Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 22, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 I nc LC i nomuijc mvintmj, Information available American affluence vs world survival By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator The statement in the House of Commons by John Reid, parliamentary secretary to Government House Leader Allan MacEachen, that it might cost the government million to answer a question about the number of women in the public service making annual salaries above is astounding Perhaps if it were necessary to make a search of all the files, at a cost of per file, Mr. Reid's estimate would be accurate. But why would such a search be necessary? There is an Office of Equal Opportunities for Women, set up by the Public Service Commission in 1971, which presumably keeps a close tab on the number of women in the public service arid the salaries they are paid. A phone call to that office ought to be all that is required. Conservative MP Steve Paproski, who placed the question on the Commons order paper, could have made the inquiry himself at the Office of Equal Opportunities for Women That, of course, isn't the way things are done in Ottawa. Statistics on the public service probably change daily so that an up-to- date answer to Mr. Paproski's question might be impossible to secure, as charged But surely it is not necessary to have a daily picture of the employment of women in the public service; recent data ought to suffice. In a booklet, dated November, 1973, the information is provided that in 1971 one out of 29 men earned more than in the public service whereas only one out of 500 women earned more than The booklet also states that in 1971 the government had only one female employee in the senior executive category compared with more than 600 men By October 1973, the number of women in the senior executive category had risen to nine compared to over 800 men Maybe Mr Paproski and his colleagues in the House in all parties ought to request a copy of the booklet from the Office of Equal Opportunities for Women. The arrival of spring Spring comes on a given day, according to the calendar makers. The weatherman will even note its coming at a specified hour In spite of these seemingly accurate computations, spring really arrives at a different time to every one The first robin, the first crocus, the first kite have long been regarded as heralders of the season Spring is the time when neighbors visit over their lawn rakes after the social hibernation of winter It is the time when bicycles are resurrected from basement storage, when skiers beam from tanned faces, when planting bulbs and tubers appear on grocery shelves, when daily temperatures soar into the 60s. One wanders the yard at this time of the year looking for the first rhubarb sprouts, checking for buds on seedlings and wondering if the raspberries survived the winter Spring comes in different ways. It may arrive as a notably gentle wind. It may come as a sudden overpowering sense of freedom from bulky winter clothing. It may come as an urge to do landscaping chores, to wash windows, to burn trash or to argue over burning trash. However it comes, in whatever guise, spring really arrives to each individual, not on a certain day on the calendar or at a given hour on that magic moment when he suddenly realizes, in words or in a wordless feeling, "It's good to be spring Nursery rhymes for today A booklet of satirical verses and drawings is making the international rounds and lending a powerful poignancy to the fact that the U.S and the U S S.R are unable to agree on strategic arms limitation under the SALT II talks. The publication comes from the island of Fiji and while it is directed against the French policy of nuclear testing in the Pacific it has a much broader message Its contents are simply lampoons based on nursery rhymes, with accompanying caricatures. It is a cruel coincidence that the principal target, the late French president, Georges Pompidou, whose recent death is attributed to a form of cancer, was caricatured to illustrate the verse1 and Jill felt awfully ill, From too much radiation. Jack died young Of cancered lung, And Jill had a mutation. The booklet was produced and published by a committee of Fiji Islanders called the ATOM (Against Testing on Mururoa) and has as its goal a nuclear-free Pacific But the contents of the book are really addressed to the whole world, which has lived with the threat of nuclear war so long that it sometimes forgets The United States and the Soviet Union are at an impasse in their attempts to alleviate this danger. They cannot agree on what represents parity in their nuclear forces because there are differences in quantity and quality which are hard to reconcile in a bargaining atmosphere tinged with mutual distrust Unless they find a way to slow down their present modernizing programs and to keep destructive capabilities at their present levels as a first step in a retreat from the possibility of nuclear war this ATOM nursery rhyme may apply to the whole world- Humpty Bombty sat on a wall, Humpty Bombty had a great fall, None of the women, nor children nor men, Could ever be healthy or happy again. It doesn't have to happen, but it can ART BUCHWALD Farewell to streaking WASHINGTON No one will admit it publicly but next to Kohoutek the biggest flop of 1974 is streaking It was a media happening for two weeks and then fizzled out to nothing To find cut what went wrong 1 went to see Stanley Streaker, a university sophomore, who started the whole thing Stanley, I know you had high hopes for streaking when it first started You predicted it would be as big as the hula hoop rage Obviously you bombed out What went wrong'" "I he said fully clothed "The one thing I overlooked is that Americans can't be shocked by anything anymore They're so punch-drunk they accept everything without a peep." "I'm not sure I understand "Well, in order for streaking to catch on we had to convince students they were doing something against the Establishment The fun of it for them was to horrify their parents, their professors, the alumni and of course the board of trustees When we started streaking we expected howls of protest from the press and a tremendous counterreaction from the police But no one got sore Everyone just said 'Look at those nice kids running around with no clothes on "It's I admitted. "I said it myself." "I guess I can't blame the parents. The older generation has been through a lot. They've seen students march on Washington protesting the war, fighting for civil rights, screaming against pollution Hell, after the Sixties, streaking looked as innocent as Maypole dancing, and the Establishment not only refused to get sore at streakers, they welcomed us with open arms "You are victims of a permissive I said sympathetically "I think the thing that hurt us the most was Walter Stanley said "Why Walter "Well, when the craze first started, Cronkite got on television and said streaking was in Now as far as college students are concerned when Walter says something is in, that means it's out. I can date our demise to the night Walter told America about streaking "You haven't mentioned I said, "but is it possible that one of the reasons streaking failed was that no one was turned on by seeing a mass of flesh in the streets9" "I've thought about that a Stanley said. "It's true that when you've seen one streaker you've seen them all Perhaps I could have kept the thing going a lot longer if I had programmed it better Each week we could have streaked with one less piece of clothing, like a striptease At-the end the boys would have been in their shorts and the girls in bras and panties. Ther the final week we would have had the big unveilirg that would have given Cronkite something to talk about Our mistake was showing the landing on the moon before the takeoff from Cape Canaveral "So it's all over Stanley'" "Yup. We tried to revive it by having someone streak on television at the Academy Awards, but it was a big nothing. Sixty million people just sat there and yawned. When I saw that, I decided to hang up my socks A man has to know when he's through It must have been Oscar Wilde or was it Mao Tse- tung? who said: "When I hear Henry Kissinger talk about justice and morality, I reach for my dramamine." Anyone might suspect cynicism in such talk by a man who has wasted five years so far, and numberless lives, trying to impose American views on Indochina, and who until recently showed not the slightest interest in questions of world poverty, trade, finance and resources. But however cynical Kissinger may be, and however late his discovery of economics, his speech to the special United Nations session on raw materials and development did deal with what is very likely the most important long-term issue we face. That is, putting it broadly: How can the fruits of this earth be shared equitably enough at least to reduce the chances of mass starvation, economic collapse and war? The trouble is that the secretary of state alone cannot begin to deal with all the profound problems of material yearning, psychology and nationalism involved in that issue. Even if he could find time to negotiate with other countries about world economic conflicts as well as arms control and the Middle East, he could not carry the burden of policy and exhortation at home. And on these questions change in the world depends on change here in America. Consider a homely example. While Americans fretted over waiting in gasoline lines this winter, farmers in India waited in lines for five days to fill a 5-gallon gasoline can. They needed the fuel not for commuting or pleasure driving but to run the pumps that give their farms water. There was not enough gasoline in India for that most urgent necessity, and the direct result of inadequate watering is now apparent. The U S department of agriculture estimates that lack of fuel for the water pumps has cost India one million tons of her spring wheat crop. The Indian grain picture is even grimmer when the fertilizer problem is figured in Nitrate fertilizers are made from hydrocarbons, oil or coal or gas. The quad- rupling of oil prices plus price pressure on fertilizers because of growing demand have pushed their prices so high that a country as poor as India simply cannot buy what it needs American experts say that shortfalls in fertilizer and pumped water plus some weather difficulty may hold India's spring wheat crop to 20 million tons instead of the target of 30 million What has all that to do with us? Does it matter to Asian peasants how we live and think in America' The answer is that it matters to the point of life and death. We must begin to understand why. In the short run American 'I told you this was a good still here from last economic and aid policies are of vital importance. What must our sense of values be, our grasp of the real problems of humanity, when this year we are spending more than 10 times as much on South Vietnam (population 19 million) as on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh combined (population 711 Even to begin talking about world action on food and resources, Henry Kissinger has had to overcome tough opposition from the treasury and agriculture department on the narrowest commercial grounds. Secretary of Agriculture Butz tours Japan and Taiwan to view good dollar customers for American farm products, but he does not get to South Asia. But we are connected with the needs of the world in a deeper sense. Stability, even survival, will not be possible for hundreds of millions of people if Americans continue relentlessly to pursue super- affluence. If this country eats and uses and burns so much of the world's resources on an ever- increasing scale, then the supply for others is likely to be shorter and dearer. Certainly in oil, the crucial commodity now, we could have a much more potent influence toward deflating the wild prices by curbing our own huge demand growth prospect than by talking at the United Nations. These are demands not of charity but of wise self- interest It would not be much of a future to defend a fortress of affluence in a hungry world. For a while this winter William Simon talked of making permanent changes in the American lifestyle, moving us from a habit of waste to one of conservation. But all that has been forgotten in the pellmell rush for normalcy, meaning exploitation Kissinger's speeches will not count for much while we have a president who tells the Seafarers Union, as Nixon did last November, that America uses 30 per cent of the world's energy and "that isn't bad, that is good. That means we are the richest, strongest people in the world may it always be that way." Jamaica needs fair deal to avert bankruptcy By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the economic calamity which seems to be the destiny of weak developing nations now that worldwide inflation and an energy crisis have been heaped on top of a traditionally unjust trade system. Beautiful but poor little Ja- maica is a glaring example of a country that might be' paradise but for the fact she gets pennies for what she sells and pays dollars for what she has to buy Jamaica is the second biggest producer of bauxite in the world, after Australia. LETTERS Much of the aluminum you see in your kitchen or as the sidings of houses originated in Jamaican ore. Jamaica earns some million a year from this ore, a sum that is more than trifling in terms of the country's total budget But Jamaicans of every political persuasion will tell you the big multinational firms which haul the ore out are reaping far greater profits. Alpart Ltd (a partnership formed by Kaiser Aluminum Chemical Corp., Reynolds Metals Co and Anaconda Company) began producing alumina (a midstep between Handling guns safely A local school board recently rejected an idea presented to it by a high school principal. Apparently the rejection was accomplished without formal presentation of the pro side of the argument. The decision appeared to be emotional in nature Consider what was denied a pellet range in the basement of the high school. I am not quarreling about details but rather about the principle involved. Do we not offer driver training in order to lessen the incidence of accidents and death7 Why is not the same reasoning valid for another potentially dangerous machine? Should not young people learn to handle it in safety also9 Surely, there is no evidence that teaching teen-agers to handle firearms safely is any more dangerous than is a driver-training program or a laboratory experiment with volatile and toxic chemicals9 To suggest it is unduly dangerous is nonsense; to believe that guns must be used only to kill is equally non-sensical. For the express benefit of the board members concerned, I suggest they re- consider this matter after hearing from local groups who can at least give them more information on which to make a more considered, judgment. I refer to the local'officials of the Lethbridge Trap Club, Air Cadets, RCMP and Fish and Game organizations. All of these people teach or are involved in some positive way in teaching a recreational skill involving firearms. Today, there is more leisure time and we are living longer. We need to learn recreational skills which we may use all of our lives Curling is one, swimming is another, driver- skills a third. Gun clubs for purposes of target, trap and skeet shooting are mushrooming all over North America. The millions involved would be very surprised to hear that it is a dangerous sport. Small numbers of students and experienced instructors suggest a learning situation that has both validity in terms of the use of leisure time in our society and in creating less alienation in terms of the adolescent view of our society I agree that guns can lead to accidents, and sometime, such an accident will occur in Lethbridge. We all know who will be responsible: one of the young men in our city who was denied an opportunity to learn to handle guns safely. Wm. G. HARRISON Lethbridge bauxite ore and aluminum) over three years ago. Because of a bit of shrewd bookkeeping, the Jamaicans say, Alpart has paid no taxes to Jamaica It seems that no "profit" occurs until the alumina gets to the United States and is transformed into ingots or sheet aluminum. Jamaicans also say that Reynolds Aluminum provides jobs to 500 Jamaicans who extract bauxite ore, but that this same ore supports workers in the States With one Jamaican out of every five jobless and many others underemployed, small wonder the Jamaicans are asking why more of the aluminum-making processes cannot take place in Jamaica. There never has been a time when this was not a serious issue in Jamaica. But today it has become a matter of national survival. With no local sources of energy, Jamaica has been spending about million a year for oil, mostly from Venezuela With the energy crisis sending oil prices soaring, Jamaica's oil bill is now at least million a> year The increase in oil costs alone has been enough to wipe out Jamaica's foreign exchange reserves, which now stand at about million, or just enough to finance one more month of essential imports The Jamaican government has imposed a stringent austerity program on the people, but that will not meet the crisis So Jamaica's prime minister and his top aides have been carrying a solemn story to Great Britain, to Prime Minister Trudeau in Canada, to Henry Kissinger in Washington "We do not want this to become a matter of political fhey are saying, "but Jama c Vs very survival depends or. our getting a fairer price fur our bauxite, our sugar, our other raw materials something that matches the astonishingly high prices of the things we have to buv." Five years ago Jamaica could sell 60 tons of sugar to Britain and get enough money to buy a tractor. Today it takes 90 tons of sugar to bring that tractor to Jamaica What is worse is that Ja- maican labor costs, fertilizer costs, etc have pushed the production cost for a ton of sugar to about That is some more than what Britain is paying under a contract signed a few years ago. Or take oil Just 14 months ago a ton of Jamaican sugar brought enough foreign exchange to buy 20 barrels of oil A ton of sugar now brings five barrels of oil. The Jamaicans are in some tough talks about bauxite and alumina prices with huge U S corporations which are not known to let sentimentality get in the way of turning another buck. Theoretically the U S government is not involved. But it is. That aluminum we extract from Jamaican bauxite is of strategic importance to the United States Having Jamai- ca remain a friendly democracy is of deep political importance to the United States If the rich countries are ever going to show a willingness to stop cheating the developing countries, in the interest of a just and peaceful world order, the time is now Jamaica would be as good a place as any for Uncle Sam to haul up the flag of economic decency. 1974 by NEA Inc "All right, young man just what are you try in' to pull being softspoken, polite and The Lethbridge Herald 304 7th St a. Leihbridge, LETHBHIDQE HERALD CO LTD Proprietor! and Second Registration NO 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor end Publisher DON H PILLING Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DdllQLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor DONALD R OORAM General Manager ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Bualnets Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"