What Peter Knaur, the short-lived UBP propagandist, did not realise about Bahamians, was that they had a long history, of waiting patiently, on a good foreign wreck to land on their shores.
Between September 1958 to November 1959, Peter Knaur, Associate Editor of the Nassau Guardian, and UBP undercover agent, was like a foreign ship landing on Nassau’s shores.
Bahamians waited patiently to see if he would sink or float.
From the early 1700s, there wasn’t much to do on the islands, but sit on the beach, and wait for a good ship to sail up. A quiet island life gave those early Bahamians time to plan for when something exciting did eventually happen. Wrecking was how many, who lived in the islands, from pirates to privateers, from masters to slaves, from whites to negroes, earned their living for almost two hundred years.
Once a shipwreck landed, it was theirs. Bahamians could pick a boat clean, right down to even the nails that held the ship together. Foreign captains and crews could only step aside and watch. They dared not get in the way.
By the mid 1950s, a new type of wrecking occupied the inhabitants of the Bahamas. Politics was just getting good. Bahamians were beginning to find their political voices.
Battle lines were drawn.
Sides were chosen.
The belligerents took no prisoners.
Politics you see, is often likened to a good war. A war of words. A war of ideologies. A war of personalities. In all wars, sometimes, quite often really, more than a few people find themselves caught in the crosshairs on the battlefield. They become stuffed liked old hay, in the cannon of the other side. And, as anyone will tell you, there is only one way out of a cannon!
In 1959, Peter Knaur found himself in the unenviable position of being in the firing line of both the UBP and the PLP.
For the UBP, Knaur’s incredible blunder of letting the Party’s Master Plan fall into the hands of the enemy was an unforgivable act of stupidity.
For the PLP, Knaur’s fortuitous blunder of letting the UBP’s Master Plan fall into the PLP’s chief mouthpiece and information officer, Cyril Stevenson, only confirmed what many had already suspected. An apartheid type Master Plan was underway for an unsuspecting Bahamas. For this, Knaur, the propagandist who had worked for a CIA front operation in New York before coming to the Bahamas, had to go.
It was time to pick that foreign wreck clean.
KNAUR FLEES COLONY
Placing his daggers once again into his cloak and packing a copy of the Master Plan nearly into his suitcase, secret agent, Peter Knaur this week fled the country.
It was the final chapter in one of the most dramatic plays The Herald has ever staged.
No one can deny that the publication of the Master Plan was the exposure of the century. The Guardian and the UBP maintained a brave front , but Knaur’s dismissal was irrevocably written into The Herald’s issue of October 10.
Following the expose, “The Guardian” attempted to defend Knaur and the report. Brave words were written across the front page and in the editorial columns of that newspaper.
“Now he will be more popular than ever,” The Guardian cooed. But we were not fooled. We knew Knaur’s days were numbered. A ranking member of the UBP had referred to him as a “blundering oaf” and the entire majority party realised it had been hurt beyond measure.
Even “Mr. Pete” himself knew he was finished in the Bahamas.
Two weeks ago, the following words appeared on the front page of “The Herald”:
After sufficient time has elapsed, Knaur will be discharged, but not publicly.
“The plan is for The Guardian to announce his resignation with a note explaining that he is leaving…
the Colony to accept another position.
“This the axe will fall —– but it will fall gently.”
The axe has fallen.On Wednesday of this week, “The Guardian” announced Knaur’s “resignation.” A front page note added that he had accepted another position in New York.
Peter Knaur left the Bahamas in disgrace in November 1959. The Guardian announced he was taking a position in New York.
The Herald newspaper, and its editor Cyril Stevenson became suspicious. When Stevenson made a few phone calls he discovered that Knaur was now employed by the Bahamas government courtesy of Stafford Sands.
In another chapter in the Peter Knaur saga, he was now employed at the Bahamas Development Board in its New York office.
Undoubtedly, Knaur somehow strong-armed the strong man Stafford Sands into sending him to New York. Either that or he threatened to reveal UBP Party secrets. Whatever it was, the job in the cushy offices of New York on the government’s dime was to shut Knaur up and keep him happy.
NEW KNAUR SCANDAL
SACKED by “The Guardian” and the UBP for his blundering exposure of the Master Plan, Secret Agent Peter Knaur now sits behind a polished mahogany desk in the New York offices of the Bahamas Development Board.
Through a telephone call to New York, “The Herald” sprang another trap around the hired UBP henchman and Propaganda Boss, Stafford L. Sands.