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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 24, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Mao death plot bubbles i fo surface By JOHN BURNS Special to The Herald PEKING It's the sort of ham-handed cloak-and- dagger stuff that made for comedy television's Man From U-N-C-LE-but it's absolutely not for light entertainment in China, where the plot allegedly was real and the intended victim Chairman Mao himself. A story that appeared at the weekend in the Nanfang Ribao (Southern the principal party publication in southern China, gave hitherto unpub- lished details of the abortive conspiracy by which Lin Piao, his son and a band of "sworn followers" planned to kill Mao and establish a "Lin The account, under a banner headline on the front page, told how a group of conspirators headed by the younger Lin met in the southern China city of Swatow two months before the assassination how, in truly picaresque fashion, they hatched their nefarious plan. In credulous terms the paper recounted how the plotters scoured the Swatow Municipal Library for anything that might give them a tip on how to organize the plot, badgered local customs officials to check in- coming shipments for a special kind of German dagger and gorged themselves in the meantime on pastries and soda pop specially flown in from Swatow's sister metropolis of Canton. Rare background For reasons best known to themselves the Chinese have vouchsafed many of the jucier details of the Lin affair to the home audience only. One fairly full account did reach the outside world last year, from the pen of a sympathetic journalist who benefitted from some rare background even he got no inkling of the peculiar goings-on in Swatow. That the world can now be told the story is thanks to a foreign traveller who stopped at a newspaper display case in Canton. Pinned inside was the day's edition of Nanfang Ribao which, like all but a very few news- papers in China, is officially denied to because it publishes material marked for domestic consumption only. The lowdown on the fplderol at Swatow came in an account of a meeting in the city at which citizens indignantly recalled the events of July 7 through 14, 1971, when the "fascist son of Lin Li-kuo, a 24-year-old air force led his band of renegades on a classic wild goose chase. As the paper told it, Lin hailed as Chairman Mao's closest comrade and successor but officially condemned nowadays as a lifelong traitor to the revolutionary that the game was up for him after other members of the leadership "exposed" him at a key meeting of the party's central committee in September, 1970. 'Factual errors' blur promotion brochure n I 1 Band of cohorts Seeking to forestall his doom, the balding, defence minister dispatched his son and a band of cohorts to Swatow the following summer to hasten preparations for a plot code-named conspiracy that eventuated in the coup attempt that is said to have been launched on Sept. and to have collapsed with the death of the Lins in a plane crash in the Mongolian Republic five days later. In Swatow the younger Lin commandeered civilian and military vehicles, replacing their drivers with trusted men of his own. False names were used by all concerned and local people were ordered in peremptory fashion. Then, on July 9, a "black meeting" was convened, lasting all day, in which oper- ational plans for the coup were laid down. What followed was pure Marx Brothers, hardly worthy of the "super-genius" tag Lin is said to have placed on his son. Apparently diffident about their ability to cover all the angles, the conspirators trooped off to the local library to examine all the literature on spies, pilots and subversion they could find. According to .the chief librarian's account, the plotters concentrated mostly on tomes dealing with tales of intrigue in old China. But they also borrowed a "training manual" used by the United States Central Intelligence ordinary library, the Swatow an autobiographical account by an agent who infiltrated the German intelligence network before the war. From the library the band headed for the customs. An official who dealt with them recalled how they had come not once but five times, each time demanding that he search incoming shipments for a special long- bladed dagger they were expecting from Germany. Soda pop, dagger While all this was going on the plotters were looking after their stomachs in an equally idiosyncratic fashion. A special military air shuttle was organ- apparently, to ferry the exotic delicacies of Chinese cuisine that an Ian Fleming might have fashioned into the plot, but more proletarian fare such as pastries and soda pop.. Some of this was doubtlessly included to tickle the readers' fancy, but there were some aspects to the story which had a more current significance in the anti-Lin campaign that is now in full swing across the country. Among these were the frequent references to an unnamed "sworn follower" of Lin in the southern province of Kwangtung who attended the Swatow meeting. The anonymity of the man implies that he is or was prominent in the provincial hierarchy but that no final disposition of his case has yet been made by the party's leaders. This would be consistent with reports reaching Peking from various provinces which speak of poster attacks on a number of military leaders who are alleged to have been "sworn followers" of Lin. posters The most prominent of these is Li Teh-sheng, the number six man in the party, whose name is plastered on walls in more than a dozen provinces including his own power base in the industrial northeast. There has been no official pronouncement on his case but it has not gone unnoticed that he was director of the army's general political charge of all military the summer of 1971, when Lin's cohorts are said to have produced a pamphlet paving the way for the coup by covering up Lin's shortcomings as a field general and attributing to him the credit due to Mao for the tactics that delivered the northeast to the Communists in the closing stages of the revolutionary war. S I I The Travel and Convention Association of Southern Alberta says a convention brochure produced recently by the city contains factual errors and is unsuitable for convention promotion. In a news release, Dr. John Neal president of the association says that as a result of a series of complaints the association wishes to deny any responsibility for the brochure and that as a matter of policy the association will not make use of the material. The travel and convention association claims the color brochure contains the following errors: "In 1885, the name was officially changed to Lethbridge in honor of the first mayor." The association says the city was in fact named after Sir William Lethbridge, the first president of the North West Coal and Navigation Company. The city's first mayor was C. A. Magrath in 1891. "The arrival of the Mounties in 1875 The Northwest Mounted Police arrived in October 1874. A motel strip photo features neon signs of two motels that are currently being removed for new development. "Excellent facilities are available for large scale gatherings requiring seating for up to "The largest recent convention I can recall was the Agricultural Institute of Canada with people and some of them had to be billeted in Fort Macleod and Taber because there wasn't room for them says travel association executive vice president Frank Smith. Dennis O'Connell, director of business development and public relations, whose department had the brochure produced under city council authorization, admits it's not perfect, but says it has been well received by hotels and motels to whom it's been distributed. "It's the first effort this department has been engaged in I'm quite sure it can be improved he said. And he adds it's the first time such material other than statistical information only has been available for those wanting to attract conventions and for convention organizers. But the travel and convention association, which is seeking a grant from the city to do convention promotion, says it is speaking out because of the number of telephone complaints its office received. "It's actually a teaser for industrial claims Mr. Smith. He says that while some may say it's better than anything the city has' had before, it actually does more harm than good because the errors illustrate Lethbridge as "a city of hicks and amateurs." The LetHbrtdge Herald VOL. LXVII 111 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 1974 10 Cents 48 Pages By AL SCARTH Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The Energy Resources Conservation Board has approved a million Athabasca oil sands plant to be built by Shell Canada Limited. If approved by cabinet, the plant, which will produce barrels of synthetic crude oil per day by 1982, will be the third established in the sands. In its decision announced today, the conservation board said the Shell extraction process was slightly more efficient than the Great Canadian Oil Sands project bills help north growth EDMONTON (CP) The provincial government introduced two bills Tuesday that will help it deal with massive expansion expected in the oil sands area in northeastern Alberta and oil sands research. First reading was given by the legislature to the Northeast Alberta Regional Commission Act which will establish an office to co- ordinate projects ranging from highway development to town planning. Price system "permanent' OTTAWA (CP) Energy Minister Donald Macdonald said Tuesday he expects a two-price system for Canadian crude oil to be relatively permanent unless there is a sharp drop in world prices. The setting of one price for export and one for domestic markets was the result of agreements between the prime minister and the provincial premiers. Also introduced was a bill providing the legislative framework for the previously- announced oil sands research and technology authority. The authority will have million to spend over five years in financing research aimed at unlocking the processes needed to get oil out of the sands. The regional commission, which will be headed by a commissioner appointed by the cabinet, will be involved in all the planning necessitated by resource development. With each new oil sands extraction plant expected to add about jobs, government services in the area are expected to be severely strained. The act allows local government to delegate their authority to the commission to plan government services. The commissioner will have the power to take that authority if local municipalities balk at losing some of their local autonomy. Zoning regulations, school construction and provision of utilities and general government services will all come under the commission's terms of reference. now producing barrels a day and the Syncrude proposal which will see barrels a day produced. With construction of the shell plant proposed to start in 1976, it will overlap with construction of the Syncrude project not slated for completion until 1978. But the board said the two plants should be able to make satisfactory arrangements on the use of labor and construction facilities. The board also said it was satisfied the project will meet provincial environmental standards. It would emit considerably less sulphur dioxide than the GCOS or Syncrude projects. But the board withheld approval of Shell's request to supplement its plant feed with natural gas until the company can demonstrate there is no practical alternative. Shell told the board that 3.28 billion barrels of synthetic crude, or 88-per-cent of the oil in four ore bodies, could be recovered by minig. It said the sands will be mined with 75 to 90 cubic yard draglines to remove overburden and get at the oil sands beneath. Pilots may stop MONTREAL (CP) A spokesman for the Canadian Airline Pilots Association said today their members will walk out at midnight tonight unless Air Canada "clarifies" the situation with regard to employees laid off as a result of work stoppages by airport firemen. City postmen back at work Smashed by waves Wreckage of a summer cottage was swept into Lake Michigan, Tuesday, near Grand Haven. Residents of the area say this is the fourth time in three years a cottage has been smashed by high water. Energy board approves Shell Athabasca plant Lethbridge postal workers and letter carriers voted Tuesday to return to work. The union locals said in a prepared statement the appointment and progress of mediator Eric Taylor justified the move. Doug Harrold, president of the Canadian Union of Postal workers (CUPW) local representing the inside workers, said the workers had voted as a joint local because they had worked as a joint local. The letter carriers are represented by the Letter Carriers' Union of Canada Postmaster Art Lewis said today complete postal services would be offered at the Lethbridge Post Office, including delivery of what mail there was. There was little mail from outside the Lethbridge district, he said. But Lethbridge-to-Lethbridge letters would go through, ana boxes and wickets were open. In Grande Prairie, letter carriers voted to cross the inside workers picket lines. A union spokesman said they would deliver mail sorted by supervisors. "About 800 family allowance cheques are expected to go out. On the national level, mediation resumed this morning in Ottawa after Tuesday's session ended early today. Mr. Taylor said some progress was being made. On the talks Tuesday he said: "In fairness to the parties, they took very seriously my admonition. and they have been addressing themselves to the chalenge of trying to come up with a solution to bring this strike to an end." Mr. Taylor said the postal unions and the government owed the people of Canada a, solution. They had a mutual Nixon plans Egypt aid WASHINGTON (AP) President Nixon asked Congress today for billion- in foreign aid, including million to help Egypt clear the Suez canal, repair war damage and re- store trade with the United States. 'Nixon also asked for million in military support for Israel and million for Jordan. He said the U. S. "can and should play a constructive role in securing a just and durable peace in the Middle East by facilitating increased understanding between the Arab nations and Israel...." All the money, including a special Mideast fund for peacekeeping forces, refugee aid and development projects, would be for the fiscal year that begins Juiy 1. responsibility to 22 million people, he said. Joe Davidson, acting national president of the inside workers' union, said there was hope for settlement. Asked how long he expected negotiations would take, he replied: "I hope not any longer than tomorrow." As mediation went into its third day, most of the country's mail service remained stalled. The main issue in the dispute is the million post office automation plan. Automatic coding and sorting machines are to be run by workers in a new, lower- paying category. Union leaders fear this will undercut pay demands during coming negotiations. Postmaster-General Andre Ouellet told the Commons special steps had been taken to ensure delivery of old age pension cheques. He also said 3.4 million of the 4 million family allowance cheques had been delivered and special steps were being taken to deliver the rest. The Alberta Department of Health and Social Development said Tuesday most cheques normally mailed out will be available at its regional offices. A spokesman said social assistance payrol cheques can be picked up at regional offices starting Monday while pension cheques for the blind and disabled and those on senior citizens' supplementary allowance would be available after May 1. The post office in Edmonton says 11 of Alberta's 43 post offices with department staff were closed today but all others were open with inside and outside workers on the job. foreign doctors needed CALGARY (CP) The president-elect of the Alberta Medical Association said Tuesday his province and the rest of Canada may be forced within five years to restrict the number of foreign doctors allowed into the country. Dr. Robert Hatfield predicted that Canada is rapidly reaching the point of producing enough doctors to serve the country without any foreign help. At present, he told a news conference, about 50-per-cent of the new doctors each year come from other countries while the other 50-per-cent come from medical schools in Canada. Already, some doctors are having difficulty getting hospital appointments because of existing medical staff overloads, he said. Despite this, there are still some areas of Canada which do not have adequate medical personnel, Dr. Hatfield said. "We're up against regionalization here. We have to take a hard look at distribution of health services." Budget date OTTAWA (CP) Finance Minister John Turner said Tuesday he will present the Liberal government's budget May 6, knowing that he must win Commons support or face an election. Inside Classified.....32-36 Comics............28 Comment.....4 District............15 Family........37-40 Local Markets..........29 Sports...........25-27 Theatres..........7 TV.................6 Weather.......... 3 LOW TONIGHT 35; HIGH 70; SUNNY Flood damage estimate waits and About town John Shearer, of the White Heather show saying he loves kids after all, he went to school with them Dr. Pano Karkanis saying gophers are good soil scientists because they don't dig their holes in hari soil By THE CANADIAN PRESS As most Prairie communities started on the road to recovery from widespread flooding, pro- vincial premiers said it still is -too early to determine the amount of financial assistance the centres will need. The Red River in Manitoba remained the main concern today with a crest about four feet higher than in 1966, the year of extensive flooding, predicted for Thursday. The Vegreville-Two Hills area of Alberta and the Lumsden area of Saskatchewan also were problem spots. Premier Ed Schreyer of Manitoba and Saskatchewan Premier Allan Blakeney tourned flood centres Tuesday, but were unable to estimate damage. Mr. Schreyer said earlier Saskatchewan damage could reach million. ;