Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THl LETHBMIDOI HtMALD Prtdcy, April 5, 1974 EDITORIALS Coal royalties Habit will likely force Fording Coal Ltd. to protest the new royalties on coal proposed by the B.C. government. These will increase from 25 cents to a tori for coal mined on crown land, which covers the Fording operation north of Sparwood in the East Kootenay. However, Fording's protestations are, not apt to be too serious. B.C. Mines Minister Leo Nimsick commented, on introducing the new Coal Act. that the increase wasn't onerous because Fording was selling coal to Japan for a ton. He may also have been speaking from force of habit. Whether he was right is beside the point. While the new royalty act was being introduced to the legislature. Fording was announcing that it will increase the price of coal to'its Japanese customers from to a ton. This will cover considerably more than the 75 cent jump in royalties. This turn of events is of interest to Albertans for two reasons. In the first place. Mclntyre Porcupine Mines, Ltd.. which got off to a shaky start in its Grande Cache operations, last year renegotiated its selling price to Japan from a ton to a ton. This increase was expected to make the operation profitable after an originaLloss reported by the Financial Post to be million. According to a commission established by the province of Alberta to look into the problem, the troubles at Grande Cache were due to poor planning on the part of the company and of the provincial government. If Fording can get a ton from Japanese customers, there is no reason why Mclntyre Porcupine cannot follow suit, although the prospect may be complicated by the Wall Street Journal report that the company, in an effort to solve its financial problems, offered a 33 per cent interest in its coal operation to a group of Japanese steelmakers and expected a reply by the end of March. Superior Oil Co. of Houston and its Canadian subsidiary hold a 39 per cent interest in Mclntyre. The second point of interest is the amount of the royalty itself. Alberta still has a ridiculous 10 cents a ton royalty on coal and the province is studying the matter. The Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board now has total responsibility for overseeing the development of coal within the province. Since coal deposits are looming larger and larger as a vital part of Alberta's assets, it is time to re-set the royalty rate and to be very certain that, in each instance, an adequate amount of money is set aside for reclamation. Unfortunate remarks Remarks such as those attributed to MLA Douglas Miller which cast aspersions on native people are most regrettable. Native people are as sensitive as their white neighbors and are bound to be hurt by the suggestion that it is when children get the opportunity to live in off-reserve homes that they "start to look like human beings Perhaps Mr. Miller only meant to say that some children from the reserves who are placed in foster homes are rather woebegone and with proper care anri love blossom into their true human selves. That kind of thing is frequently noted with regard to neglected children, of whatever background, who respond to loster parents. Not so easily excused, however, is Mr. Miller's additional remark that placing native children exclusively in native foster homes would be a large step backward. Why would that necessarily be a backward step? Native people are loving people, too. Some of them have homes large enough to accommodate an additional child and would be properly motivated to provide acceptable care as defined by the department of health and social development. It is a perfectly reasonable thing for an organization of native people to recommend that native children should be placed in native foster homes. Exclusivity might not be a wise requirement since it could result in children sometimes failing to get placed because of lack of available homes at times. But the recommendation in principle is sound and reflects a growing sense of responsibility and pride on the part of the native people. A reminder One thing the public and its protector, the Alberta Public Utilities Board needs always to bear in mind regarding the price of milk is the danger of driving producers out of the business. It would require a rather high degree of altruism on the part of milk producers to stay in business should costs become so high and returns so low that a loss was incurred. Even in this day when milking is done by machines, the dairy business is a tieing and trying one from which the entrepreneur must often long for escape. Enough goading from a reluctant PUB, in the way of fixing the price of milk unacceptably low to the producers, could cause the dairymen to go out of business. If milk is truly an indispensable foodstuff, essential to the health of the people, then it is one of the legitimate areas in which subsidization should apply. Such subsidization need not be limited to merely assuring the producer a marginal profit but could include some compensation for sticking with a business that can have a low yield in personal satisfaction. ERIC NICOL Where's your consensus? Did you know that 1974 is World Population Year? No, Sidney, this does not mean you should do your bit to populate the world. Too many are helping already. That's why the United Nations has organized the World Population Conference to be held in Bucharest, Romania, August 19- 30. Canada will be sending delegates to the conference. That shows how serious the matter is. Nobody goes to Bucharest, Romania, in August just for a giggle. To' help the government to present the Canadian viewpoint on population, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs is sponsoring regional hearings in the major cities of Canada, during March and April. You don't need to have had an international affair in order to attend a hearing' on population. A bit of slap and tickle, at the national level, is perhaps desirable but by no means prerequisite. Discussions at the hearings will turn on topics such as urbanization, immigration, family planning. Do you have any strong feelings on these matters? If you do, maybe you should attend the hearing in your area (dates to be announced in the You don't want it on your conscience that we sent our guys off to Bucharest without a consensus. "Where's your delegates from other countries will Mk our guys, and our guys mumble something like "We must have left it on the plane." We may be sure that representatives of other nations will be showing up at Bucharest with bags of feedback from their people regarding things like family planning. The African and Asian countries are into family planning in a big way. They have not entirely come to grips with the problem, but they are having a'lot of fun trying. If you don't want to commit yourself regarding family planning and a lot of people with seven kids are hesitant perhaps you have a firm opinion about urbanization. I certainly have. I was urbanized some years ago, and I'm beginning to wonder if I did the right thing. If I wanted polish, I might have been smarter to get simonized. With urbanization I take much buffing and rubbing, without my gaining a shine anywhere but on the seat of my pants. If I have a message for World Population Year, it is that being urbane is no hell when you can't stop your left eye from twitching. I would also like to know what are recent population trends. I have been told that in Canada the birth rate is falling, that women are having fewer babies and men none at all. Yet every time I go downtown (to be urbanized) I find more people milling around in search of human well being. Either somebody is doing a crummy job of counting heads, or we have a leak somewhere, letting in people whose idea of a good time is to make a monkey of demographic studies. We simply can't go on like this. The United Nations knows it, and I know it, and you must have sensed it even though you didn't want to say anything in front of the children. The Canadian Institute of International Affairs now asks us to say something in front of the world. Do we care enough to respond? Now that we are down to our last planet? 'How did you make out? Best supporting actor? Top comedy producer NDP needs positive role By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator OTTAWA There is nothing in the government's work this year to which the administration's NDP allies can point as their particular contribution, a desirable accomplishment that exists only because the government has been dependent upon another party. Unless David Lewis and the New Democrats are able to point convincingly to a certain number of developments as the result of their participation in a de facto coalition, they begin to lose identity. Then they become simply government supporters. It is the danger of this loss of identity, this blurring of their particular place in the political spectrum, that has troubled the NDP since the beginning of their tactical alliance with the Liberals in this Parliament. The fact that the New Democrats' position has not been protected, as political realism demanded that it should have been, is producing a wave of instability in a political situation that ought not to be unstable. As a result of this, the situation is threatening to break down into an untimely election. The odds seem very pro- nounced that if the election politicians are now talking about actually does come, its main result will be to demonstrate the lesson that as long as our political parties are not able to produce majority Parliaments they must content themselves with making the actual results work and not chase daydreams. The Liberals and Con- servatives are now very closely balanced in the House of Commons, with the opinion polls fairly consistently showing the Liberals with a slight lead in the country but not a sufficiently large one to give them a realistic expectation of winning a majority in a new election. The New Democrats and Creditistes, again according to the polls, hold their own strength more or less con- sistently, up or down a little at times but not significantly changed. There is no political figure now on stage capable of exerting the strong individual pull with the electorate that Mr. Diefenbaker and Mr. Trudeau each did for a single election. The implications of all this are clear. An election now probably would vary the party standings in the Commons a little but the new factor that might change the situation fundamentally simply is not evident. If there were to be meaningful change at all, the most likely one, on the basis of the last opinion poll, would be a limited Liberal gain which might leave them able to choose between reliance on the New Democrats or the Creditistes. If the New Democrats, how- ever, are pushed into a position where their support of the government! becomes a serious embarrassment or even a danger to them, they must be expected to react. Even if they knew in advance that an election would produce the identical situation that exists now, they would nat- urally prefer that to the cer- tainty of damage through maintaining the status quo. Especially when a clear pat- tern has emerged, as it has in this country, there is an obliga- tion on political parties to ac- cept the public verdict and work with it. In the beginning, Mr. Stanfield's constant at- tempts to force a new election could be viewed as legitimate testing of the capacity of this Parliament to work. But that time has long since gone by. It has been simple hunger for power that has inspired the continued Conservative attempts to upset the 1972 election results and bring on a fresh appeal to the voters before that is justified by other factors. On their side, the Liberals and the New Democrats also have an obligation to the public but where the Conservatives can serve their legitimate political interests by simple and direct opposition, the NDP cannot. Thus, if they wish to avoid an election that has no legiti- mate cause, the government and the NDP must go back to managing the political situation and stop ignoring the realities that it holds for everyone. This demands a more positive role for the New Democrats than simple support for a Liberal government. That role was provided last year. There is no doubt.that we have better pensions now as a result of Liberal dependence on the NDP than would exist otherwise. Certainly the NDP can claim credit for forcing the preparation of a better Election Expenses Act than the Trudeau government produced during its majority period. Last summer, when food prices began to soar, it was David Lewis and his followers who jarred the government from a 'strange mood of complacency that seemed to have settled on them. During the late winter, however, the Liberals began to behave as if they were a majority government and, since they are not, that is an aberration. It probably stemmed from the demand of the Liberal caucus for greater leadership from Mr. Trudeau and his response to the atti- tudes of his followers. But it is very unwise of any minority government to allow a de facto parliamentary coalition to wither and break down through failing to take the steps that make it viable. The New Democrats at present are sounding as elec- tion-bent as they can and while some skepticism is dictated by the record of the last 18 months there seems to be a considerable degree of conviction behind their words now. Before that mood takes hold completely, some thought needs to be given to finding the appropriate price that will make it possible for them to preserve this Parlia- ment. Caetano fights for survival By William Cemlyn-Jones, London Observer commentator MADRID Marcello Caetano is fighting a last ditch battle for his political life. His chances of survival as Portugal's prime minister now seem highly problematical. Dr. Caetano, in a defiant attempt to hold on to his job, addressed the nation over the radio last week in one of his regular "fireside during which he announced his firm support for the right wing colonial policy. "We will never abandon our overseas he thundered. Yet only a few weeks ago the prime minister seriously considered adopting a gradual policy of disengagement from the African colonies. The current political crisis was sparked off by the publication of a book by General Antonio Spinola, the country's most highly decorated soldier and a national hero. He assessed the military situation in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea on a technical rather than an ethical or even political basis. Referring to the United States' unhappy involvement In Vietnam, the 65 year old general's conclusion was that Portugal's wars against the African liberation movements could never be won. Most of the army's younger officers, captains, majors and colonels are enthusiastic supporters of Spinola. These men are no polo playing playboys drawn from a privileged class; they have seen the grim and disenchanting realities of guerrilla warfare in Africa and they believe that Spinola is right in speaking out against the obsolete chauvinism of the ultras. Tnese small scale but brutal military campaigns cost Portugal over 40 per cent of its national income, and force its young men to waste four years of their lives in compulsory military service, much of it spent under ugly, uncomfortable and dangerous conditions, with no enthusiasm for their dubious cause, and in circumstances which have led to outbreaks of My Lai type atrocities. Dr. Caetano read the proofs of Spinola's book before publication, and almost certainly agreed with the thesis. But as an adroit politician, he attempted to cover his bets. Yet he clearly underestimated the violent reaction of the extreme Right. Quickly realizing that his kite flying colonial disengagement idea was premature, he rallied to the Right. Spinola was dismissed, as well as his superior officer, the Chnf of the General Staff. The younger officers were enraged by the government's action. On the night of March 15-16 some 200 troops from a garrison 50 miles north of Lisbon staged a premature military coup, and marched on the capital. They were confronted by loyal republican guards on the outskirts of Lisbon and the coup collapsed without a shot being fired, although a number of officers were arrested. It appears to be a total victory for the ultras. Caetano, desperately hoping to cling to his position, vehemently expresses his determination to preserve the Portuguese Raj. But the fact is that he is no longer trusted by the Right. Observers here believe that he will be replaced by one of the more right wing extremists. But after that? The sun seems to be setting over the Portuguese empire, and a takeover by the young army officers, which must now be considered as a serious possibility, could even lead to the eventual establishment of a democratic regime in Portugal. Letters Raymond Home Members of the Mental Health Association in Raymond, as we are sure, many other people, would like to offer a bit of perspective to the picture of the situation at the Raymond Home that has been presented to Albertans not to say at all of Canada, lately. We do not claim to be experts in any field, but we have lived in Raymond for several years and we do know a few things that in the present circumstances, the public should be told. We are personally acquainted with most, if not all the staff at the Raymond Home, and we know them to be deeply concerned with the welfare of each of the women in the home, and committed to making life as pleasant as possible. The building is kept exceptionally clean and has a friendly atmosphere. At any holiday time it is most attractively decorated for the pleasure of the women who live there. And they do respond to this with enthusiasm and pride when they can show these special attractions to visitors. People who have had occasion to visit many such institutions mention that this one has a least one significant feature in its favor no "institutional smell" that depressing combination of disinfectant, floor wax, and unhealthy human bodies. Long before any Mental Health organization thought of taking anyone out or bringing entertainment into the women, the staff members have been putting on parties with songs, games and food, and taking the women to their own homes and other places for a little break and extra social experience. Many of the residents of the home have no families, or at least none who keep in touch, and the birthday and Christmas presents and celebrations provided by the staff were the only attention of this sort that they received. Every patient is given ,a dental and medical check up twice a year. Many have been taken to an optometrist. Of course, they may not like to wear glasses, and often mislay or forget them. In warm weather many of them are out enjoying the sun and the beautiful grounds, and perhaps kidding with the workmen. There is no gate at the front entrance. We know some doors are locked, for the protection of the residents. What would public reaction be to the home residents wandering away, and unable to care for themselves, meeting with some disaster or even spending a night out in the cold? But even the locked doors open for any resident to go "out" to family or friends. We don't know how this service compares with the Auxiliary Hospital but the women here get four permanents a year and a weekly shampoo and set from staff members. We know that women who work at the home or who have worked there in the past, are greeted like loved friends when they meet a resident someplace even after several years absence. The matron has devoted herself without reservation to the welfare of the residents, and js willing to come any hour of the night in any weather in case of need. We know that this institution has been a haven for some older citizens of this community, who. after a long life of service to others, became so worn put that they could not care for themselves and so confused that they created great problems for their families.-And we know it has been a Godsend for the families who, with all their devotion and care could not cope with the disturbed relative by themselves. Personally, we hope that if we ever get in a condition to need custodial care, we will be fortunate enough to find a place where we'll be treated as well, as are the Women who now live in the. Raymond Home. ALICE LOW Raymond Dispute over lecture An article by Ken Roberts in The Herald, March 8, called "City's history includes bar rooms and from a lecture given by Mr. A. A. deri Otter was a bunch of baloney If all the liquor and beer outlets in the 1880s to the present were counted, there wouldn't be the total of 50 as he claims. I wonder if he knows why we are celebrating, this year, the coming of the NWMP, 100 years ago. if it wasn't to stop the liquor trade He (the speaker) evidently didn't know there was prohibition in those days, and in order to get liquor a permit was necessary When the CPR was building the railroad in 1885, they had trouble as liquor1 was being smuggled in barrels of pickled pork, hay, oats, and anything else that would protect it from breakage. Coming to his talks about the brothels: If Mr. den Otter wanted to give the history of these he should have first read the book, Red Lights on the Prairies. Mr. den Otter, in his talk, had the location all wrong, as they were not where Sicks' Lethbridge Brewery is, but the Point was where Marshall Auto Wreckers is on the top of the coulee. There were two or three more houses down the river bottom, between what is now highway 3A and the river. Complaints were continually coming in to close those houses down, which was eventually done and the inmates moved closer to town Then Mr. den Otter took a crack at the Hungarians and Slavs and some of these people still have descendants living here. He calls them filthy and despicable people. This is far from the truth as there were some darn fine people among them some of their houses are still standing today. Many of the oldtimers have taken exception to the lectures PERCY MORRIS Lethbridge EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. den Otter, in referring to the Hungarian and Slavic peoples was quoting from an editorial in the Lethbridge News, published during the 1880's. Sponsored as whole The Tibetan people of Southern Alberta wish to inform The Herald, that all festivities, which have been put on over the past two years have been sponsored by the Tibetan people as a whole. All families contribute to the banquets and other refreshments provided. We do not wish to have any person or persons from our group singled out as being particularly responsible for these festivities. A GROUP OF SOUTHERN ALBERTAN TIBETANS The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge, AlMrta LETHRAlDQE HERALD CO. LTD. tnd Puoliiheri Second Mall Fwgwratlon No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and PublltMr DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM Qeneral Manager ROY F. MILES Advartitlng Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT BuslneM Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"