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#447649 - 09/29/12 08:14 AM Nick Pollard, Jr., comments on PUP 1956 issues
Marty Offline

The Amandala

Allow me to comment on the excerpt taken from Larry Vernon’s paper on political parties in Belize. I believe the full paper was published about two years ago in Amandala. I wish to say that there was one sentence and I quote, “that Nicholas Pollard conducted a campaign of slander against leaders of the PUP.” I wish to say that the statement is completely out of context. The statement would lead readers to believe that Pollard went berserk and publicly slandered leaders of the People’s United Party. Vernon failed to inform his readers that a bitter feud exploded in July of 1956 when Goldson, Richardson and Herman Jex took a missing monies case to the GWU Executive at Liberty Hall, where they all conspired to expel Pollard.

Following Pollard’s expulsion, Pollard, with Price’s support, countered with a vicious attack on all three who had been elected in the 1954 adult suffrage elections. My reason for exposing this distorted information is because Vernon is listed in Godfrey Smith’s list of acknowledgements in his book on George Price. After reading Godfrey’s chapter on the “Struggle for Leadership,” I found it somewhat obnoxious that he chose to use the words “nasty campaign” twice and “slander” in only one paragraph on page 132 to describe Pollard’s attack on his adversaries. Godfrey uses the “Richardson/Goldson Declaration” of September 27th, 1956 to elaborate on the “Struggle for Leadership”; the Declaration was to have been read that night at the Riverside Hall by the PUP Party Chairman, Lloyd Coffin, when they were stopped by the Pollard/Price faction and ousted from the building.

Also in his chapter, “The Struggle for Leadership”, Godfrey mildly cites attacks that Price made on the rostrum against the Goldson and Richardson faction. However, as a historian myself, what I find very significant is that Godfrey and Vernon both failed to expose from the “Declaration” that Goldson and Richardson, who had themselves been accused of getting “gifts” from the Guatemalan government, accused Price of his secret “activities” with Guatemala. This is significant because both men were questioned along with Price about their activities in Guatemala in 1954 at the Reginald Sharpe Inquiry. Back then only those three would have known about each other’s activities with Guatemala.

I think it is time to publish the full text of the September 27th, 1956 Declaration of Goldson and Richardson so the people of Belize can better understand the 1956 split.

Nick Pollard, Jr.


#448162 - 10/06/12 08:49 AM Re: Nick Pollard, Jr., comments on PUP 1956 issues [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Mr. Lawrence Vernon responds


I refer to Nick Pollard’s letter in the Amandala of September 30, 2012.

Nick Pollard is correct in saying that the Amandala did publish a paper on political parties in Belize written by me. Actually the Amandala extracted the paper from the Belizean Studies publication “Readings in Belizean History” published by St. John’s College and the Institute of Social and Cultural Research, which is a condensed version of a comprehensive book which I intend to publish, entitled “A History of Political Parties in Belize.”

Allow me to make two comments on Nick’s letter, and the Declaration he so thoughtfully published next to his letter lends some support. Firstly, I cannot agree that I took the statement, “that Nicholas Pollard conducted a campaign of slander against leaders of the P.U.P.” out of context when that is almost verbatim in the Declaration that was scheduled to be read by William Lloyd Coffin on September 27, 1956 at the Riverside Hall in Belize City.

I will concede, however, that in the condensed version of the book, reference was only made to the Declaration; while my comprehensive text actually details the clauses in the Declaration.

Secondly, and again because Nick only had access to the condensed version, although I failed to inform readers of “a bitter feud” among P.U.P. leaders in July 1956 over missing General Workers Union monies, I did infer this by stating in my comprehensive text: “On July 6 the General Workers Union suspended its General Secretary, Nicholas Pollard, for financial irregularities.”

In a footnote I further stated: “This dispute amongst the leaders of the Union had resulted in Pollard forming a break-away union registered as the Christian Democratic Union.”

I have every respect and admiration for Nick as a political historian, and welcome his comments and I thank him for sharing his thoughts. Let me close by saying, though, that my being listed in the acknowledgements of Godfrey Smith’s biography of George Price aside, and further comments about the author’s treatment of the subject, is for Mr. Smith to take up if he deems it fitting.

Lawrence Vernon



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