Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 4, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
INK kc i nvmuuK i EDITORIALS Impact of business incentives measured Apres Pompidou The expected came unexpectedly when French President Georges Pompidou died on Tuesday. Although not officially acknowledged, it was widely believed that the president was ill, even seriously ill. Surprise arises from the tact that the president died in office without making arrangements to turn over the reins to a successor. Death seems to have been more imminent than anyone had believed including the president himself. Mourning for the president is not as impressive in France as would normally be expected when death takes a leader. This may be because M. Pompidou did not take a new tack as head of state but was content to follow the lines of his predecessor, General Charles De Gaulle. He thus failed to carve much of a niche in history for himself. Keen interest will be taken among the NATO allies in the question of who will be M. Pompidou's successor. A different kind of climate could come to prevail if the new president should prove to be someone who is not wedded to the outlook of De Gaulle. Violence not inevitable In the continuing debate over whether violence is an inherited or an acquired characteristic in man, some new data has been presented indicating that violence is culturally based. Dr. Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt, of" the -Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology in Germany, recently reported his findings at an international symposium on human. and animal behavior in New York City. Dr. Eibl Eibesfeldt's findings are based on the study of such diverse phenomena as the signaling systems used by children isolated from learning by being both blind and deaf and the ritualistic behavior of cormorants in the Galapagos Islands. It is interesting that Dr. Eibl Eibesfeldt has reached the conclusion he has because it is a departure from the position reached by Dr. Konrad Lorenz, former director of the Max Planck Institute. A few years ago Lorenz, a distinguished ethologist, revived the idea that aggression is inherent in man's makeup. The notion that forms of human behavior such as aggressiveness are instinctual was seriously entertained in the 19th century but had been almost universally abandoned until given respectability by such men as Lorenz. Unfortunately it provided people indulging in violent behavior with a rationale for not trying to tame their tempers they were only doing what is natural and inevitable. Others previously have argued against the instinctual view of human violence but further indications of its untenability are welcome. It is depressing to think that violence is normal and that nothing can be done to curb its manifestations. But if violence can be contained through cultural development there is cause for hope and thus for renewed effort at finding the right influences for the human environment. International income tax An "income tax" to provide an international fund to help the poor is an idea that is receiving some attention today. If such an approach could be taken it would transform "foreign aid" from its present pitifully inadequate state into something really significant. The income tax, grumbled about and avoided whenever possible, is the best instrument devised so far for making an attack on inequity. Without the correctives it makes possible in the areas of unemployment, education, medical care and need generally, social stability might be in serious jeopardy. Desperate and disgruntled people tend to resort to violence, endangering everyone. Just as the redistribution of wealth through the income tax is an investment in a better society within a nation so an international tax could help to make a better world. Some of the sores which sicken the onlookers and may threaten their health ultimately could be healed. One encouraging sign of possible support for an international tax is that the oil-rich Middle East countries have begun to talk about their responsibility for the poorer nations. So far most of the interest seems to be confined to "taking care of their own kind." At the meeting of Moslem leaders in Lahore in February there was a resolve to study a form of self-taxation whereby the richer Moslem states would contribute to a fund for the poorer ones. The Shah of Iran, on the other hand, has shown the way with an offer of more than billion for an international fund. Earlier last month the foreign ministers of Latin American states spoke of the desirability of a more equitable distribution of income in the Americas. They seemed to have in mind a real sharing and not simply a tapping of the wealth of the United States. Taxes are always paid more willingly if it is known that others are paying theii fair share. The few nations that have been carrying the main burden of development aid and have shown signs of flagging zeal would probably accept a taxing system if the newly rich also take a share of responsibility. The very fact that something like an international income tax is being considered is one of the most encouraging developments of our time. ART BUCHWALD A fisherman protests WASHINGTON At this point in time it seems to me that President Nixon and his small band of hardy defenders would be careful not to alienate any group in this country unnecessarily. The White House probably doesn't even realize it, but it has made practically every fisherman in America boiling mad. Foster Walden, a friend and devoted angler, told me: "Every time the House Judiciary Committee asks for a piece of paper or a tape the president accuses them of going on a fishing expedition." "What's wrong with "Nixon seems to indicate that there's something wrong with fishing." "Come on, Foster, you've oversensitive." "I am he said angrily. "Fishing, thanks to the administration, now has a dirty connotation to it. Just yesterday I told some friends at the office I was going on a fishing expedition this weekend, and they said they were going to report me to security." "That's ridiculous, Foster. When Nixon or the White House accuses the House committee of going on a fishing expedition they're not talking about fishing." "What are they talking he demanded. "They're talking about the House asking for records and tapes that they have no business asking for." "Well, why don't they just say "Because it's easier to explain It to the American people if you say they're on a fishing expedition." "What fishing got to do with "Well, I guess the first image that comes to mind is someone sitting there holding a pole in his hand who doesn't know what he's "You see. That means if you go fishing you're Foster said., "Not necessarily. It could also mean you're trying to get some poor defenceless fish to bite on your hook." "That's even Foster yelled angrily. "Fishing is one of the greatest sports in the world. You don't harm anyone. You don't bother anyone. You sit there with your thoughts and you forget all about the mess they made of everything in Washington. Why did they have to drag dirty politics into "I guess because the White House feels that if the American people feel the House committee is on a fishing expedition, they'll believe Congress Is up to no good. After all, Foster, most people do think fishing is an asinine way to pass the time." Foster was livid. "It is not a stupid way to pass the time, and if all those people who got messed up in Watergate had gone fishing instead of what they did, they wouldn't be in the trouble they're in today Fishermen at least have enough sense to stay out of muck and mire." "Those are harsh words, I said. "Look at it from Nixon's point of view. He has to use every defence he can. If he can prove Congress is just fishing, he can save himself from being Impeached. After all, that's all he's got left." "He's such a big football Foster said. "Why couldn't he accuse Congress of roughing the "It's not the tame thing. The one thing Americans understand Is that fishing is a poor way to hook a president." "Not if you use worms for bait." Foster chuckled at his own joke. By Maurice Western. Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA John Turner kept a promise on Friday by tabling a report to Parliament on the impact of the corporate tax measures announced in hit last Budget. As the Minister has given every indication that he intends to maintain these business incentives, the New Democrats will now have to partly on the basis of the they will continue their support of the minority There are some rather ob- vious criticisms to be made of the report as there were, ear- lier, of the appraisal of benefits flowing from Mr. Turner's tariff cuts. It has been a thoroughly abnormal year, characterized by inflationary pressure, some of it generated at home and some induced by feverish world demand for scarce com- modities. There has been the additional pressure of the energy price crisis which had scarcely begun to trouble Par- liament at the time of the Budget controversies. In such circumstances, it must neces- sarily be difficult to disentangle the effects of the tax concessions from all toe other forces operating to change the business outlook. It is a grievance of the NDP that the report is based on a questionnaire (prepared, in- cidentally, by Statistics Canada and not by the Minister) which does not distinguish between the impacts of the two measures. The NDP dislike both but David Lewis regards the fast writeoffs with particular distaste. From recent exchanges in Two views on NATO's 25th birthday By James Res ton, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Men pass critical point By C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator but nations and the problems of nations go on. Twenty-five years ago this week, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in this capital, and since all the governments concerned seem to be fussing with each other these days, maybe somebody should celebrate the original idea. The Atlantic idea was very simple. It was an apology for the spectacular tragedies of the past, and a recognition of human frailty. And it was an admission by the Old World and the New World that they shared a common civilization, and could preserve it only by common policies. Also, despite all the friction, the Atlantic partnership, and its companion, the European community, have not been failures but considering the long history of western disunity and stupidity, comparatively successful. After all, the two world wars were really one long civil war between the few remaining nations, including Germany, that believe in personal liberty and political democracy and they maintained the peace for only 20 years, between 1919 and 1939. Compared to that, the Atlantic alliance has kept the peace for over 27 years half way between the end of the last world war and the end 6f the century, and while we are now living with death, impeachment and a lot of weak and staggering governments, maybe we should be celebrating the 25th birthday of the shaky western alliance instead of opening its wounds. Europe and America are not talking today about the ideals of human dignity, or the majesty of their inheritance, or even of their common interests in controlling inflation, population, military arms, pollution and the poverty and hunger of half the human race. They are talking now about personal and political about the death of Pompidou and who comes after him, about the arguments between Henry Kissinger and Michel Jobert, the political weakness of Richard Nixon, the aging leaders of China, the price of oil and other raw materials, whether Harold Wilson can make it in the House of Commons, what kind of man is Jerry Ford anyway, and isn't it wonderful that Henry is married? on the 25th anniversary of the NATO alliance, and at a in the development of the European community, America is puzzled about what France has been saying to us on this side of the Altantic during Pompidou's last days. Was the French foreign, minister, Jobert, saying there is a fundamental conflict between the interests of a unified Europe and an Atlantic partnership with the United States and Canada? Was he saying that De Toqueville and Monnet were wrong, that Valery's concept of our common civilization was false? Was he asking the United States merely to stop dominating Europe, or was he asking us to defend Europe, to protect France, to maintain peace in the Middle East, while refusing to co-operate with NATO in the defence of Europe, or with America in the oil crisis? Now that Pompidou is gone, it would be helpful if after the personal tragedy, somebody would speak clearly for France. The Nixon administration obviously has its own internal problems, inflation, unemployment, and even the possible impeachment of President Nixon. It is aware of its own fragility, as is Paris, but it has not forgotten the mistakes of American isolation, or the tragedies of the two world wars, or its hopes for the reconstruction and unity of Europe, or its dreams of an Atlantic community that would defend the common civilization of the west. Nixon has stuck to his foreign policy initiatives despite his troubles at home. The opening to China and the efforts at accommodation the Soviet Union were never regarded in Washington, by Nixon, Kissinger, or anybody else here, as a .new alliance against the old alliance with Europe. Even when the European like Japan, emerged as a competitor to the United States for the trade of the world, the Nixon administration, and even the congress, defenced the principles of collective security and free trade. Accordingly, on this anniversary of the. Atlantic alliance and at this critical point of transition in Paris controversy within the European Economic Community, Washington, with all its troubles, is sticking to the hope of Atlantic partnership and European unity, which has guided its policy since the last war. BRUSSELS When NATO observes its 25th birthday today, H- can congratulate itself on the mere fact of existence after a quarter of a century during which the threat of Soviet take-over in western Europe has receded enormously. There is no doubt that the alliance played an important role in producing what is now accepted as a territorial status quo. But, without minimizing the importance of this achievement, that is about the only thing NATO can genuinely celebrate. As costs mount, its military strength diminishes vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. And as relaxation becomes a habit and memories of confrontation fade, the cement of fear which held the pact together flakes off into almost nothing. Most alliances are made for war, not peace. Only when nations are collectively threatened are they truly prepared to collectively pool sovereignty. There is only one approximate predecessor to NATO as a peacetime coalition. This was the Delian Eisenhower often told me he didn't care if for reasons of national prestige governments were red-faced; what Would distress him would be to see their populations white-faced. He thought NATO should protect the national freedom of its members and of nations which might later choose to align themselves with it. He didn't think it was NATO's business "to mix in any way into the political or ideological affairs of other countries." It was concerned with "the independence of nations as such." Nevertheless, the General emphasized "the intrinsic importance of personal liberty' within the framework of national liberty." This concept was easily tolerated by all the Allies at a moment when they recognized that thanks to their military weakness and political ineptitude, they could not hope to survive without their massive, trans-Atlantic partner. But now, with an enormous increase in Soviet power above all League founded among 'thermonuclear and an separate Greek states in 478 B.C. when Persia was about to clobber that era's "western civilization." At the instigation of Athens, then a superpower, the league was created although the capital was in Delos as today NATO's capital is in Brussels, not Washington. A cold war was successfully carried on against Persia for one decade during which the Hellenic west reduced the eastern invaders' remaining strongholds. But as the Persian danger receded, the league fell apart. As the years passed and the apparent danger vanished, the Alliance's various members increasingly resented the necessity of recruiting men and ships and the commanding strategic decisions of Athens. The league dissolved. It is exceedingly difficult even to imagine, that NATO wilt endure another quarter of a century. Even such a formless body as the U.N. would do well to persevere that long. The trouble with NATO and the reason its future is difficult to forecast is that it has never really defined the purpose, despite manifold declarations. With this in mind, one may recall the simple homilies of the. alliance's first and greatest commander, General Eisenhower. easement of any crisis atmosphere, it is natural for the partners to resume the human habit of picking each other apart. .Additionally, one must ruefully add, there is less and less inclination on both sides of the Atlantic to recognize and comprehend the economic, diplomatic and national difficulties of each individual partner and mor- and more inclination to stress differences in philosophy and ideology among the allies. Nor is there the faintest sign that this trend will be reversed. For this reason and remembering what happened to history's only other the Delian League, one can merely say with respect to the organization that has kept all of us alive for 25 years: "Unhappy birthday." Parliament and other com- ments, it is obvious that the New Democrats prejudged the report, at least in a tentative fashion, even before it was tabled in the House. Mr. Lewis, for example, has described the survey as a "self-serving and biased questionnaire." Although promising to look at the ques- tions and answers, he has do not quite know how the Minister of Finance expects a firm to tell him that they did not benefit from these goodies. In fact, the firms consulted were far more objective in their responses than the NDP seers anticipated. While the replies were generally favorable, it is obvious that quite a number of the businesses consulted were quite willing to look Mr. Turner's gift horses in the mouth. The Minister has been hopeful that the incentives will induce a sizeable increase in investment intentions. Of the companies consulted, 52.5 per cent- affirmed that the measures would enable them to enlarge their investment plans. It follows that 47.5 per very substantial to behave as business ought to behave ac- cording to NDP insights The report lists eight reasons given by company officials in explanation of conduct which must seem singular, and possibly suspicious, to Mr. Lewis. There are other examples. Slightly more than half (51.1 per cent) felt that the measures would not help them to increase sales. Only 38.2 per cent thought that the changes would improve their ability to raise external financing; in other words 61.8 per cent gave the wrong answer to this question. Mr. Saltsman will read with in- terest that 47.2 per cent were sufficiently "out of their minds to suggest that the concessions would have little or no effect on their ability to reduce prices or to moderate price increases. Such a range of replies gives the questionnaire far more credibility than was prepared to accord it. The Budget changes were, of course, multi-purpose meas- ures. The response from busi- ness suggests that they have been more successful in some respects than in others, which is not a surprising result. No less than 86.6 per cent of the companies felt that the tax changes had been of value in improving their competitive positions. In the overall result 91.4 per cent of the firms considered them helpful in one or more respects. Thus, while the monitoring is open to various criticisms, Mr. Turner has reason to claim that it was essentially objective and he can make a good case that the measures will justify themselves, especially in the somewhat longer term. In reaching its decision, it is obvious that Parliament cannot be guided by the questionnaire alone. When Mr. Turner announced the cuts, he. had very much in mind a deterioration in the Canadian competitive posi- tion '_ ae to various causes, no- tably the effect of the American DISC legislation which could confront Canadian industry with an adverse tax spread of about 14 percentage points. Mr. Lewis has been pointing latterly to the increasing deficit on manufactured goods account. Also to be taken into consideration is the strengthening Canadian dollar, which is certainly of no assistance to export industries; and the higher costs certain to be imposed by the energy situation. For reasons of politics, attention has centred on the questionnaire. But while the tabulated views are certainly of interest, Parliament must also weigh the effects of reimposing the old rates and rescinding the capital cost allowance incentive in the developing situation. The Lethbrtdge Herald 504 7th St S. Lethbrldge, Alberta LETHBRIDQE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Mail No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor Arid Publisher DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM Qeneril Manager ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Pege Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"