progressive League ... ... E. de L. YEARWOOD Workers' Union ... ... ... A. MOSELEY Bahamas: R. JOHNSON J. McCASKIE R. D. WATSON J. M. KING
Bermuda: Workers' Association ... ... G. R. TUCKER British Guiana: Trades Union Council ... ... D. M. HARPER African Development Association ... W. MEIGHAN Dr. P. MILLIARD British Honduras: Workers' League ... G. CARGILL H. DAWSON H. T. WEIR Grenada: Labour Party ... ... ... S. J. ANDREWS Jamaica: Trades Union Council ... ... KEN HILL People's National Party ... ... L. A. THOYWELL-HENRY Ex-British West Indies Regt. Assn. Universal Negro Improvement Assn. Miss ALMA LA BADIE Garvey's African Communities League L. A. THOYWELL-HENRY V. G. HAMILTON K. BOXER St. Kitts: Workers' League ... ... ... R. JOHNSON St. Kitt-Nevis Trades and Labour E. McKENZIE-MAVINGA Union ... ... ... J. A. LINTON St. Lucia: Seamen's and Waterfront Workers' Union ... ... ... J. M. KING Trinidad and Tobago: Federated Workers' Trade Union ... G. PADMORE Negro Welfare and Cultural Assn. C. LYNCH West Indies National Party ... C. LUSHINGTON Labour Party ... ... ... E. McKENZIE-MAVINGA Oilfield Workers' Union ... ... JOHN ROJAS Trade Union Congress ... ... RUPERT GITTENS
The Negro Association, Manchester C. PEART M. I. FARO F. NILES Dr. P. MILLIARD F. W. BLAINE The Negro Welfare Centre, Liverpool J. E. TAYLOR E. J. DUPLAN C. D. HYDE E. A. COWAN K. E. TAYLOR
Coloured Workers' Association ... E. P. MARKE E. A. AKI-EMI J. NORTEY United Committee of Coloured and A. E. MOSSELL Colonial People's Assn., Cardiff S. J. S. ANDREW J. NURSE M. HASSAN B. RODERICK African Students' Union of Edin- burgh ... ... ... J. C. de GRAF JOHNSON The Young African Progressive R. FINI League ... ... ... E. BROWN G. NELSON A. AGUNSANYA League of African Peoples, Birming ham ... ... ... ... Dr. C. J. PILISO West African Students' Union, Lon- F. R. KANKAM BOADU don J. E. APPIAH F. O. B. BLAIZE International African Service Bureau T. R. MAKONNEN Mrs. ASHWOOD GARVEY G. PADMORE P. ABRAHAMS F. K. NKRUMAH African Progressive Assn. London K. O. LARBI Assn. of African Descent, Dublin JA-JA WACHUKU Fraternal Delgates and Observers: Committee of Cyprus Affairs ... L. JOANNOU Somali Society ... ... ... ISMAIL DORBEH ALI MEBAH Federation of Indian Organisations in Britain ... ... ... SURAT ALLEY Ceylon Lanka Sama Samaj ... ... T. B. SUBASINGHA Women's International League ... Miss H. BURTON Common Wealth ... ... ... Miss LEEDS Independent Labour Party ... JOHN McNAIR Negro Welfare Assn. ... ... Miss LEVY Miss R. B. ROSE Miss A. B. BLAINE
The following committees were appointed by the Plenary Session of Congress:
STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE: G. PADMORE, Chairman. B. A. RENNER, Secretary. E. A. AKI-EMI, J. S. ANNAN, T. R. MAKONNEN. CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE: J. KENYATTA, Chairman. F. B. JOSEPH, Secretary. E. A. COWAN, A. S. MOSSELL, J. TAYLOR. PUBLICITY COMMITTEE: E. ABRAHAMAS, Chairman. K. F. NKRUMAH, Secretary. E. de L. YEARWOOD, E. K. TAYLOR. RESOLUTIONS COMMITEE: I. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON, Chairman KEN HILL, Secretary. G. JAHUMPA, Dr. W. E. B. DUBOIS, Mrs. A GARVEY, G. ASHIE-NIKOI, E. J. DUPLAN. PLATFORM COMMITTEE: Dr. W. E. B. DUBOIS, Chairman Dr. P. MILLIARD, Secretary. Mrs. A. GARVEY, MARKO HLUBI, A. S. MOSSELL, I. T. A. WALLACE-JOHNSON, G. ASHIE-NIKOI. ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE: Miss A. ROSSALL, Chairman. Mrs. A. GARVEY, Secretary. Miss V. THOMPSON, Miss R. B. ROSE, Mrs. A. B. BLAINE, Miss LEVY, Mrs. PRICE, Miss E. DORMAN, Miss DRONAH PETROFF, Mrs. RENNER. OFFICIAL STENOGRAPHER: Mrs. DOROTHYLIVINGS.
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LIMITED REPRINT OF A SCARCE DOCUMENT
When Africa's young leaders gathered in Manchester in 1945 for the Fifth Pan-African Congress they were largely unknown and Africa was almost wholly under white domination.
"We are determined to be free . . . we demand for Black Africa autonomy and independence" said their Challenge to the Colonial Powers, printed in full within.
These men turned from words to action and today over thirty African states have achieved political independence.
At the time, few people knew of this Congress and when the late George Padmore & Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois wrote their account of it, the only published record, it attracted little notice. Long out-of-print it is now a rare document.
This reprint is absorbing reading in the light of the tremendous developments in Africa in recent years.
"The Pan-African Congress held in Manchester in 1945 marked the turning point in Pan-Africanism from a passive to an active stage" writes Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in one of the Goodwill Messages we have received for inclusion in this reprint from distinguished leaders who were present, or represented, at this Congress eighteen years ago.
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[Bibliography and financial statement absent in this reprint]