“From the Hansard” gives us the opportunity to delve into the genesis of legislation in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. Our archives go all the way back to 1872 so here you’ll get the background on why certain laws were introduced.
The Public Transport Service Bill, 1965
This bill sought to provide for the establishment of a Public Transport Service to promote the operation and development of road and rail transport facilities, and facilitate the phased substitution of road transport for the existing railway system. In 1965 transport was probably one of the most frustrating issues facing members of the public, and the Government was firm in its decision to make public transport one that the country could be proud of.
The Public Transport Service Bill was introduced in the House by the then Minister of Public Utilities and Member for Barataria, Hon. Kamaluddin Mohammed on 22nd April, 1965 and then Attorney General, Sen. the Hon. George A. Richards in the Senate on 4th May, 1965.
Hansard – House Debate (Friday April 22, 1965)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Tuesday May 4, 1965)
The Water and Sewerage Bill, 1965
In any community, water ranks high among natural resources. Even more so, the public health and economic development of a country depend to a considerable extent on an adequate and safe supply of water. This was the thinking behind the introduction of the Water and Sewerage Bill, 1965. The objective was to provide for the development and control of the water supply and sewerage facilities in Trinidad and Tobago and matters of sanitation; the promotion of the conservation and proper use of water resources; and for the establishment of an Authority to administer those objectives.
The bill was introduced by the then Minister of Public Utilities and Member for Barataria, Hon. Kamaluddin Mohammed in the House of Representatives on 6th August, 1965 and by Attorney General, Sen. the Hon. George A. Richards in the Senate on 12th August, 1965.
Hansard – House Debate (Friday August 6, 1965)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Thursday August 12, 1965)
The Treasury Bonds Act, 2008
The objective of this bill was to authorise the use of Treasury Bonds as an additional instrument to complement the Treasury Notes and Treasury Bills that were available for use in the open market operations.
The bill was introduced by the then Minister of Finance, Hon. Karen Nunez-Tesheira during a sitting of the House of Representatives on Friday 4th July, 2008. Faced with demands from the wider public to mitigate the inflationary challenge emerging not only in Trinidad and Tobago but also the wider global economy, the government indicated that the bill provided the wherewithal to confront and subdue inflation wherever and whenever it emerged.
Hansard – House Debate (Friday July 4, 2008)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Tuesday July 8, 2008)
The Education Act, 1965
The Education Act attempted to establish a national system of education in a newly independent Trinidad and Tobago. The view at the time was that the inherited educational system in place was deficient and needed to be modernised to reflect the progress being made as an independent nation. The Act was presented in the House for its second reading on Wednesday December 8th 1965 by Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams. The Bill was later debated in the Senate on Monday December 13th with then Minister of Education, Senator the Honourable D. P. Pierre leading off the debate for the government. The Act was introduced in the very first independent Parliamentary session which ran from December 29, 1961 to August 1966.
Hansard – House Debate (Wednesday December 8, 1965)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Monday December 13, 1965)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Tuesday December 14, 1965)
The Public Holidays Ordinance, 1872
The Public Holidays Ordinance, 1872 was commenced (proclaimed) on 6th July, 1872. The introduction of this bill sought to make provisions for appointing certain days to be public holidays and for enabling public holidays to be appointed by proclamation.
During the 16th sitting of the Senate on Saturday 25th August, 1962, the then Attorney General, Senator George A. Richards moved an amendment to include Independence Day among the list of public holidays. â€œIt is most fit and proper and will meet with universal acceptance that the day on which we attained independence should become a fixed public holidayâ€. Prior to attaining independence, Trinidad and Tobago served as a British colony with the Queen of England as the Head of State. Trinidad and Tobago celebrates its 56th anniversary of Independence on 31st August, 2018. As we look back, Trinidad and Tobago can certainly boast of its many achievements as we continue to carve out our unique identity, create unity at all levels while appreciating our past and a concept of progress at the forefront.Hansard – Senate Debate (Saturday August 25, 1962)
The Housing Act, 1962
The introduction of the Housing Act 1962 was an attempt by the Government to tackle with vigour some of the problems surrounding the housing situation which happened to be one of the major social and economic problems facing Trinidad and Tobago. The bill was introduced in the House by then Minister of Health and Housing, and Member of Parliament for Laventille, Donald C. Granado on Friday 20th July, 1962 and by then Attorney General, Senator George Armsby Richards in the Senate on Monday 23rd July, 1962.
The intention of this bill was to create a National Housing Authority which would exercise overall control of the housing situation. As such, the bill stood to replace existing statutory bodies dealing with housing, and to revise, consolidate and extend the laws relating to the encouragement of construction of dwelling houses and home ownership.
Hansard – House of Representatives (Friday July 20, 1962)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Monday July 23, 1962)
The National Lotteries Act, 1968
A Bill to provide for the Establishment of a National Lotteries Control Board was introduced in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago in 1968 by then Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Francis Prevatt. The establishment of a national lottery was a topical debate at the time and the Government aimed to create a body that ensured the fair, controlled and supervised execution of existing gambling practices, with equitable treatment for participants. Additionally, the proceeds from gambling collected would be used for national development. The Bill was debated in the House on July 12th, 1968 and on July 23rd in the Senate. Here are the links to the Hansard of both debates:
Hansard – House of Representatives (Friday July 12, 1968)
Hansard – Senate Debate (Tuesday July 23, 1968)