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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 3, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta M THE LtTHMIDOl MlftALD WntniUsy. April U.S. government bank finances Canadian companies By FRANK RUTTER Special to The HeraU WASHINGTON Canadians are getting a good ride on their airlines courtesy of the United States government which is sidizing the cost of the aircraft. The benefactor is the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which extends credits and-low-cost loans to companies and countries doing business with the U.S. The bank recently gave Air Canada a million credit for financing the purchase of six Boeing jets The fact that Air Canada is a Canadian gov- ernment enterprise did not bother the bank, or Ottawa, one bit. The credit means Air Canada can finance about 40 per cent of its purchase from Boeing at about seven per cent, instead of having to pay the going commercial rate, which is effectively almost 10 per cent, or draining the resources of the Canadian government. Although the Eximbank, as it is known, does most of its business elsewhere, and often assists poorer countries who want U.S goods and services, it has been helping Canada and Canadian companies for several years. The bank, a U.S. government agency, about million worth of business tied up in Canada. A great deal of its consists of assistance to airlines, including Canadian Pacific, Wardair, Nordair, Transair, Eastern Provinces Air Lines, and Pacific Western. The interest rates are between sii and seven per cent. One rather bizarre transac- tion granted a loan of to the Niagara Finance Co. of Toronto to buy a used Boeing 727 Jet from Transintenutional of Oakland, Calif.' The jet is actually being leased by the Canadian company to another U.S. firm, Pacific Western Airways and will presumably remain in, service in this country. Air Canada's recent deal, consummated last December, ,is for the purchase of one Boeing 747 jumbo jet and five Boeing 727's, a total order of more than million. But the airlines are not the only beneficiaries. Eximbank also has outstanding com- with Fording Coal, a Canadian Pacific Railways subsidiary, Petrofina, Dow Chemical, Similkameen Mining Co., and Calgary Power. Apparently no one In Canada is complaining about getting preferential interest rates thanks to the U.S. government, although the practice does increase the "foreign" content in the Canadian economy. The irony of the Canadian government doing just that, through Air Canada, is arguably offset by the advantage of the cheap rate of interest. There is some debate in the Sears continue Sensational Coat Values- special buys at a fant- astically low price! Casual, dressy or all- weather types in first quality fabrics, styles, colors Rayon linings Perma-freshed with SANI CARD" Dressy jewel-toned coats for day or evening of foam-laminated cotton velveteen Jade green, red, purple m the lot Misses and half sizes. Limited quantities Young princess coal m wool-nylon twill, with plaid inserts of 95% 5% other fibres Red or navy Misses and half sizes. Limited quantities All-weather pant coats of water-repellent 100% cottons Assorted styles, colors in the lot Misses and half sizes. Limited quantities Day or evening coats of rnatelasse-look acetate with water-repellent finish bonded lo tricot Off white or navy Misses and half sizes. Limited quanities. Ladies Coats Simpsons-Sears Ltd. at you get the finest guarantee satisfaction or money refunded and free delivery Store Hours: Open Dally p.m. Thursday and Friday a.m. to p.m. Centre Village Mall. Telephone 328-9231 U.S., however. The U.S. commercial airlines, for instance, are not very keen about the government actively helping their competitors. "Some people feel we shouldn't be financing com- mercial jet aircraft at all, be- cause they feel we have a lock on the manufacturing of them and these people would have to come here anyway. They say if they have to pay the market prices for says an Eximbank official. "The airlines complain about the competition, but we say we've got to have the he said. there is, in fact, a loaf his- tory of government aid to U.S. aircraft manufacturers, who have been plagued with employment and financial problems. If airlines such as Air Canada don't get financial aid, they might not buy U.S. aircraft, the Eximbank official argued. In the recent deal there was concern, he said, that Air Can- ada might buy French aircraft instead of Boeing's. The Eximbank is required to look inta the possible adverse effects of its actions on the U.S. official said. economy, the "We can have flnandnf, or the possibility of tcdagutei or Mowing down he added. "The cost of this could be worse than the potential loss oa competition" Stimulating export of U.S.- dUllt aircraft, even to cenv petitors, can help everyone, Eximbank argues, because it gives the U.S. industry a chance to set up longer-range production runs which in turn reduces the cost of each aircraft built. Armless bridge player Mike Wilson of Vancouver handles cards with no problems even though he has no arms. He played his cards with his feet at the North American Bridge Championships in Vancouver. Men with frozen beards search for Arctic oil INUVIK, N.W.T. (AP) Men with frozen beards who seek oil are making the most determined assault ever on the endless wastes north of the Arctic Circle. Drilling towers are rising from the mouth of the Mack- enzie Delta where a huge river flushes into the Arctic Ocean, to the last landfall be- fore the Pole, glacier-en- crusted EJlsmere Island. They are in a race to dis- cover the-last great reserves of oil and gas on the North American continent. U.S.-based multinational oil companies have so far spent nearly billion on the search. They are seeking potential reserves of 30.5 billion barrels of conventional oil, nearly as much as that discovered on the North Slope of Alaska that also borders the Arctic Ocean. The search is a hazardous one. Deep permafrost that binds the earth in ice covers the land masses. And in the Arctic islands, every phase of exploration has to contend with ice floes, treacherous open water and Arctic storms "The oil industry knows it takes luck and perseverance to locate the big pools under- said a government research official in this Mack- enzie Delta community of Biggest company in the search, Exxon-owned Impe- rial Oil Ltd., has committed well over million so far. "Oil is what we are looking for, but gas is what we are said an Imperial spokesman at the company headquarters in Calgary. Imperial made the first oil strike in the region in 1970. Since then, working alone and In various exploration teams with Gulf Oil Canada, Mobile Oil Canada and Shell Canada, Imperial has been Involved in most of the 11 discoveries around the Mackenzie Delta- four oil strikes and seven gas ones. In the Arctic islands to the north, five gas fields and two oil and gas fields have been discovered, six of these by Panarctic, a consortium of the .Canadian government and the industry. While the explorers yearn for the big strike, they are happy enough to find gas. Ad- vance payments from U.S. gas transmission companies are helping to ease the economic burden Imperial has agreed to sell its Delta gas to Michigan Wis- consin Pipeline Co and Natu- ral Gas Pipeline Co. of Amer- ica But so far only about third of the 25 trillion cubic feet of gas needed for con- tracts has been discovered. PIPELINE NEEDED Important too, for the fu- ture, is the building of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline that is intended to carry gas from the Alaskan North Slope fields up the big river valley through Canada to the U.S. Midwest The Canadian gas finds would be funnelled into this pipeline and sent to U S. markets. The oil industry does not see future gas finds justifying a pipeline solely in Canada But the Mackenzie Valley project has met competition from a American-only pro- posal, and is in doubt The uncertainty of the fu- ture was not apparent when this reporter visited the.frigid Arctic itself in March There are 20 drilling rigs operating m this busiest winter of ex- ploration yet. The Mackenzie River Delta, encased in ice and snow, has become an instant freeway. Imperial Oil has bulldozed 250 miles of highway from the thick river ice, and is speed- ing gravel trucks out onto the Arctic Ocean to offshore drilling islands before the summer thaw sets In. The first head-on collision within the Arctic Circle oc- curred in January when a truck and a taxi collided at the sea edge, with seriously injured in both vehicles Commercial jets fly daily to Inuvik and Resolute, the two main centres inside the Arctic Circle, and a boomtown at- mosphere pervades both as the oil money flows in The oil companies seemed to have planned their Arctic exploration like successful generals commanding armies of occupation The ice and cold are enemy enough. The military parallel is evi- dent everywhere. The major base camps are located out- side of population areas Li- quor is not allowed, and men work long hours MEN KEPT APART The tional name for the men man- ning the drilling not encouraged to mix socially with the local Indians or Es- kimos, but are instead given one week's leave at Edmon- ton or Calgary after three weeks on the ice The base camps are totally self-contained, with television, movies, games, -meals and snacks available day and night Security is carefully main- tained because the oil com- panies guard their activities like-military intelligence agents hide enemy assess- ments. "The rig operators are usually the last to know if they have made a commented one Imperial Oil employee Earth samples brought up by the drills are analysed at company head- quarters well over miles to the south in Alberta, and finds are announced at the convenience of the company. STEEL OUTPUT GROWS PARIS (CP) Raw steel production during January, 1974, in the.24 countries repre- sented by the International Iron and Steel Institute increased 4.4 per cent from January of 1973, the institute reports. Canadian production WHS UD 3 4 ;