To illustrate the more things change the more they remain the same BU has cited three quotes below uttered by the Late Prime Minister Rt. Hon. J. M.G. M. ADAMS, M.A which have been extracted from his introductory speech to the Integrity Legislation Debate (parliament) in November 1979.
During the last Session I moved a Resolution calling for the introduction of integrity legislation for Ministers and Members of Parliament. After rnuch equivocation that Resolution was sent to a Select Committee. However, except for Mr. Speaker, no member of the then Government, the Democratic Labour Party, attended any meeting
of the Select Committee on integrity legislation and it failed to obtain a quorum. We therefore proposed in our Manifesto that we would pass legislation providing for; Members of Parliament, Senators and politically appointed members of Statutory Corporations to disclose their financial assets and liabilities on assuming office, periodically during office, and on termination. That was our commitment and this legislation is the result.
It is really a very simple principle that every year Ministers and Mernbers of Parliament, Senators should make a declaration of how much money they have, what property they own in and out of Barbados, and under certain conditions what property is owned by their spouse and children. Every year these declarations should be updated and examined by a Public Integrity Commission.
We have carried out an election pledge by introducing this Bill which seeks to preserve public confidence in the integrity and honesty of persons in public life. We know that we have to take the lead because the Opposition is opposed to it. I will not be so uncharitable as to say that the Opposition does not want this Bill passed because perhaps they are unwilling to make declarations and are therefore picking up something that is nothing, along with their anger, to excite the public in an unreasonable way.
Rt. Hon. J. M.G. M. ADAMS, M.A., (Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning), House of Assembly Debates
His Honour W. C. B. HINDS, J.P. (Speaker); Rt. – Hon. E. W. BARROW, U.D., (Leader of the Opposition); Mr. R. StC. WEEKES, J.P.; Hon. L. S. CRAIG, (Minister of Housing, Lands and the Environment); Rt. Hon. J. M.G. M. ADAMS, M.A., (Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Planning); Hon. C. L. BOLDEN, LL.B., (Minister
of Communications and Works); Mr. E. E. GREAVES, B. A., Ed.M.; Mr. D. A. C. SIMMONS, LL.M.; Hon. Miss B. A. MILLER, (Minister of Health and National Insurance); Hon. L. B. BRATHWAITE, (Minister of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs); Mr. J. G. ODLE, B.Sc., (Chairman of Committees); Mr. M. C. C. WARD; Mr. V. L. JOHNSON, M.A.; Hon. L. R. TULL, M.A., (Minister of Education and Culture); Mr. DeL. 0 . BRADSHAW; Mr. L.L. SISNETT; His Honour E. E. ALLEYNE, LL.M., (Deputy Speaker) and Dr. R. C. HAYNES, M.B., Ch.B., M.R.C.P.
Members of Parliament present at the last debate on Integrity Legislation 30+ years ago
Although many of those party to the 79 debate are dead or infirmed several remain active. It is disappointing that former members of parliament Dame Billie Miller, Sir Henry Ford, Sir David Simmoms, Sir Louis Tull, Ezra Alleyne, Evelyn Greaves, Leroy Sisnett, Delisle Bradshaw should remain silent by not informing the current public debate on integrity legislation.
Given the challenge of implementing the legislation in small countries why not maintain the scope of the original legislation and expand after careful monitoring?
The DLP should inform the public why it refused to participate in the Joint Committee to consider the legislation. Both parties should explain why it has taken thirty years to read the legislation in parliament only for it to retire meekly to a Joint Select Committee of parliament.