Events Subsequent to November 18, 1973
Paragraphs 133 thru 135. - The Organisation of 22 and Resolutions passed
133. The violent and highly illegal conduct of the aides or secret police reached a peak on Sunday, November 18, 1973, when the Six were apprehended in the town of Grenville. This incident aroused public indignation on all sides and led to the presentation of numerous petitions and complaints to the Governor and to the Premier. Meetings were held at Otway House, the headquarters of the Technical & Allied Workers Union, by representatives of various public bodies, who subsequently became known as the "Organisation of Twenty-Two."
134. Resolutions were passed calling on the Government to take immediate action to allay public anxiety. A general strike was called and business in general came to a halt. The Premier met with representatives of the Committee of the Organisation of 22 and agreement was reached on a number of things which were to be done by the Government. In Schedule B of the Second Appendix [not available on this site] we attach photocopies of the undermentioned documents, which were put in evidence:-
- Resolutions approved by the various organisations attending meetings on November 26 and 27, 1973
- Further Resolutions approved by the same organisations
Letter from the Premier to Mr. Curtis B. Stuart, Chairman of the Organisation, dated November 29, 1973
Letter from Mr. Curtis B. Stuart to the Premier dated November 29, 1973
- Letter from Mr. Curtis B. Stuart to the Premier dated November 30, 1973, endorsed "Agreed" and signed "E.M. Gairy."
These documents set out clearly what the Government had agreed to do. A summary of the things which were to have been done is as follows:-
- A Commission of Enquiry into the breakdown of law and order was to be set up.
- The Commissioner of Police, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Attorney General were to investigate forthwith and receive evidence leading up to the arrest of persons who had committed acts of brutality after November 1, 1973 and charges laid.
- Assistant Superintendent of Police, Innocent Belmar, was to be suspended immediately and charged.
- The effective and total disarming and disbanding of the police aides and/or Special Reserve Police was to be carried out forthwith in a manner satisfactory to the Committee, and
- an assurance given by Government that such persons be not re-employed in any law enforcement capacity.
- Indiscriminate searches of persons and property "under the guise of the Firearms Act" were to cease immediately.
135. The Organisation of 22 stipulated and the Premier agreed that the Organisation would review the progress of the implementation of Item 2 above on December 11, 1973. The general strike was called off and business returned to some degree of normalcy. We turn now to an examination of subsequent events.