Letter of GOG investigation of alleged theft of rice, April 22, 1978


[Envelope addressed to Jim Jones in Jonestown]


Matthews’ Ridge,
North West Region,
22nd April, 1978.

Inspector E. Benjamin,
Non-commissioned Officer,
Matthews’ Ridge Police Station,
North West Region.

Dear Inspector,

Today, Cde. Johnny Jones of the Peoples Temple Settlement reported that on 6th April, 1978 the Peoples Temple tractor with trailer attached, loaded with bags of rice, broke down on the Kaituma road. It is alleged that the tractor Driver having left the vehicle on the road to obtain assistance to get it moving, on returning observed the Ministry of Regional Development Land Rover leaving the area where the Peoples Temple tractor and trailer were parked.

It is alleged that he also observed two (2) bags of rice missing and that he called Peoples Temple personnel at the gate to Jonestown by Radiophone and reported his findings. It is further alleged that Personnel at the gate observed what they thought to be two (2) bags of rice in the Ministry of Regional Development Land Rover which was by that time standing at the gate.

I have established that on that day the Ministry of Regional Development Land Rover No. PAA 9304 driven by St. Elmo Barrow conveying Cde. Baksh of the Ministry of Education was in the Kaituma area and stopped at the gate of the Peoples Temple seeking admission to that location. Cde. Barrow disclaimed any knowledge of rice in the Land Rover.

In order to clear up this matter I should be grateful if you would cause an investigation to be carried out and inform me of the outcome as early as possible.

Cde. Baksh mentioned above is, I understand, the Schools Welfare Officer attached to the Ministry of Education, Georgetown. I expect it would be necessary to obtain his account of the happenings at the time.

/s/W.D. Wyatt
W.D. Wyatt
Regional Development Officer,
Region #1.

Cc: Cde. Jim Jones, Peoples Temple Agri. Project, Jonestown.