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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 30, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE UTHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, April 30, How virtuous we are! Earlier this month the world's press was all a-twitter over the dis- closure by a convicted German gun runner a nice, reliable source that Libya is party to a clandestine deal to supply arms to the Irish Republican Army. This information unleashed a torrent of editorial dia- tribe across the countiy, excoriating Libya in the strongest of terms. A particularly virulent condemnation that appeared in an eastern Cana- dian newspaper was entitled cute- ly, one supposes "From Libya with and it employed such corro- sive phrases as "financing "enemy of civilization" "bankrolling terror" and the like. It is a sad commentary on North American values that this outpour- ing of righteous indignation and an- gry invective is reserved for Libya, an almost insignificant participant in the enormous arms trade that goes on routinely throughout the world. Libya is a small, under-developed country with a population no larger than that of Toronto. It has virtually no industry of any kind, least of all an armaments manufacturing and ex- porting capacity. If indeed it is en- gaged in any kind of arms trading, with Irish revolutionaries or anyone else, it is as an intermediary, trans- shipping arms it buys from some oth- er country and then sells to whoever its customers may be. In short, if Libya is in the muni- tions business, it is as a small-tima retailer, making a few paltry dol- lars on something a bigger dealer supplies much as the street makes his dirty dollars peddling to penny-ante customers the dope that is supplied to him from "up above." To pursue the analogy with dope- peddling it and trafficking in mu- nitions are on the same moral level would be regarded at worst as a petty criminal, the kind narco- tics agents usually allow to operate for a while in hopes of being led to the upper echelons of the dope game. The agents know that if they jail one small pusher, another will take his place; the only hope of stop- ping the racket is to catch the big supplier. If toe analogy holds, then who is the real criminal in this case? And is it not curious that no similar chorus of outrage greeted the U.S. announcement of renewed shipment of munitions to Pakistan, or the French decision to provide arms to that outstanding champion of civiliza- tion, General Amin of Uganda? Ten years of food aid The World Food Program, an agency of the Unitei Nations, is cur- rently marking its tenth anniversary. Under this agency surplus food from some regions notably North Amer- ica is utilized in areas where it is in short supply. Utilization means that the food is not simply handed out as charity but is given as payment for work or for taking training. This concept appeals to both donors and recipients because it aids development ratter than tend- ing simply to sustain the status quo. The major share of WFP's re- sources have gone to assist agricul- tural development, including irriga- tion, soil conservation and flood con- trol, land reclamation and settlement, afforestation, and the promotion of improved farming methods. Food aid enables people to feed themselves they make these improvements which often result in them becoming self-supporting. Increasingly'WFP has been under pressure to use its food supplies to sustain educational programs. Ignor- ance wedded to poverty is an explos- ive combination and many countries are anxious to try to reduce the dan- ger through providing opportunity to acquire an education. Despite the good things that have been accomplished through WFP the disconcerting fact is that ground is being lost. There are more people in the world today who cannot read and write than there were just a few years ago. And the number of unemployed is expected to swell in the next decade. While the WFP program, and other ievelopment enterprises, by all means should continue, it becomes menacing- ly apparent that a taiassive attack must be made on the one overriding problem in the world: the population explosion. Unless an means of controlling population growth is soon implemented there will be no hope of finding food or employment ART BUCHWALD Every man for himself WASHING The naval court of inquiry into u.e sinking of the SS Water- gate was held in executive session here last week. On the stand was Capt. Richard M. Nix- on who commanded the ship at the time it went down. Here is a partial transcript of the hear- ings which do not violate national security. "Capt. Nixon, the SS Watergate sprang a leak on the morning of June 17, 1972. What did you do about it at the "I didn't think much of it. I was told by my executive officer that seven men had been fooling around in the shower room and the nozzle broke off." "Did you order an investigation of the "Yes, I did, and it was the most thor- ough investigation ever held on the high seas. I told my officers I wanted to know if anyone on my staff had anything to do die leak. They reported back to me categorically that no one ia the crew ex- cept for the seven men was involved in the incident. I accepted this as "Did you by to repair the damage at toe "There was nothing to repair as far as I was concerned. The seven men were court-martialed and that was the end of it." "But isn't it Irue tifet during the court- martial of the seven, there were hints that other people were involved in the "It was only hearsay. A captain has many enemies cm a snip, and I was JvA about to put credence in a lot of gossip and rumor.'' "Now Capt. Xixon, since the tadc was not r. paired, the lower compartments of tha ship began to flood Didn't you feel at time you should take some "I sent my people doren to inspect the carnage and they said the ship was eom- dry bekrw decks." "You didn't go down to inspect the dam- age "I had to stay on the bridge. It is a mis- take for a captain to know too much about what is going on in the crew's quarters. Besides, I bad great faith in my officers and their ability to judge whether the ship was in jeopardy or not." "Is it true that your communications of- ficer IA. Ronald Zielger kept announcing over the loudspeaker that there was noth- ing wrong with the "Yes, he did it on my orders." "Then Lt. Zielger hadn't gone below to inspect the damage "Not to my knowledge. We were getting ontinual reports from our legal officer, Lt. John Dean HI, and he ass'ired its that we were safe and cur crew was "But didn't you get suspicious when the water rose to main "I didn't like it, bat I didn't consider it my problem. I've been in storms before, six to be exact, and I've always bsen able to weather them. Besides, roy staff told me not to pay any attention because the ship was built to withstand any kind of pressure." "When did you decide that you were really in "On March 21. 1973, I received some startling information from my officers that the kak did not come from a shower, but that we had really hit an iceberg." "Then you decided to take "Yes, 1 went on the loudspeaker myself and said that anyone responsible for hit- Sing the iceberg would be immediately re- moved from the crew." "And when did you decide to abandon "When the water got up to my hips arxJ I noticed all my officers starting to take to the did you feel about losing so many it On the Hill JOE CLARK, MP for Rocky Mountain "Harry! Not by reducing the assessed value What about saving energy? By Joseph Kraft, syndicated commentator The selfsame ssers who brought you the missi'e gap, the domiao theory and the Mao- ist menace have now picked up the energy crisis. To hear them teil it, industry will halt, the highways will be black with gasless cars, and millions will freeze in the dark, unless Am- erica asserts itself against those supposed villains of the piece, the Arabs and environ- mentalists. But in fact -there are dozens of much more acceptable ways (some of them almost as vir- tuous as motherhood) for this country to ease the growing gap between energy consump- tion and energy production. Here is a checklist of possibili- ties which should provide some measure of the national energy policy the Nixon administra- tion is slowly bringing to birth. Conservation of energy heads the list. The United States, with six per cant of the world's pop- ulation, consumes about 30 per cent of its energy. We con- sume, person for person, more than twice the amount used in such a heavily industrialized area as Western Europe. Much of the energy consum- ed is wasted in automobiles car- rying only the driver. Enor- mous savings in energy could be achieved by moving com- muters in b'jses or other forms of mass transit. Decent inter- railroads would cause many people to leave their cars at home and travel by train. A tiny effort could probably in- duce two or three per cent of the population to move around by bicycle; and that tiny sav- ing would at least cover the gasoline shortage predicted for this summer. Housing offers only slightly less abundant opportunities for husbanding energy. A consid- erable part of this country's energy consumption goes for private homes with poor insul- ation. It would be child's play for federal authorities to insist good insulation be a condi- tion for getting mortgage money on which virtually all home-building depends. Next to conservation of ener- gy, the best results would ap- pear to spring from a research and development program. At present the United States gov- ernment spends only about en energy research most of it in the atomic-power field. Private industry spsnds estimated S303 million. "Since the power industry grosses something like billion an- nually, the total research input is trivial. Especially in view of the likely pay-off. Nuclear power does offer tre- mendous possibilities for the distant future if the technical problems of waste disposal and safe operation can be solved. Geothermal energy and solar energy- may be equally bounti- ful sources for the future. In ths meantime, there are abundant supplies of coal, shale and tar in this country, Canada ?nd Latin Air-i.'ca. Tremen- dous dividends would be yielded by a research program for cheap and clean devices to transmute those deposits to oil ard gas. Even before that, research can make large savings in fuel consumption by that worst of all wasters the private car. With phased federal standards that stipulated not only emis- sion control but also energy control, Detroit might begin to turn its energies to producing a cleaner and smaller engine, rather than concentrating, as new, in bucking the application of standards. Pricing strategy offers still another way to meet the energy crisis. By which I don't mean socking small homeowners. I mean adjusting prices to indus- trial users. They gobble about 40 per cent of the energy consumed in this country, and if prices were stiffer, they would turn off the lights occa- sionally. Finally, important savings for the American consumer can probably be achieved by a new technique for buying oil abroad. At present the price is driven up by American firms compet- ing against Japanese and West European firms. By organizing with the governments of Japan and Western Europe a consum- ers' consortium against the pro- ducers' cartel, this country could get far better terms than the oil companies who really care hardly at all about the consumer. What all this says is that the United States can afford to be careful and picky about meet- ing the energy shortage. No- body has to worry about having an Arab in his tank instead of a tiger. If things do go wrong, if gas shortages develop, don't blame the Wildlife Foundation. Blsme the responsible figures in the companies which have for so long been acting im- providently and the administra- tion which has, for so long, been doing nothing. Juggling, government-style By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator 1 felt ba-1 it. bin by that litn every man fT himself. OTTAWA In scuttling his proposed seven per cent energy tax, the Ontario provincial treasurer, John White, offered a memorable and philosophic comment worthy of inclusion in some future dictionary of Cana- dian quotations. "It is not a defeat for me''; It's a victory for said Mr. White. If it is true, as (he Minister suggested, that 99 per cent of Ontario's concerned citizens re- acted adversely to his scheme for turning down the thermos- tats and ordering more sweat- erf, the outcome certainly in- dicates that democracy in the province is alive and in good health. But Mr. White's seren- ity, in personally distressing circumstances, is also noteworthy: after all it cannot be easy for a finance Minis'er to despatch his own fiscal child. It is arguable, of course, that democracy could not have triumphed if it had not been tested. Tha man who prescribed the test is presumably entitled to some satisfaction: taking a broad view of Uie matter. On the other hand, the experience can scarcely have been one that Mr. White would recommend to others in a similar position. There is one aspect of mauer, however, that is per- haps worth pondering. In the general relief over the demise of the energy tax, the attention of participating democrats sooms 10 been divcrlod frtra Mr. V.'Li'c's other new levy; a jwo pgj- cent crease in sales tax, which mil yield tbe Treasury more than four limes the revenue touch tho Minister has abandoned with such praiseworthy seren- ity. 11 is bpyond cfucslkm that the gv.emod jn 3 bicbly vocal par- democracy present problem for gover- nors. For ministers, barring is out of fash- constantly find addi- tional revenues, imposing for that purpose taxes which few people can be induced to wel- come. What approach to the electorate is most likely in these circumstances to win ceptance of the essentials for which the Government is striv- ing? Past experience suggests that a number of methods offer con- siderable promise. In the field of legislation, for example, an apparentely innocuous bill may turn out on close examination, or perhaps in practice, to con- tain far-from-innocent clauses. Or legislation may be slipped through in the form of dollar i'ems. In the case of revenues, finance ministers in recent years have been to oblige their spending colleagues at taxpayer expense merely by prnniUing the processes of in- flation to take their course. There is, however, another possibility. This is to employ tfte weH-knpwn techniques of ur.ion negotiators who thunder for 29 per cent in the hope of winning ten. Mr. White may have been al- together innocent of such in- ter.Sions. There is no conclusive evidence thai his proposed energy tax was a form of shock treatment, designed to win ac- ceptance of the more lucrative sclcs tax increase. It is possible that be did catmt on tvhat he considered its self-evident