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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 26, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta BENSON REJECTS AUDITING PATRONAGt SUGGESTIONS OTTAWA (CP) While a cabinet minister in 1908, Edgar Benson gave the accounting firm in which he had been a partner a two-year contract to audit the government-owned Central Mortgage and Housing Corp. CMHC records reveal that Mr. Benson, as minister respon- sible for housing between January and April, 1963, gave the contract to a member of the Kingston, Ont., firm of Eng- land, Leonard and Macpherson. Mr. Benson was a partner in the firm from 1952 to June 29, 1964, when he first joined the cabinet as revenue minister. He was appointed president of the Canadian transport commission last September. CMHC had never used Mr. Benson's firm before he took re- sponsibility for the housing cor- poration for four months in 1968. Asked Wednesday whether he had appointed the firm during that period, Mr. Benson said he could not recall. "It's possible. I'm not sure." But authoritative sources con- firmed the appointment was made by the former minister. Officials refuse to disclose the value of the auditing contract, considered a-confidential busi- ness arrangement. Industry sources say, how- ever, that the price of an an- nual audit if an organization the size of CMHC might reach into the six-figure range. Mr. Benson, a chartered ac- countant himself, has also been mentioned in recent news re- ports involving the audit of Ca- nadian National Railways and Air Canada. Unlike the CMHC audit, Par- liament must name the CN-Air Canada auditors in a financing bill introduced annually. While he was finance minister in 1971, Mr. Benson decided to switch the CN-Air Canada ac- count to Peat, Marwick, Mit- chell and Co. from Touche Ross and Co., which had held the jib the better part of 40 years. Peat, Marwick is the firm from which James Brown took a five-year leave to help Mr. Benson draft the mammoth 1971 bill revising the income tax. As the t.x changes became law, Mr. Brown returned to Peat, Marwick and within months the firm had the CN-Air Canada contract, the rcord shows. Mr. Benson rejects any sug- gestion of patronage. "We didn't owe Peat, Mar- wick anything." The suggestion of a special favor to Mr. Brown: "That's just nonsense." Mr. Benson says he simply wanted to spread the CN-Air C a n a da auditing business am o n g several accounting firms, as other government agencies do. The CN-Air Canada bill, with the change in auditors, was ac- tually introduced in February, 1972, by newly-named finance minister John Turner. But it had not been passed when the old Parliament ended last Sept. 1. Last March 19, Mr. Turner In- troduced a new bill, altered to stipulate that Peat, Marwick's contract would terminate at the end of this year. The bill, still in the Commons, names the firm of Coopers and Lybrand to share the account in 1973 and assume it alone in 1974. "I'm in favor of Mr. Benson said of the new bill's provisions. "I had thought of that." Government sources say the change was made to avoid any hint of patronage. The Uthbridge Herald VOL. LXVI No. 115 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 1973 PRICE: TEN CENTS TWO SECTIONS 28 PAGES Family allowance boost supported Capital menaced in Cambodian insurgent push Watergate case may haunt White House By WALTER R. MEARS WASHINGTON (AP) When the web of involve- ment in the Watergate affair finally is untangled, a question will remain to haunt the Nixon White House: Why did they do it? Why, while President Nixon's re-election prospects soared and his early Democratic rivals foundered, did men in his campaign organization deem it necessary to try wiretapping? And why the earlier attempts at spying and appar- ent poliiicai sabotage against Democratic candidates who seemed to need no assistance in bungling their campaigns? For all the investigations into who acted and who knew of Republican Political spying in 1972, there may never be a clear answer as to motive. There has been a claim that political surveillance originally was ordered because of a risk of demonstra- tions against Republican campaigners. MOTIVE LACKING But that could hardly be a motive for the wire- tapping-burglary at Democratic headquarters last June 17. or for Hie abortive citemnt to bug the campaign offices of Senator George McGovern three weeks earlier. It seems more likely that Watergate happened be- cause the Committee for the Re-election of the Presi- dent was unleashed to do what its title said, with more money to spend than any candidate could really need. Jeb Stuart Magruder, who actually ran that com- mittee in its csrly days, before John N. Mitchell resign- ed as attorney-general for s'Jnt as chairman, has testified that the organization spent about million on the campaign. It had million left over after Nixon's landslide re-e'cction. So was plenty of money to pay substantial sums to a college student recruited to infiltrate the campaign of McGovern and Senator Edmund S. Muskic, and finance alleged sabotage efforts. Bridge to noivhere The Mississippi River bridge at West Quincy, Mo., leads into a sea of flooded farmlands and residential areas. The bridge, carrying U.S. 24 between Illinois and Mis- souri, is one of eight bridges linking the two states which have been cleared by floodwaters. Damage to farm and crop and businesses in, seven states is estimated at million. Russians too busy to see Lougheed PHNOM PENH (AP) Cam- bodian insurgents have over-run a string of weakly-defended government positions across the Mekong River from Phnom Penh and now control a long stretch of the east bank paral- Brinks theft suspects surrender? TORONTO (CP) Radio sta- tion CHUM said today that one or both men wanted in the theft of from a Brink's Can- ada Ltd. office at Saint John, N.B., have surrendered to To- ronto police. Leslie Dominey, a Brink's driver, and Melvin Edward Downs, assistant cashier for the firm, have been missing since Saturday night. They are wanted for theft of the cash. Inside Classified 22-2R Comment 4, 5 District 3, J9 Family 30, 11 Local News J7. IS Markets 21 Sports 32-11 Thcatircs.....7 TV Wcsther...... 2 YouUi ..........9 LOW TONIGHT W, HIGH FRIDAY 55; SUNNY EDMONTON (CP) Prem- ier Peter Lougheed, who had hoped to visit the Soviet Union in August, has been told "in rather polite terms" that the Prussian leaders vrill be "other- wise that month. "We took the suggestion that we shculd perhaps consider an- other year for the mission.'' the premier told the legislature Wednesday. He had been asked by Grant Notley. New Democraic party leader, why the government de- clined a Soviet invitation to it the Soviet Union this year. Mr. Loagheed said August was the only month Alberta of- ficials could make the trip. The province had to plan for a fed- eral-provincial conference in Calgary during July on west- ern economic opportunities and for the resumption cf the leg- islature in the fall, likely in September. There was also a meeting of first ministers in May. followed bv a tour of central Alberta by the cabinet and then a meeting in Victoria during June to pre- pare for the Calgary con- ference. "We made the suggestion through the appropriate proto- col cf external affairs to go Jo the Soviet Union in August" Mr. said. "It was lo MS in rather rolitc Jiha! August was nnt a good month. "Tbcv (tjro Soviet officiate) apparently were otherwise oc- cupied." An invitation for an Alberta mission to visit the Soviet was made by Soviet Pre- mier Alexi Kosygin during his tour of Alberta early last year. The Alberta delegation was to discuss Soviet development in the north as well as energy problems and pipeline tech- niques. DEFENDS DECISION Earlier. Mr. Lougheed de- fended his decisicji to attend en international conference in Stockholm during May. Replying to Gordon Taylor the prem- ier said he had received an open letter of an "extreme and radical nature" from a Calgary man advising him not to attend the conference. f in my view we are fortunate that we in Alberta have been given an opportunity to express our views n t'nc matter of world energy at such a distinguished gaUiering." Laiig in Russia to drum up more trade MOSCOW (Reuter) Cana- dian Justice Minister Otto Lang said today he is optimistic atout the continuing need of countries like the Sovist Union for Isrga imports of Canadian grain. Larg, the minister respon- sible for the Canadian wheat board, arrix-ed here Tuesday for talks with Soviet officials on fu- ture grain sales by Canada. Last year Canada sold million worth cf grain to the So- viet Union, most of it wheat. Lang said Canada believes it will sell even more grain to the Soviet Union in much as ?3SO million worth. He said Canadian farmers are being advised to go ahead with the sowing of large grain areas and drop some summer fallow in order to keep the harvest high. Ming the capital city, refugees from the area said today. Phnom Penh was also men- aced from the west. More than 20 rockets hit the airport 2% miles west of the capital and an adjoining shanty town crowded with refugees early today, kill- ing 19 persons and wounding 62. (Reuters news agency said 24 persons were killed and 55 wounded.) No aircraft were damaged, but one rocket killed an officer and wounded seven soldiers at the entrance to the military part of the airfield. The assaults across the rivers are the closest the anti-govern- ment forces have struck to the carital since Viet Cong sappers raided northern Phnom Penh and blew up a bridge across the northern Phnom Penh Oct. 7. However, the military com- mand was not moving any more troops or heavy weapons to the west bank across from the in- surgents despite intelligence re- ports that they are planning a large-scale attack on the capital soon. BOMBING CONTINUES U.S. jet fighters from Thai- land bombarded the east bank today. East bank villagers crossing to Phnom Penh warned journal- ists trying to reach the other side to stay away. They said the sparse government units de- fending the east bank fled two days ago as the rebels moved in. The guerrillas were letting the farmers come and go with their produce but were not let- ting any Phnom Penh residents enter the villages, they re- ported. By VIC PARSONS OTTAWA (CP) Pleased with the first day of talks at a federal-provincial conference on social security, Welfare Minis- ter Marc Lalonde said Wednes- day he hopes to introduce legis- lation raising family allowances before summer. Mr. Lalonde received strong support during the day from provincial ministers for a fed- eral proposal to increase aver- age monthly payments to a child from the present The government has set a Jan. 1 target for the increase and would change legislation to make the allowances taxable. The proposed allowance In- creases were part of a 14-point federal working paper pre- sented last week that also sug- gested Canada Pension Plan amendments and guaranteed in- come levels for the aged, work- ing poor and disabled. After the closed afternoon sessions Wednesday Mr. La- londe said the federal proposals had received an "extremely positive reaction from the prov- inces." The first of three days of dis- cussions was spent on opening statements by the ministers, and talks on allowances, income supplements and employment strategies. Exceeded greatest hope Mr. Lalonde said although he hoped to have the family allow- ance amendments before the Commons by summer, another meeting might be needed with the provinces to work out de- tails. Acceptance by the provinces of the allowances proposals were "almost beyond my great- est he said. Mr. Lalonde said the dis- cussions would continue on the income supplements today, then move in to social insurance, Canada and Quebec pension plans and workmen's com- pensation. On Friday, he said, the minis- ters would likely discuss fed- eral-provincial relations and how to continue work on a com- plete overhaul of social security programs. He said he did not expect any "great bones if contention" at this stage of talks. So far dis- cussions on financing have been general and hypothetical, he added. "We want to define the shape of the system before we get to Mr. Lalonde said. The family allowance propos- als ar expected to cost about SSOO million a year more, bring- ing net costs for the program to about billion. LIKE MORE SAY Provincial ministers generally praised federal suggestions that their governments be given more say in administering so- cial sceizily programs. The federal working paper proposed that the provinces set levels of universal allowances and income supplements and guarantees provided minimum standards were met. The stand- ards would be set by Parlia- ment. Pension changes suggested Don't forget to turn clock ahead Daylight Time in Alberta officially goes into effect this year at 2 a.m. Sunday. At that time clocks are to be officially set ahead one hour. This is the second year for Daylight Time iu Alberta. Changes to the Canada Pen- sion Plan, one of tte subjects likely to come up in talks today, were suggested by the federal government in their working paper but the Ontario govern- ment has proposed even more sweeping amendments. While the-federal paper says maximum pensionable earn- ings, upon which benefits are based, should be raised to by 1975. Ontario suggest the eating should be boosted to S9.500. The ceiling is now about Both governments have pro- posed an escalation factor for benefits tied to the consumer price index. The maximum es- calation now is two per cent. Mr. Lalonde said in view of Ontario's suggestions, the prov- inces might want to spend more time on amendments to the Canada Pension Plan. Changes to the pension plan must receive support of two- thirds of the provinces contain- ing two-thirds of the nationa1 population. U.S. flood damage hits S193 million ST. LOUIS. Mo. (AP) About 10.4 million acres of land in seven states hsve been flooded officials say. They esti- mate damage to farm crops end businesses at S193 million. The Missouri punched Wednesday in 92 Cereal Missouri levees, in- cluding one near St. Louis that forced the evacuation of 600 mo- bile home residents at Bosh- etown. Mo. Ladies will rule expedition raft Seen and heard About town Kd Parted" a lajddermjsl applying 1o IJie Municipal Planning Com- mission for a home occupation licence what it wtraM cost to have a beaver mounted MH Taljlny offering his ser- vices as a referee1 end prom- ising to paint black stripes on his chest for the occasion. MADRID (AP) The head of a scientific expsdilion that wiil Ifcrow seven women and six men. all strangers. Joceibcr on a lonely rafl for Hirer to ntnnths. says Ihr cxppriTnoni his toothing 3o do with Uxj women's liberation movement. "I am neither a women's lib advocate nor a pussy says Dr. Santiago Genoves of the Na- tional University of Mexico. "I decided to turn the running of the rafl over to Ihc wmwn they are technically and man al sea far better Iban -noTnsn al work." be said Wednesday. an anthropij'kicist who accompanied Thor Heycr- d'hl twice on Vis expe- ditions, acknowledged, n o w- evcr. thai hp expects "fric- t'ow" arocng Ibe fsxrs during the trip. He 51 is part of the purpose of the trip to such relationships. Cteptained by a cool Swedish bkndc. IJhc rtecl jwnloroi raft is So depart from the Canary Islands ?wwnd for thr Yucatan peninsula sometime after May 1. The purpose of the trip, fi- nanced by a Miexicr-n govern- ment television channel, is 1o study human behavior under contraPed conditions. Gcnoves iniroduccd the crew reporters Wednesday. It in- hides two Israelis. a Greek ?nd a waitress from Call- priest from Portuguese Angola. Maria Bjorastam, 30, a qucJi- f icd second male from Sweden who has been sailing since she Paliras in the was a girl, wall captain the rait, she be in Once the crcyi) leaves mand. Geneves Canary Islznds complete com- y board is married to anyone else on IJhc rafl al- though among tihem they are of 14 children. The only single persons are Hachilda Masana. a ZVycar-old librarian from Alters who wil? sludy or-ean ccmteTninaJJon. and Baraardo Bongo, blade Jesuit EVANGEUNA SEYMOUR MARY GHM.KV aarigator fcERVANE ZANOITI direr ;