This document consists of the Progressive Labour Party’s first ever election platform, and was simultaneously Bermuda’s first ever election platform, the UBP not forming until 1964 – largely in reaction to the formation of the PLP.
Statement of Policy of the Bermuda Progressive Labour Party
The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party, newly organised, has set as its goal the political education of the people of Bermuda and the attainment of social and economic justice for all.
This statement of policy contains the sincere declarations of the Party’s aims and principles. We are a people’s Party, whose mission is the development of a political body whose aims are the attainment of a truly democratic society. The following platform has been adopted by the Party as indicative of its aims.
(a) The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party will move at the earliest possible moment for a thorough and objective investigation of our Educational system with special reference to schools.
i) the provision of adequate nursery schools properly supervised.
ii) the school entry and the school leaving age.
iii) the provision of compulsory free education to secondary school level.
iv) integration of schools.
(a) Early steps will be taken to encourage the establishment and growth of Trade Unions and to that end an immediate examination is to be made of the Trade Union Laws, with a view to bringing them in line with modern legislation on this subject.
(b) Immediate enactment of minimum wage legislation and of workmen’s compensation and unemployment insurance benefit laws.
(c) Fair employment legislation as a protection of workers against colour discrimination.
(d) The protection of Bermudian workers against competition from outside.
(e) The establishment of an apprenticeship system, and the development of further technical or other training for workers.
(f) The establishment of a government employment agency.
(a) The control of rents and the enforcement of decent standards in housing.
(b) The provision of subsidised housing for families in the lower income brackets and the encouragement of a scheme for assisting home ownership by amortised mortgages.
(a) The provision of a Health Plan so as to ensure that adequate and inexpensive medical and dental care is available to all.
(b) The establishment of scholarships in Medicine and Allied fields.
5. SOCIAL SECURITY & WELFARE
(a) The provision of adequate old age pensions.
(b) The protection of minors and the provision of recreation facilities and the development of a proper Social Welfare Agency with trained social welfare workers.
(c) The provision of hostels for the protection of young people.
(d) The provision of consultation with psychiatric social workers in cases of young offenders.
6. TRADE & INDUSTRY
(a) The encouragement of secondary industries.
(b) The extension of the tourist trade.
(c) The exploitation and further development of the fishing industry, farming and the development of any other natural resources.
(d) The further encouragement of exempted companies as an addition to the country’s economic growth.
(a) An investigation of the sources of revenue with a view to more equitable distribution of the tax burden.
(b) An investigation of the advisability of introducing some form of direct taxation.
(c) An investigation of new sources of revenue.
An examination of immigration policy with view to the removal of present abuses.
The Party believes that Bermuda should now move to fully responsible Government. To this end we propose to have immediate consultations with the Imperial Government for the amendment of the Letters Patent to provide for a responsible form of Government.
In particular, we will request that:-
(a) The composition of the Executive Council be changed to make it responsible to the House of Assembly.
(b) The Chairman and members of Boards be appointed by the Governor upon the advice and with the consent of the Executive Council.
(c) Appointments to the Legislative Council be made by the Governor with the advice and with the consent of the Executive Council provided that provision be made for due representation of minority opinion in the Legislative Council.
The Party will seek to amend at the earliest oppurtunity the Parliamentary Election Act 1963, so as to provide for the following:-
(a) Voting by all persons of 21 years of age and over.
(b) The removal of the property vote.
(c) Examination of the electoral districts with a view to removing the abuses that are patent in the present.
10. GENERAL STATEMENT
The Party will strive for the attainment of social and economic justice for all, based on the will of the people and democratic principles.
Dated the 12th of February, 1963