Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - August 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD-Tuesday, August 6,1974 T Economic policy needed from Ottawa Further thoughts on impeachment One of Nixon's strategic arguments against impeachment (and it is still being made in vain hope that it will stem the tide) is that, considering the problems facing the United States, impeachment of the president is ill - advised. The White House has spoken repeated-, ly about the dangers of eroding the presidential position when strong leadership is needed to settle problems of inflation, trade, monetary reform, strategic arms limitation and the whole gamut of international problems. The rhetorical question has been asked: Is it in the best interests of the U.S. to force impeachment and trial at a time like this? On a partisan level, the same argument is made concerning the Republican party and the question is asked, usually in private: Is it in the best interests of the party to allow impeachment of a Republican president? Unfortunately, from the standpoint of Richard Nixon, this line of reasoning has backfired and the questions have turned out not to be at all rhetorical. The simple answer is, "Yes!" However the impeachment process goes, and it should be remembered that the U.S. House can impeach by a simple majority but the Senate needs a two -thirds vote to convict, Richard Nixon can never more reasonably expect to offer strong or even adequate leadership to his party, to his country, or to the world after the revelations which have occurred concerning his character and his conduct. Even cabinet members and strong party supporters agree to this proposition in private and they further agree that, this being the case, removal of Nixon from office would be good both for the party and for the country. It was noticeable during the judiciary committee proceedings that even the president's supporters voiced disapproval of his behavior and it seems unlikely that they are enchanted at the prospect of a man of his calibre leading the country in its bicentennial celebrations in 1976. If there are any undecided but critical votes in the Senate when the trial begins, this argument about what is best for the country may be the deciding factor and Nixon, by stressing its importance, may once again have contributed to his own downfall. Catalytic abortion case The case of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, discussed by The Herald's Quebec commentator elsewhere on this page, is bound to intensify the public debate on abortion. It could result in an attempt to refine the law and end in the removal of abortion from the criminal code altogether. There can be little doubt that the law is too vague and in consequence is being unevenly applied across the country. The justice minister, Mr. Otto Lang, would like to correct this situation by a revision that would make it legally more difficult to perform abortions. As the debate over abortion continues the positions of opposing forces are becoming so extreme that any hope of an acceptable compromise appears to have vanished. Take the issue of when it can be deemed that life begins, for instance. That time has been steadily pushed back from birth, to three months after concep- tion, to the moment of fertilization, to the position taken by Dr. Lise Fortier at the Morgentaler trial that human life is present in the male sperm and the female ovum. Rob Bull points out that such an approach applied to law would logically ban all birth-control procedures. Even more, it should lead to advocacy of trying to save all sperm and ova for test tube production of babies. Such extreme attitudes could prove to be counterproductive. They could produce a reaction of despair of ever reaching a reasonable basis for legal prohibition of abortion. Then everyone would be allowed to follow personal convictions. This seems to be the direction public opinion is moving anyway and by bringing the matter before Parliament again the justice minister may only speed the removal of abortion from the Criminal Code. THE CASSEROLE Readers may recall the world-wide furore in 1970 and 1971 over the infamous tiger-cage prison on Con Son Island, denounced by Amnesty International as "the worst hellhole of all for political prisoners." One consequence of the international outcry was that the prison commandant. Colonel Nguyaii Van Ve, was relieved of his command. But not for long. He has been reappointed, and once again is lord and master of the sombre little island. if just once a problem could be solved without there being something more to buy?" Doctors claim that hockey helmets and mouth pieces have done their job admirably; they've greatly reduced the incidence of head injuries and damaged teeth among younger hockey players. Now they're working on some sort of visor attachment, to cut down on eye injuries. No one would want it any other way, perhaps, but one parent was heard to remark, rather wistfuly, "Wouldn't it be nice One of the most bizarre proposals presented in recent years comes from a group of engineers and scientists representing Acres Consulting Services Ltd. of Toronto. They seriously suggest that factories, warehouses, storage facilities, power stations, walier and sewage treatment plants and all sorts of commercial and industrial facilities should be relocated underground. The idea is to "save valuable surface space for pleasant things hke parks." But there'll be fringe benefits, too, like helping office workers keep their minds on the job, by eliminating such distractions as windows to look out of, traffic noises, etc. They're talking about doing this in Canada, and believe it or not, they're serious! ' ERIC NICOL Canadian content Televising the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon raises serious questions about Canadian content. Canadian TV networks have carried significant amounts of the Watergate drama, to the detriment of this country's actors, writers and technicians. So far as is known, none of the impeachment committee Congressmen has a work permit from the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists. All acr,pss Canada, artists who ordinarily would be employed for regional summer replacements are selling socks in department stores. As Lord Acton aic: All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts a lot of people who can't afford it. ' During the past two years Nixon has done immense damage to the earning power of Canadian entertainers. Ee is without a doubt the worst president Canada ever had. One thing you had to give President Eisenhower: he didn't steal bread out of the mouths of Juliette and Friends. If the CBC and CTV are going to run extended episodes of the impeachment proceedings, it is reasonable to ask them to hire a Canadian (ACTRA) actor as a standby president of the United States. He should be paid whatever Nixon is being paid to portray the chief executive of the American republic. Similarly the Canadian networks ought to have standby performers for the American Congressmen, lawyers, judges, and their wives. (Every time one of the cast of the Watergate drama calls a press conference, his wife is by his side. She doesn't say anything, but she silently expresses loyalty, integrity and democratically - constituted sex. There are dozens of Canadian actresses eager to play the part, tor union scale, non-speaking role, television). As for us writers, if we go to a Canadian radio or television producer with ^n idea for a courtroom drama series, his twitch goes into overdrive. He cannot justify blowing part of his budget on a form of entertainment that can be got free, simply by plugging in to the U.S. Senate. Special prosecutor Leon Jawor-ski provides Perry Mason without the residuals. Neither of the Canadian TV nets can afford to produce suspense drama with as large a cast as that of Watergate. At the rate that Nixon's aides are going to jail, the CBC would have to shoot its entire bundle on one series, with no real hope of being competitive. Very sensibly, they are re-running Jalna instead. Already iii a class with Gunsmoke, in terms of length of run, TheTmpeachment of Nixon may well be extended into the fall before we have the final episode. And what an episode that will be. Pity the author of the Canadian TV play that falls into the same time slot as Nixon (a) tearfully bidding adieu to the White House,, or (b) tearfully thanking the American people for renewing his lease. Either way, the damage will have been done. The cultural colony that is Canada will have been exposed for so long to the U.S. government spectacle of itself, that filling the gap will simply be beyond the capability of Wayne and Shuster. For these reasons, it is reasonable to ask Canada's television and radio networks to cancel The Richard Nixon Show. Forthwith. Regardless of its Nielson rating. They can replace it temporarily with A Musical Interlude, or one of those National Film Board sensitive studies of Arctic muskeg in labor. Anything to buy time for Canadian performers to take political corruption, deceit, obstruction of justice and kindred arts and give them the stamp of a truly Canadian identity. By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL ~ The government seems to have backed itself into a corner. It is difficult to say which way economic policy will go when it decides to move out. Last week, the government, through the Bank of Canada, raised the bank rate to its historic high of 9'/i per cent. This should not be interpreted as a signal of where the government wants to take money and credit policy. On the contrary, the government is FOLLOWING rather than leading the trend of interest rates. For some significant time, changes in the bank rate - which seems to make the biggest headlines - have come AFTER all the really important interest rates have been raised by the chartered banks. This time round, it was little more ^ than an acknowledgement that the government's idea of what borrowed money should cost was out of line with what the chartered banks think it should cost. There are even indications that the government didnH want to raise the bank rate at all. For one thing, there are signs the economy is slowing dramatically. For another, Ottawa has to borrow a lot of "One female, blonde-two males, brunette-all the trimmings, hold the blue eyes .. .!" Abortion justice unsatisfactory By Rob Bull, Herald Quebec commentator MONTREAL - After more than four years of court procedures, the machinery of justice in Quebec has finally obtained a conviction of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who has admitted to performing between 6,000 and 7,000 abortions. The conviction and sentence were obtained despite the fact that a mixed jury of Quebec citizens found the doctor not guilty because he performed a competent medical act. Associate Chief Justice James K. Hugessen of the Court of Queen's Bench sentenced the doctor after being ordered to do so by the Quebec Appeals Court. At the present time the law permits abortions only after the woman wishing one has applied for it before a special hospital committee. Dr. Morgentaler performed his thousands of operations in . a clinic. In his judgment. Judge Hugessen said: "The accused says he does not respect the present law. "This is certainly his right and perhaps ,his duty in a democratic society whose essence it is to allow every citizen to .speak and fight his utmost against laws which he considers wrong or unjust. "The law does not require respect. It demands obedience." Because Dr. Morgentaler did not obey the law, he was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison and forbidden for a three-year period to perform abortions except in an approved hospital. Presumably after three years he may be permitted to perform abortions again in his clinic. He is free at present pending his appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. One factor in the length of time it took to convict Dr. Morgentaler was his able lawyer, Claude-Armand Shep-pard. Another was that the authorities found it difficult to find any woman willing to testify against him. The trial has been surrounded in controversy with pro-and anti-abortion groups attacking journalists who disagreed with their points of view and exerting what pressure they could on official procedures. But the main reason Dr. Morgentaler was able to remain free for as long as he has is because the law on abortion is practised differently in different parts of Canada. Once more, there is apparently one law for Quebec and another for the rest of the country. Federal Justice Minister Otto Lang recently said that some hospitals are showing a tendency to offer what could be considered abortion on demand. He neglected to mention that most hospitals in Quebec either have no abortion committees, have quotas on abortions or allow only a very small number of them. Dr. Peter Gillett of Montreal General Hospital testified that only one French-language hospital; in Montreal has an abortion committee. The result is that French-Canadian women are not offered the same services here that they would have in other parts of Canada. If Mr. Lang is concerned about some hospitals overstepping the law he should also start worrying about those which are un-derstepping it. Dr. Morgentaler was able to continue his practice because the majority of hospitals in this province were not doing their job, because he had the support of a significant number of the province's physicians who recommended patients to him and because the service he offered was a safe and efficient one available at low price. Quebec women who want an abortion and can afford it go by the thousands annually to neighboring New York. There they receive the same service Dr. Morgentaler offered but under medicare. Those who could not pay the transportation costs came to Dr. Morgentaler. They will continue to seek out abortionists but now, instead of a competent physician, they will go instead to the butchers. Even the New York clinics may not be particularly safe. Anti-abortion extremists have taken to bombing them. Dr. Morgentaler is not a particularly good martyr. He admits that he has made LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Industrial development I agree with the sentiments expressed by Mrs. Jill Kotkas, (letter, July 31), especially her statement "growth for growth's sake is the ecology of the cancer cell." The proposal by the industrial development officer that a precious eight million dollars be spent developing new industrial sites leaves me cold. I have no desire for the problems of air and water pollution, traffic congestion, increased crime etc. that mushroom along with industrial and population growth. Already the city coffers have opened to the tune of over four million dollars to construct a secondary sewage treatment plant that still doesn't adequately remove the waste matter poured into it by the meat packing and food processing industries'. These industries were wooed here without even the stipulation that they must subject their wastes to primary treatment, and it has taken pressure on city council by the provincial government to finally have some steps taken in this direction. I wonder also where the city plans on obtaining water to service a large industrial community, judging by the trickle of water that meanders down the Oldman River by late August. I realize that some expansion is necessary to provide adequate employment, however I would strongly urge city council to pay heed to Vera Ferguson's desire to emphasize the quality of living in our community, rather than size or quantity. Industrial development should progress in a carefully controlled manner, with industries carefully screened as to their effect on our water and air resources. BECKY COUSINS Lethbridge a comfortable living from his practice, and while entangling tHe;laW in its own,procedures lost no chance, to mock it at every opportiinityj performing an abortion on national television and telling news conferences after every court appearance that he was returning to perform more. Judge Hugessen recognized that Dr. Morgentaler was efficient. "The danger which the accused represents," he said, "is ... to the public values and the public interest in the protection of the unborn fetus." This brings a new element into Canadian jurisprudence on the subject and one which has not, perhaps, been fully considered by the country's legislators. Dr. Lise Fortier, a University of Montreal professor and senior member of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Notre Dame Hospital, testified at Dr. Morgentaler's trial that the male sperm and female ovum are "living organisms." Asked at what point "we reach the complete human being," she said life does not start at a given moment but is a continuing affair. Such an approach applied to law would logically ban all birth-control procedures. There is less and less of a dialogue between those who feel a woman's right to an abortion is a matter for herself and her doctor and those who do not agree. The present legislation is unclear and, according to the federal justice minister, applied differently in different places. The courts, even the Supreme Court of Canada, are not the place to settle this matter. Parliament should make a decision soon. To aid it in its task, perhaps it should be noted that laws banning abortion were as un-"' satisfactory as the current system. money itself this year, and it is no more anxious than anyone else to pay higher interest rates. For a third, 1970 is still close enough for Ottawa to remember that a credit crunch in a slowing economy would contribute less to a reduction of inflation . than to an increase^ in unemployment next year. The Bank of (ianada has been hauling in the growth of the money supply, ' thereby making it tough for the chartered banks to satisfy all the demands made on them for loans. The banks have also been held - until last week - to an agreement reached in Winnipeg last year, that they wouldn't raise the rates paid on short term deposits. That's been another crimp in the banks' ability to lend out money. But while the government has been content to impose this moderately restrictive credit policy, it has also been content to let the chartered banks sidestep it by playing a perfectly legitimate game called "swaps." Here's how swaps works. Say you go to a bank with $10,000. What's the best rate they will give you short-term? The bank says the best they can pay is on a U.S; dollar deposit. The bank goes to the money market and buys American dollars. At the same time, to be sure it can pay you off in Canadian dollars wheh you want your money back, it sells the equivalent number of American dollars for future delivery in Canadian funds. This is called a fully hedged investment, and it is the same principle as hedging a bet so you can't lose. Ordinarily, this swap U.S. dollar deposit is used to buy an American asset. That way, there is no increase in the amount of money banks have to lend in Canada. But lately, the banks have been turning around and re - selling the U.S. dollars in the foreign exchange market, collecting Canadian dollars, and lending them out in Canada. So bank loans have continued to expand, even though the money supply has not been all that accommodating. The Bank of Canada would, apparently, have been happy to let_this state of affairs continue." But a series of events forced to follow the chartered banks' lead in raising interest rates. First, the Bank of Montreal raised its prime lending rate during the election campaign. The other chartered banks didn't go along. Competitively, it made no difference to them if one of their number decided to charge MORE for the same service. But last week, the B of M raised its SAVINGS rate - the rate it PAYS to attract funds. The other banks took this as a direct competitive threat: why should anyone bank with them when they can get more at the B of M? Once all the chartered banks increased their prime lending rates, the governmeiit had little choice but to tag along. It will now be October before we are likely to see much economic leadership come out of Ottawa. It is impossible to determine the government's money and credit stance without knowing what its taxing policies will be. And we won't know that until budget time. To think, that by the time we get all this furniture paid for, we shall have genuine antiques! The Lctlilnidge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor RQBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"