Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDQE HEHALD-Thurtday, April tliistoiiifeiLS New spirit needed Extravagant eating habits must change Professor James Eayrs, in one of his columns in the Vancouver Sun, has suggested that in a truly democratic system citizens should be given some direct say in how at least a portion of their income tax is spent. His proposal is that one per cent of the return be permitted to be designated for something on a list of projects prepared by the government. The idea might be impractical but it is intriguing. If it could be implemented it would permit individuals to have a feeling of direct involvement in something in which they strongly believe. The government might gain some insight, too, into what programs have most or least support among the citizens of the country. This suggestion of "participatory fiscalism" was advanced by James Eayrs as a way for him to make a special appeal to the government to help India. That would be what he would want to check if he could designate where his special portion of income tax should be directed. Every day now there are news stories about the plight of the poor nations. Twelve of them, as identified by the World Bank, are particularly threatened by a life-death struggle right now. One of these countries is India with its huge population exceeding 700 million more than the combined total of the other 11 stricken nations. In addition to the humanitarian concern for the masses in India, James Eayrs has a sentimental attachment to the nation that has steered one of the most consistent democratic courses of all the newly independent states. He would like to see the Indian faith in democracy rewarded by special help from the West, and especially from other Commonwealth countries. Generosity is obviously in rather short supply throughout the developed world; greed has the upper hand. All sorts of rationalizations are employed to cover the meanness of spirit that refuses to entertain plans for sharing. One of the most popular ways of warding off the challenge to help distant brethren is to say that "charity begins at home." Former Manitoba Premier Duff Roblin once answered this saying, "although charity begines at home, it doesn't end there." Limiting concern to family, friends, clan and country is too constricting in a world where need is enormous and knowledge of it is immmediate and urgent and compelling. It is shameful that UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim should be meeting with so little success in lining up support for a special emergency fund to help India and the other 11 nations deemed to be in desperate circumstances. The divine image, supposedly imprinted on humankind, is being badly blurred and needs to be redeemed through a new spirit of liberality. rights Fortuitously, two news stories came out of the legislature at the same time which enabled the city editor to place them in conjunction for telling effect. One dealt with discrimination in women's pay; the other with an attempt to get consideration of a bill to provide for a more just division of property in the case of a marriage breakdown. The fact that women are still not getting equal pay for equal work not even in public service points up the immediate need for a change in law concerning property rights. The law ought to be changed, anyway, to conform to the more enlightened outlook of the times. But so long as women are denied equal opportunity there is an urgent need of change. A woman, quite aside from consideration of her contribution to building up equity in property in a marriage, should have equal rights in the case of divorce. She, usually more than the man, needs that material help in making her way alone because she doesn't get equal pay in so many situations. Changing the law at this point is not a means of averting the claims of a more just order in which women get proper recognition. Such a change would merely be an expression of a larger objective which includes equal pay for equal work as well. Soviet "pioneers In his book, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, Alexander Solzhenitsyn tells of the hardships endured in a Russian forced labor camp, clearly intending an indictment of Communist tyranny. Now, in a news bulletin from the press office of the U.S.S.R. Embassy in Canada, M. Maksimov, Novositi Press Agency commentator, has written a long, glowing account of the sacrifices of hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens in a land reclamation project that started in the mid-50s. Without being overly sarcastic, or assuming a personal knowledge of the situation, many of the statements in the news release can be used, much against the original intention, to back up the reliability of Solzhenitsyn's works. For example, Leonid Brezhnev, in a speech to land-developers, praised the valor and courage of hundreds of thousands of Soviet people who turned tens of millions of hectares of idle lands into fertile fields. This history of the U.S.S.R. abounds in manifestations of mass scale heroism which is natural for the people of a socialist society, he said. Almost a hundred thousand people who took part have been decorated with orders and medals of the U.S.S.R. The Museum of the Revolution in Moscow has also honored the people by having as an exhibit, one of the canvas tents used by the "pioneers." "Thousands of such tents appeared in the barren steppes of Kazakhstan, Siberia, and the Urals in the 1950s Solzhenitsyn called these areas "special" camps, although he never mentioned any tents. The bulletin says that when people say "virgin land pioneers" they mean courageous and diligent people who did not spare their energy to attain their lofty goal. It was not hunting for profits, for ambition but their loyalty to the ideas of socialism. Solzhenitsyn refers to the same hard workers as "goners." "Lenin had spoken of the need for using the enormous land expanses in the interest of developing the country's productive forces, but the corresponding socio-political and economic conditions were required for solving this task." Apparently in 1954 "a number of political and economic circumstances accelerated the decision to reclaim the virgin lands." The Communists were among the first to apply themselves to the project, "attracting thousands of people by the example they were setting." "The main thing that propelled the people in those days, making them overcome all the difficulties, was their patriotic and proud feeling of being part of a great common cause the young people were not afraid of difficulties when fighting against nature. "The triumph of the virgin lands is one of the magnificent victories of socialism, a major victory of the policy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union." Solzhenitsyn would likely agree that nothing on the same scale would be attempted in a democracy. THE CASSEROLE An article in March in the German newspaper, Hannoversche Allgemeine, says that one third of the applicants to the Hess police academy in Wiesbaden are girls. that one in 10 Spaniards over the age of 18 is an alcoholic. A news item from Toronto says the Liquor License Board of Ontario is going to "take a good, hard look" at topless dancers and waitresses in Ontario dining rooms and lounges. Well, isn't that the general idea? "Saskatchewan plane crash ruled accidental" says a headline in the Edmonton Journal. Really, now, would anyone crash a plane on purpose? It's not only in France that they drink a lot. Or. Alonso, a Spanish psychiatrist, told a medical conference in Malaga the other day, Not knowing what else to do with several tons of confiscated pornographic magazines, lewd photographs, smutty films and artificial sex organs, Florida authorities ordered them buried in a landfill project. It's interesting to imagine what latter day archeologists will think of us if they ever dig up that lot. And it's rather sobering to think how nearly right they'll be. The new oil royalty deal means a windfall to the provincial treasury amounting to for every man, woman and child in the province. If the government can't think of what to do with the money, a hundred thousand Albertans who'll soon be filing their income tax returns will gladly give them a hint. By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator BOSTON In one short sentence recently Professor Jean Mayer of Harvard, the great nutritionist, illuminated the profouno moral and political test that awaits this country on the issue of food. "The same amount of food that is feeding 210 million he said, "would feed 1.5 billion Chinese on an average Chinese diet." The question is: will we, can we go on pursuing our extravagant way of life in an increasingly hungry world? It is not some remote or speculative question. Half the people in the world go to bed hungry now every night. And the looming probability is that thousands, even millions may starve in the year ahead unless they get help from outside mainly from the United States. That prospect is based on factors that can already be estimated with fair accuracy. For one, there is a serious worldwide fertilizer shortage, caused in part by the quadrupling in price of oil that goes into nitrate fertilizer and in part by insufficient fertilizer plants to meet demand. In India, the fertilizer scarcity has already hit hard, along with difficulty in pumping water because of gasoline shortages. The spring wheat crop target was 30 million tons. Recent estimates put the actual figure nearer 20 million. In Asia generally, fertilizer supplies will be inadequate at least through this year. Crops are therefore expected to be down substantially. But the rising population inexorably pushes the need for food up two to three per cent a year. For those reasons, the experts foresee a huge food deficit in Asia this year the largest in memory, one has said. As a practical matter, grain to make up the shortfall in Asia would have to come in large part from the United States. Only the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are net grain exporters now, and America by far the largest. And so we Americans shall probably have to decide before the end of 1974: do we avert our gaze from Asia, cut ourselves adrift from a main problem of mankind? Or do we help others survive by doing the food equivalent of turning down our thermostats? We have no surplus now, and no grain carryover to speak of. We can probably help on the scale needed, then, only by adjusting our eating habits. It is less a question of the amount we eat and waste than of the kind of food in our diet. The American aitt ha turned more and more toward meat: 50 pounds of beef per capita in 1950, 119 pounds in UHBELlLVABLE SAVING5! YESTERDAYS PRICES ON MANY ITEMS "It's nothing found a item on which the price had actually been reduced." Trudeau plans growth policy By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator OTTAWA Six years ago, Pierre Elliot Trudeau became Canada's 20th Prime Minister. The one-time philosopher king of those now dimly-remembered days of flowers, of "Reason over Passion" and of the New Poli- tics, has been longer in office than any post-war prime minister except Louis St. Laurent. If the voters, or the Com- mons, give Trudeau the chance he will use the next two or three years attempting to implement a "new national policy" for balanced economic growth. "The one thing that must be accomplished in the next little while is our policy of balanced economic growth in Canada. The industrialization of Canada will be determined in the next couple of years with all of our objectives in mind: One. Regional growth. Two. More Canadian control. Three. More concern for the environment and for the quality of life. Four. Less congestion in our big cities. "We want our country to grow, but with very strict guidelines, conceptions of how it should grow. I believe it will take a very large part of our efforts to put Canadian growth into these new paths This transformation is a basic one. It has to do even with the understandings and feelings of people, and will be necessary not only for the quality of life but also for the strength and unity of the Canadian system so that people in all parts of the country can benefit from the total development." Trudeau granted the inter- view in his third-floor Commons Office, one window looking west to the Ottawa River, the other window south to the broad lawns of Parliament Hill that are just beginning to turn from winter brown to spring green. Physically he has changed little, much less than do most prime ministers under the grind of office. Less hair on top; perhaps an extra line or two about the eyes. But those eyes can still switch abruptly from a kind of restless searching about the room and about the person to whom he's talking to a cold, hard glare when he senses his message isn't getting through. One change is in his office. It suits the man, certainly as he would like to see clean, classic, stylish. The thick, sombre curtains have been taken down and replaced by wooden louvers that let in the sun. The carved wood pan- els have been cleaned of their dark stain, and left light and pure. The carpet is beige, thick and soft; his couch and desk chair are of leather, beige also but of a darker hue. The only wall decoration is an Eskimo tapestry, from Baker Lake. He works, not at a desk but at a table. "Luckily I'm a fairly tidy Trudeau explains. it Another change, harder to define, is in the person. The politician is much closer to the surface, but perhaps this is only a trick of memory and perhaps Trudeau always was much more the conventional politician than he the in- terview he disclosed that had he not run for the leadership in 1968 he would have stayed in politics and probably run for the post at the next opportunity. Certainly today Trudeau measures out his words as if balancing how they will look in print rather than, as he used to do indulging in an intellectual's delight in ideas for their own sake. The comparison with Mack- enzie King, while he doesn't claim it, doesn't discomfort him. "Not at all. For all the criticisms that have been heaped on him, he not only held Canada together but helped it go forward in relative unison...Talking of his ability as a politician and comparing it to me is not a thing that offends me." Certainly Mackenzie King would have applauded Trudeau's description of his own political philosophy "It's been often said that I've tried to govern by consensus rather than by leadership, My Answer is no. We've given leadership. But we've never tried to be that far ahead of the times as to be unacceptable. The stories are legion of politicians who tried to do too many things too fast and skated themselves right outside the political arena." During the six years he has been within the political arena, Trudeau ranks most of his achievements in the field of international affairs: recognition of Red China, new relations with Moscow; the reduction of our NATO contribution; the extension of sovereignty in the Arctic and of Canada's off-shore territorial waters. Other highlights of those halfdozen years which Trudeau cited during the interview were: action to cure "the festering sore" of native people's problems; multiculturalism; regional economic expansion. Trudeau recited these achievements almost by rote. He kept his enthusiasm for the subject of nationai unity. "The fight against special status, associate statehood and that kind of thing which once loomed very large in Quebec political discussions, that fight was won much more quickly than I expected." The reason for that victory, said Trudeau, "is that emotions can't sustain a long period of contradictory facts which wear the emotions down. Contradictory facts such as, first, that Ottawa could be demonstrated to be a place where French- Canadians had a role to play. Second, that the official languages act, could be made to work, albeit slowly. Third, that Quebec could progress economically, socially and in other ways without going the separatist route. "All these contradictory facts accumulate and the emotions of one generation are worn down and the new generation coming on is, as is very often the case inclined to reject the nostrums of the previous one and to look for something else." Trudeau himself has rejected one of his own politics is rational. "I've realized, and perhaps I should have before and it was irrational that I did not, that most people want to hear you make emotionally- couched speeches rather than syllogisms. Fine. "But this does not mean you must govern irrationally. It means you must put peoples' emotions in as part of the data. There's the economic data, the geographic data, the historical data, the social data, and there's the emotional data." There is also the political data, of course. "I just feel at this time that people don't want an election, and I have said quite clearly that if an election comes it will have been forced on us by the opposition." With that neat shaft at his opponents, the interview came to an end. 1973. And beef is a terribly wasteful food to produce. Feeding corn to cattle in feedlots, you end up putting on the table in steaks and stews only five per cent of the calories that were in the corn. An American now uses pounds of grain per year to feed himself, a Chinese 400. But the American figure only 140 pounds are eaten directly as grain in bread and other cereal products. Of the Chinese 400 pounds, 360 are eaten as grain. If the United States is going to play a substantial part in bridging the world food deficit, there will have to be a change in our diet. Of course we need not eat less nourishing or appetizing food; in terms of taste and real value the American diet is a well known disaster. American food habits have been spreading, and that trend also will have to change. That leads to a longer run point about the world food situation. The general assumption has been that the growing problem of population and food could be met by spreading American agricultural methods to the less developed world, with mechanization and intensive use of commercial fertilizer and pesticides. That assumption is now under challenge. The problem is brilliantly, fascinatingly analyzed in the current issue of Science by Prof. John S. Steinhart of the University of Wisconsin and Carol E. Steinhart. What they demonstrate is that the American food system is immensely energy intensive. Huge amounts of energy are poured into growing crops without much labor, then even more into processing and packaging, and still more at the consumer end into auto powered shopping, refrigeration and the like. In "primitive" cultures, the Steinharts say, each calorie of energy invested produces five to 50 calories of food. In industrialized food systems, it takes five to 10 calories of energy to get one in food. If all countries followed our energy intensive pattern, the world would use 80 per cent of its annual energy just to produce food. Barring some breakthrough in renewable energy sources, the Steinharts conclude, the choices for man "appear to be either less energy intensive food production or famine for many areas of the world." As energy costs go up, even developed countries will have to find ways of using more labor and less energy in their food production. One commodity is essential for needed change in either the immediate future or longer term, and unfortunately it is in short supply. That is leadership in Washington. We can only hope that it will appear, and work toward that end. If man does not deal with his food problem in terms of the small world he inhabits, as the Steinharts say, then "the food shortage will solve our population problem. Correction In a letter to the editor in Wednesday's Herald, (Catholic education in jeopardy) by Peter Hunt, the third paragraph should have read as follows: "Bishop Leo Blais and Henri Routhier have both severely criticized the Canadian catechism used in our Catholic schools. "There are groups such as Catholics United for the Faith, Pro Fide, and the St. Athanasius Society in various countries growing in influence The Herald regrets any inconvenience the missing portion may have caused. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethftridge, LETMBRIOGE HERALD CO LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second CIMl Mall Registration No. 0012 DON H PILLING Managing Editor CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DONALD R DORAM Qenerai Manager ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"