Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LITHMIDQI HMALO Monday, ApM t, EDITOltl ALS National Health Week SALT disarmament talks must go on Diphtheria has returned to Canada; food faddism is producing distinct hazards; venereal diseases require a new campaign; motor accidents are the leading cause of death between the ages of four and 40; and Canada is one of the least fit nations in the world. These are among the messages being surveyed by the Health League of Canada to mark this country's 30th National Health Week, April 7 to 13. Ten years ago there were 25 cases of diphtheria in Canada and five deaths. In 1973, 174 cases were reported. This is an alarming increase, particularly in view of the fact that immunization will protect any child from diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, smallpox, poliomyelitis and measles and that every child should be given this protection starting at the age of three months. Considering this country's affluence and its health care, there is no excuse for failure to do this or to follow up the initial inoculations with booster or reinforcing doses in succeeding years. The Health League sees three hazards in the food fads which seem to have attracted strong followings. (1) phenomenal economic waste, (2) poor nutrition resulting from unbalanced diets, and (3) health impairment which may result when food concoctions or Mipplements are substituted tor medical supervision in the treatment of organic diseases. In addition to these hazards of food fads, of course, there is the general danger to good nutrition presented by the rising cost of food. In the area of venereal diseases, the general director of the Health League, in a statement prepared for National Health Week, points out that gonorrhoea and syphilis are spreading all over the world in epidemic form. He calls the problem a behavioristic one and suggests that Canadians should abandon a passive acquiescence toward it. The league's interest in motor accidents stems from a belief that too few people are exposed to instruction in first aid. The suggestion is made that some knowledge of this subject should be made a condition of licensing of drivers. While it would be difficult to have this written into law, the idea that the suggestion is made seriously should encourage greater interest on the part of the public. Individual Canadians may or may not feel they have anything to contribute or to learn in the other areas which preoccupy Canadian health authorities but each and every Canadian should assume responsibility for personal physical fitness. In view of the organized sports and recreational facilities available to all ages, it is difficult to realize that Canadians are not as fit as people in most other countries. Yet the finding that watching television is the most popular leisure time activity, followed closely by driving or riding in automobiles, supports this conclusion. Excuses about personal fitness are a dime a dozen. The most prevalent is the one that goes, "I don't have the and it is a very short-sighted excuse. Considering the added years of life and the added ability to enjoy those years brought about by good health, physical fitness produces more time than it consumes and it is the best bargain in the world. An important portent Most Southern Albertans who vacation in the American southwest have as their destination Las Vegas, Disneyland, and the neon lights of southern California. However, if by chance some of them are planning to head south next summer for the specific purpose of climbing Mt. Whitney, which at an elevation of teet is the highest peak in the contiguous 48 states, they will now have to get a permit. Because of overuse of the trail, the U S Forest Service is limiting public access to 75 hikers a day, giving as its reasons the three major problems of inadequate sanitation, loss of wilderness solitude and damage to resources. This move will not be popular with all the boy scout troops who make annual pilgrimages to the top of the Sierra Nevada or to the few little old ladies who prove their fitness by scaling the peak or to most of the hikers who used the trail during the last Labor Day weekend. Although it requires no technical climbing and has been described as a "long the Whitney trail is a challenge and requires a certain amount of fitness or a greater amount of determination. The 11-mile climb starts at the foot level at Whitney Portal, high above Owens Valley. Since many of the hikers come directly from sea level, it poses problems of altitude sickness and the final quarter of a mile is so steep that many a hiker has had to turn back just a few hundred yards short of the summit. Most climbers spend two days on the trail, starting from Whitney Portal at noon of the first day and carrying sleeping bags and food. They spend the night four or five miles along the trail, usually above timberline, leave their gear beside the path, and make the final assault the following morning unencumbered by packs. The descent to the valley floor can be made easily in the afternoon. Although limiting access to the Whitney trail will have little personal effect on Canadians, it is a portent of things .to come. Most of the Canadian Rockies still offer a splendid solitude, and the rare cases of congestion are caused by vehicles and pedestrians, not hikers. Nevertheless, the more popular spots face eventual regulation. After all, there is still unused wilderness in the Sierra Nevada. The problem has been that everyone wants to climb Whitney, just as, here in Canada, everyone wants to see Lake Louise or camp at Waterton townsite. ERIC NICOL Marriage is patriotic duty The rapidly-evolving status of the housewife has run up against the question of whether should be: (1) an employee of the spouse that brings home the pay-cheque, paid a regular wage and entitled (as a dues-paying member of the Union of Homemakers) to negotiate a labor contract, to go on strike, to declare the children of the family and to picket the family residence, or (2) a partner holding equal shares in the marriage as an economic venture, each spouse entitled to half the property and other assets when the marriage is dissolved, and using a round dining table to prevent anyone from becoming identified as the head of the family. Neither of these solutions to domestic slavery is altogether ideal. Both burden a wedding with a good deal more paper work than throwing confetti. In fact the chances of marriage surviving at all, with the pre- marital relations complicated by the presence of a government-appointed mediator, seem poor. The breadwinner whose spouse does the housework on the basis of a company partnership can never be sure that the love light in the eyes does not reflect increased value of the shares, to JM cashed in when the upward graph with a cute ski instructor. Buy tow, sell high. "How To Invest In a Blue-chip will counsel Cosmo. "Things you should look for in your bethrothed: liquidity, sound management, financial growth potential, and a rare sense of humor." With due respect to Merrill Lynch, as the marriage counsellors of tomorrow, it is hard to see why anybody would want to risk his life savings in a merger that keeps operating only thanks to double martinis. It therefore seems inevitable that the federal government will have to nationalize marriage. One way to do this is to put husband and wife on the same footing as the Canadian Armed Forces Couples (heterosexual) wishing to volunteer for service in the domestic arena sign up at the Nuptial Recruiting Centre. Here they are given basic training in the joy of sex and other forms of communication, tactics of defence against the modern child, survival in the wilderness of credit buying, and so on. The newlyweds are then provided with quarters, uniforms rations and service pay, with a guaranteed pension on their discharge from marriage at the age of 45. Those wishing to sign up for another hitch will be eligible upon passing a psychiatric examination. Marriage is finished as a private institution. Henceforth we respect husband and wife as the next best thing to volunteering for submarine duty. Already married couples look upon parenthood as a war of attrition, one long struggle of military engineering to span the Generation Gap. Many of them would sooner try to defend Phom Penh than their teenage daughter. Not as a shared business enterprise, but as a patriotic duty requiring sacrifice, courage and the spirit of that is how marriage will survive. The nation depends on this last line of defence: the nuclear family. Let marriage be such that a man regrets that he has but one wife to lose for his country. By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Many Americans, loudest among them being the conservatives, are saying that it would be an act of statesmanship for President Nixon to avoid arms negotiations with Soviet boss Leonid Brezhnev until Mr. Nixon is free of his Watergate woes. The conservatives express fear that, if the president goes to Moscow when impeachment pressures are at a peak, he just might make dangerous concessions to the Soviets in order to get a highly-publicized agreement which would retrieve some of his support in Congress. Liberals fear that the president might destroy detente by reverting to a hard anti-Communist line in the liope of solidifying conservative support in the Senate, which be counts on to give him the 34 he needs to block conviction and ouster from office. So the public gets so caught up in speculation about the pressures on Nixon that they lose sight of the import of the Moscow summit. First, there seems to be no clear understanding what that funny word "detente" means. It most certainly does not mean that the ideological struggle is over, or that the Soviet and American societies have agreed to coexist at some middle ground between capitalism and Communism. It does not mean that Russia has ceased trying to increase her influence in India, the Arab countries, Latin America, Southeast Asia, with an accompanying decline in U.S influence and prestige. Nor has. the United States ceased efforts to remain the dominant military and economic force in the world. In practical terms, detente has meant a willingness on both sides to forego those periodic crises over Berlin with the attendant rattling of nuclear weapons. Detente has meant an unspoken agreement not to blunder into any more Cuban missile crises. It has meant a modicum of co-operation in providing the U.S. with an escape hatch from a costly war in Indochina and in ensuring that the quarter- century-old conflict in the Middle East did not lead to great-power warfare. Detente has meant that West Germany and France could deal more freely with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe, with Western Europe feeling less under the barrel of the Soviet guns. It has enabled countries like Romania to deal more closely with the United States without stirring Kremlin fears of new Hungarian- and Czech-type uprisings. But no one ought to be under any illusions that something other than the balance of military terror is now the dominant factor -in the maintenance of an air of LETTERS civility between the United States and Ruuia. Detente exists not because either tide wants it, but because both sides know that it is essential to the survival of the human race. It is silly to argue, as conservatives insist on doing, that SALT I gave the Russians a numerical advantage in one area of weaponry, or a payload advantage in some other area. As long as the balance of terror continues, as long as neither country develops the "first-strike capability" to so completely destroy the other side that retaliation would be impossible, there isn't likely to be a U.S.-Soviet nuclear war. The challenge to both sides now is whether they can retain the "balance of terror" without pouring vast billions of dollars and rubles into superfluous weapons systems, all to the detriment of citizens who need bread, shoes, shelter, medicine, education. The way things are going, even in this era of detente, Russia and the U.S. will pump an incredible trillion into the arms race during the decade of the '70s and perhaps trillion more in the '80s. Next to a plunge into nuclear war itself, that has got to be the ultimate in insanity. Curbing this waste of the earth's precious resources is too vital to postpone until 1977 when a president who has the confidence of the people presumably will come along. If Mr Nixon does not resign and is not forced out of office by Congress, we shall have to bear with summitry and arms negotiations by a president woefully weakened by the misdeeds and malfeasance of his own administration We shall simply have to believe that so many people from the State Department, the Pentagon, the Arms Control and Disarmament agency, the Central Intelligence Agency will be involved in the arms talks that v no president could make a rashly foolish deal, even if political desperation were to incline him in that direction. Investigation helpful "Start In The Herald April 2 a Roger Rickwood states "The secret service agents of the RCMP do not serve the cause of democracy when they undertake to investigate the activities of "reputable" jour- nalists. The question is How can the police be sure that the person is "reputable" until a check is made of the persons activities? An investigation can be of great help to an innocent person and most checkouts prove to be unnecessary. Surely Mr Rickwood knows that security risks and other criminals do not announce to the authorities that they are what they are, so it becomes necessary that checks be made. The extreme left is eternally critical of our police because the police have so often exposed the subversive activities of our salesmen of misery, the leftists I trust that Mr. Rickwood shares with most people a complete distrust of the extreme left, or as they are more realistically known, the Communist party and the NDP RAY KEITGES Should business justify its spending? By Anthony Westell, Toronto Itar commentator OTTAWA r- There was a time within living memory say about 10 years ago when every business leader worth his membership in the Chamber of Commerce felt it a public duty to make an annual speech explaining why the remorseless rise in government spending was driving us.straight into national bankruptcy. The only question really was whether the people would recover their senses in time to fire the politicians before disaster overtook us. Strangely enough, federal spending has tripled from billion in 1965-66 to an estimated billion in 1974-75 and, instead of going bust, we have got richer and richer. So not too much is heard these days about spending ourselves poor, and we are warned instead that public expenditure is inflationary. Government spending no doubt does contribute to the total of demand and can be inflationary. But no more so than spending by private industry, and not nearly to the extent the critics like to pretend. A very large part of the federal budget is not spending at all in the normal sense of the word. The government does not go out and buy goods or services in the'way the citizen or the private business spends dollars. It transfers money from one citizen to another, from one region of Canada to another region. For example, family allowances will cost about billion this year. Ottawa will raise the money mainly by taxing husbands and will pay it straight out to wives The total spending power in the economy remains the same. Another large chunk of the federal spending program is involved in insurance schemes. When a private insurance company announces that it is collecting more in premiums and paying more in benefits, that is regarded as evidence of economic growth. So why should it be different when Ottawa collects in taxes and pays out billion for hospital insurance and million for medical insurance? Out of every collected by the federal government, 31 cents are spent on health and welfare programs; 13 cents are paid in interest on public debt partly to the big financiers, but also to average Canadians who own savings bonds; 12 cents go to stimulate economic development to make more money in future; 11 cents pay for national defence; and 8 cents go to help the poorer provinces provide basic public services to their cfyizens. That's 75 cents out of the dollar, and the rest is spread over transport and communications, foreign affairs, aid to education, administration, etc. The real demand by the federal government for goods and services, which might exert inflationary pressures, has actually been tending to decline. It was, for example, 6.9 per cent of the gross national product in 1962 and 5.8 per cent in 1972, the last year for which figures are available. Provincial and municipal demand for goods and services has been increasing, however, and the share taken by all governments rose modestly from 19.8 per cent in 1962 to 23.7 per cent in 1972. Federal tax revenues as a proportion of Gross National Product have been remarkably steady: 15.5 per cent in 1959, 16.5 per cent in 1969, 16.8 per cent in 1972, to cite a few examples. It is provincial 'go ernments rather than Ottawa which have been increasing their tax take. No doubt there is waste in public spending, but 90 there is in the private sector. Nothing the have invented begins to match the scandal of planned obsolescence in industry. No government service is quite as worthless as some of the patent medicines, instant foods and plastic gimmicks sold to a gullible public. The federal civil service is a fat bureaucracy, at least in the upper levels. But there are mind-boggling bureaucracies in the world of big business also. The difference is that federal spending plans are published in considerable detail each year, scrutinized by opposition critics and monitored by the auditor- general, while private business plans are usually kept private. How interesting it would be, in fact, if major business corporations were required to explain and justify their spending plans each year to Parliament. And why not? It's our money they are using. Government provides services, and charges the cost in taxes. Private industry provides goods and services, and charges the cost in retail prices. If both had to explain their costs to Parliament, we could begin to get away from the simple-minded idea that public spending is bad while private spending is good, and we should be able to make more rational judgments as a society about which services we wish to buy and which to forgo. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. LMhbridge, Aloerta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Publishers Second Mail Registration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY f MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT ButineM Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"