Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, April LETHBRIDQC MEHAUU- Whitlam forced into election against his will LONDON (CP) A late- night beer party, an aging and an adroit opposition leader all appear to have played key roles in Australian Prime Minister Cough Whitlam's decision to call a snap general election. As it is, Whitlam has been forced into a poll, expected May 18, against his will and with the possible prospect of defeat. The election will be for all 125 seats in the lower house, the House of Representatives, and for the 60 places in the Senate. It is the first time inv nearly 40 years that both houses have been elected at the same time. Lower-house elections were not due until December, 1975, and half the Senate is regularly elected every three years. The immediate cause of Whitlam's move was the refusal by the opposition- dominated Senate to pass two routine money bills sent from the House of Repre- sentatives. It was the first time since the six Australian states were federated 73 years ago that the Senate has taken such a step. The bills were passed as soon as the election was announced and the whole gambit was seen simply as a way of pushing Whitlam into an immediate poll. But the real prelude to the election began more than a week ago after the Labor prime minister had devised a carefully-planned strategy for giving his own party a majority in the Senate. Senate elections would have been held for half the seats- five in each 18 in any case and Whitlam decided to appoint Senator Vincent Gair of the opposition Democratic Labor party to be ambassador to Ireland. This would have meant six vacant seats in Queensland in- stead of five. The additional one would almost certainly have gone to Labor which, together with scattered gains expected in other parts of the country, would likely have produced a majority of one. Whitlam made the mistake of letting slip at a news conference that Gair, though unofficially appointed ambassador, still had not resigned his Senate seat. Douglas Anthony, Country party leader, saw that Gair had drawn the anger of his col- leagues by accepting a Labor appointment and he arranged for him to be invited to a beer- and-prawns, party. As the night wore on, a gov- ernment bill which Gair op- posed came up in the Senate and he was cajoled into returning to vote against it. By doing this, he kept himself a Senate member and gave Bjekle-Petersen the time he needed to produce election writs. WHITLAM TRUDEAU Commonwealth Window on the world LONDON (CP) Prime Minister Trudeau says he believes the importance of the Commonwealth will increase in the years ahead because the organization avoids a specific world role and emphasizes instead the value of human relationships. Writing in the quarterly journal The Round Table, Trudeau adds that last year's Commonwealth conference in Ottawa produced a feeling of in- formality and friendship among heads of government which en- abled them to make a measure of progress in their discussions. "We were not, at the Ottawa meeting, in search of a new role for the Commonwealth, or indeed any role. The Com- monwealth is for many of us our window on the world. "the nature of our meetings does not lend itself to the resolution of any crisis or to the so- lution of any major problem. By looking to the future, however, we should be able to identify those issues which, if left unattended, could develop into crisis proportions." Trudeau says much of the Commonwealth's value springs from the fact that it has no formal structure and no rigid rules of procedure. "The Commonealth is an organism and this fact guarantees both its vitality and its flexibility." In the article in the independent Common- wealth magazine of international affairs, Trudeau says the Ottawa meeting broke new ground in discussions of the art or science of governing. "Unless we talk to one another about our experiences and techniques of governing we are not able to broaden our own horizons-. At the Ottawa conference we did talk, we did share did benefit." Trudeau says government leaders found they needed far more information about such matters as the pricing of manufactured goods and the operations of multinational companies. Trudeau contends that while it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of the Ottawa conference, it was a success. "It was a success because the people who participated in it feel it was a success. I know there was some skepticism that it was just an exchange of words, but the media skeptics themselves deal with words. "Obviously they think that words are important, otherwise they would not write columns or editorials. Academics spend half their time going to conferences or talking to each other and convincing each other that certain things are important. "If it is beneficial for who can then only go back and write articles or talk to is certainly even more so for heads of government who have direct responsibility of implementing policies which may well have been influenced by the exchanges they had." The Ottawa conference had achieved informality and this in turn had enabled participants to make moves on the Rhodesian question and on the issue of nuclear testing. The rest of our troop? He's makin' breakfast" rs? itf 200 warriors, escorted by 150 cavalry, ...met by 4 Mounties. V'-' In 1885, the Riel Rebellion flamed across the PraJries. Eventually, it subsided and the ringleaders were rounded up and imprisoned but some Indian tribes feared the white man's justice and fled. Amongst these were some two hundred Crees who invited themselves across the border into the United States. The States, however, had more than enough problems with their own Indians and so asked the Canadian Government to kindly take their Indians back. Ottawa replied that if the U.S. Cavalry would escort the Crees to the border they would be met and taken back into Canada. In due course, some two hundred highly dissatisfied Indians with four hundred and fifty horses were gingerly escorted north to the boundary by a strong force of U.S. Cavalry. There they were met by what they took to be an advance party of a Mountie regiment one corporal and two troopers. The U.S. Colonel asked where the rest of the men were and was calmly told that he was making breakfast. In stunned astonishment, the Colonel 'and his men watched the four Mounties escort the Indians off. It has been recorded that there was no trouble at all on that last one hundred mile march north to Fort Macleod. ALBERTA-R.C.M.P. CENTURY CELEBRATIONS COMMITTEE, P.O. BOX 1974, EDMONTON, ALBERTA. T5J 2P4 From our proud post, the promise of our future.