Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, August 7, 1974 Mining industry continues the fight To grow or not to grow The first objective of the city's depart- ment of business development and public relations, as set forth in its policy statement, is this: broaden the tax base of the com- munity so that we can afford to provide the services, amenities and programs that make living in the community a pleasurable experience." Since living in Lethbridge is already considered a pleasurable experience by- many of its residents and since it already has what seem, to many at least, to be adequate services and amenities, it would help to clarify the issue if the city administration could now be more specific. What amenities, services and programs does it have in mind that are not already offered'' A resident opera company, a civic symphony above reproach, a major league sports team. daily jet service to Vancouver. Montreal and London, a planetarium, to name a few possibilities'.' Equally specific attention should then be given to the negative side of growth. to pollution and traffic congestion and increased time spent commuting to jobs. to urban problems of crime, the heightened irnpersonalization of life and the increased sense of helplessness of urban residents. In weighing the pros and cons of growth in specific terms, some attention should be paid to the amenities foreclosed by urban growth. It is still relatively safe, for instance, for Lethbridge children to be out on foot alter dark, but this is not true in many- larger communities. And one can still see the sky in Lethbridge without peering up between tall buildings. The economic aspect of growth should also be examined carefully. Studies have shown that industrial expansion sometimes produces a net loss instead of a net gain in taxes, that the additional services required in the way of expanded transportation facilities, additional schools, enlarged fire and police staffs and increased recreational facilities cost more than was produced in the way of taxes from the new industries and their personnel. Much depends on the types of industry that are allowed to locate in Lethbridge. Mayor Anderson has said that the city is in a position to be "more selective" now. This is encouraging. Another reason offered for growth is the expansion of available jobs for Lethbridge's high school and college graduates. This is an appealing one. but it is the experience of some parents that children wish to leave their homes and their hometowns to establish themselves as adults elsewhere and that this is not necessarily to be deplored. Even the argument that growth is necessary to offset inflation has long-term validity only under the assumption that inflation is permanent. In short, none of the arguments set forth is above objective analysis. This is not to say that they are in error, or that there is anything out of the ordinary in stating policy in broad, general terms, or that growth can be halted. But it can be controlled, and if the residents of this city are to know what the choices are then expansion policies should be dis- cussed and debated as explicitly as possible. Raymond wants paved streets. What does Lethbridge want? Must party labels be meaningless? Alberta has a Conservative "iivernment. British Columbia and Saskatchewan have New Democratic governments. Conservative governments are expected to encourage private enterprise. New Democratic governments are suspected of wanting to discourage private enterprise. Neither British Columbia nor Saskatchewan owns an airline but Alberta has invaded this field of enterprise. Could anything be more il- lustrative of the growing irrelevance of political labels than this latest develop- ment wherein the Lougheed government acquired controlling interest in Pacific Western Airline? There may be compelling reasons why the provincial government should get into the airline business. The fact that Pacific Western Airline is a vital part of the transportation system in the province and appeared threatened by re- cent takeover proposals could be suf- ficient justification for the government's move. But it is surprising, nonetheless. for this to have taken place, given the philosophy usually espoused by Conser- vatives. Does this mean that a greater mix of private ownership and government management is inevitable? Have even Conservatives now conceded this point to the New Democrats9 Political parties today do not display sharp differences and that is lamentable. The voter might not be inclined to be so indifferent if the positions of the parties were distinguishable and his choices thus more challenging. So it is disappointing to see the Conser- vative government in Alberta taking a turn that is a major departure from Conservative philosophy as traditionally understood. It adds further confusion to the national scene where Premier Peter Lougheed has been touted as a possible future leader of the federal Conservative party. Would he be acceptable to the Alberta members in the light of such heresy? ERIC NICOL Elusive new clothes Brief indeed are the glimpses of nirvana. When Mr. Trudeau lifted the 12 per cent federal tax on clothing and shoes, my heart lifted with it. Here was my chance to renew my wardrobe, most of which identifies me as a member of the road company of Grease. One of my daughters won the best-costume prize at a Nostalgia Dance, wearing the suit I save for best. If there is such a thing as Cana- dian Graffiti, my threads are the living archives. But even the sturdy weaves of the era of the big bands wear out eventually. The Mona Lisa smile of my slippers has deteriorated to a vulgar guffaw. Despite the care taken to match the dermal tissue, the body of my Harris tweed jacket has rejected the latest transplant of leather patches at the elbows. And my stock of slacks is down to a couple of pairs of a make recalled by the manufacturer because of a faulty zipper that could cause serious injury under certain con- ditions. So, when I saw the headline in the paper about the PM freeing all clothing from the 12 per cent tax. I clapped hands and thumbed my teeth at my Hush Puppies, gone grey in the muzzle. I took down the mail-order catalogue, from its place on the bookshelf beside the fantasies and fairy tales, and wallowed in the photos of young men flaunting their Levi's smug in their hip buggers. Now, perhaps, I too could afford to swathe my torso in nifty knits. But before my hand could find the true arm-hole in the sleeve of my coat, came the news that the 12 per cent tax cut would be more than offset by the rise in the cost of A bit of psychology By Doug Walker By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL One out of every nine working Canadians is employed by the mining in- dustry. The industry contributes one out of every four dollars Canada ports. earns from her ex- Thanks to the labors of the mining industry, Canada is the world's number three producer of minerals. Obviously mining is impor- tant to the economic well- being of the country. Yet the industry is accused of ripping off consumers and shareholders alike, and governments, large and small, are looking for ways to take a larger bite of the profits that come from the ex- ploitation of the country's resources. So violent is the government attack that the industry has clothing. The retailers are passing along about enough of the saving to buy lint for a ju- nior size belly button. I removed my coat and carefully arranged the shreds on a hanger. I avoided looking at the Hush Puppies, sensing that they were agape with hilarity hushed but humiliating. "It was not to I said, to a basket case of open-toed socks. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so too does the marketplace abominate a reduction in price. Of anything. Each time the government tries to reduce the cost to the consumer, by tax cuts or subsidies, of one of the necessities of life, the economy instantly adjusts so that the only thing that is cheaper is the diamond that Dick gave to Liz. For this reason I hope that Mr. Trudeau will stop teasing inflation, by doing things like removing the federal tax on clothing. It just makes it mad. Right now, according to the clothing retailers, inflation is so furious that by fall the average person will not be able to buy a suit without getting a mortgage. This is why someone should tell Mr. Trudeau very tactfully, mind you to for God's sake stop trying to arm-tackle inflation. It's like trying to stop George Reed, the fullback for the Saskatchewan foot- ballers: if you get only a little piece of him, he'll get a great big chunk of you. As for me, I guess I can get along a while longer with the old clothes, which luckily the Salvation Army was a bit slow in picking up. All I need to do is learn to play the flute and wander about the Country giving evil persons moral instruction with a swift kick in the Rung Fu. I have the hat for it. Les Wildman is truly a sight to behold sitting beside his glowing electric heater behind the counter at J L store on hot summer evenings. For that he deserves the notoriety of having been mentioned in Seen and Heard on the front page of The Herald. I have concluded that Les is neither balmy nor cold-blooded; he is simply wily. He figures the sight of that heater will make his customers feel extra hot and induce them to buy his ice cream. it works in my case anyway. "It's good to see the true spirit of free enterprise in discusions on how to join forces in ousting those socialists in Victoria New U.S. approach needed in Greece By C.L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator ATHENS The time has come for the United States to change both the substance and the symbol of its policy toward Greece, and this dual move could best be ac- complished by naming a dis- tinguished American of inter- national renown as am- bassador. I have in mind Averell Harriman. Now an oc- togenarian, he is nevertheless tilled with remarkable vigor and forcefulness: his reputa- tion is spotless: his willingness to serve his country is without challenge; and. although a leading Democrat, he is on good per- sonal terms with Secretary of State Kissinger. The Athens embassy is perhaps not equal to other assignments Harriman has held: governor of New York, secretary of commerce, en- voy to London and Moscow. But he is a patriot who has never bickered over the protocol rank of tasks under- taken in the national interest. Indeed, he once volunteered to accept the job of ambassador here 27 years ago. When the Greek aid program was first enacted. President Truman's office asked Harriman who should be appointed to head it, as Greece faced civil war. Harriman suggested Paul Hoffman but offered, if need be. to take the job himself in order to get things started. Subsequently, in January, 1949, the late King Paul contemplated dissolving Parliament and announcing a kind of dictatorship. The king asked Harriman, here on a brief visit, if he approved. Harriman would have nothing to do with dictatorship, even when benevolent. Constantine Caramanlis, the new strong-man premier who has returned from self- chosen exile, now wants to replace a dictatorship that has collapsed, not to install one. But in doing this, it is urgently required that U.S. policy toward Greece should not only be sympathetic and clearly pro-democratic but that it should appear so. To achieve that purpose, the present ambassador, Henry Tasca, must go. Tasca is an intelligent man and has acknowledged Washington's clumsy mistakes. Hf followed Nixon's orders to stay close to the junta and only relatively lately shifted against it. He accepted a need to coddle dic- tatorship here to enable America to use Greek bases supporting its Middle East policy. But this labeled him "pro-colonels" in Greek minds. For long he eschewed con- tact with the most important leaders of Greece's political emigration, including ex-King Constantine and Caramanlis. In 1971, while Constantine was still the official ruler although in exile Tasca and his wife called on him after the ambassador had been un- der congressional attack for insufficient relationship with democratic elements. According to Constantine, the Italian-born Mrs. Tasca said they had bought a bottle of champagne when Nixon was elected because they Questioning priorities of science By Carl T. Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Out in that part of America I used to call home, the Middle West, they are having a terrible drought. Vast millions of dollars worth of wheat and corn wither away on the parched earth. In those rare occasions when moisture comes, it is often in the form of a brutal hailstorm that demolishes fields of corn and soybeans. With financial distress already commonplace over most of this land, a special economic calamity lies ahead for many farmers. Calamity is a relative word. The Midwest drought will take no toll comparable to that of the drought I saw in the Sahel region of Africa last summer. There will be no Nebraska fields littered with the car- casses of animals that have succumbed to thirst and hunger. Children with bellies bloated by malnutrition, or flies feasting on their sore- pocked faces, will not roam the dusty footways of Kansas. But a lot of farmers will go broke. And so will the small- town merchants who gave them credit. A lot of farmers' sons and daughters who had expected to go to college this fall will go to work instead if they can find jobs. I am sure those farmers in our Midwest are doing what I did last summer at the edges of the Sahara. They look up at that cloudless sky day after day and ask by what quirk or cruelty nature keeps denying rain. In Africa they prayed, and a few still did the rain dance; in America they pray, and a few curse. But the drought goes on in Africa, more devastating than ever. Who but the good Lord knows how long it will last here? It all causes us to ask some questions about the priorities of man's efforts to unlock the secrets of nature. How is it that so many nations have committed so many billions of dollars to ex- plore the secret of the atom, to unleash it for purposes of mass destruction, but so little has been invested in the ques- tion of how to normalize periods of rainfall so as to avoid these wretched droughts? Why do we remain almost helpless victims of hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, floods? I remember that the presi- dent of Niger simply did not want to believe that U.S. technology could not come to his aid and produce vast leak- ing clouds over his parched and politically-troubled country. The U.S. could not make it rain, and no one else could save Hamani Diori from being overthrown in a coup. Through vast investments of our resources, we now can pinpoint-land one of our spaceships on the moon. We can launch one missile whose warheads will, on signal, zero their ghastly payloads on several different targets. The military leaders now talk of "automated battlefields" where just about everything can be located, day or night and anything that is located can be destroyed. In our fear of each other, and sometimes of ourselves, we have culled out just enough of the secrets of the universe to destroy this little planet that we inhabit. But our fear of starvation has not inspired us to really work at the problems of drought and the disasters that flow from it. Why? Because while our fears of other peoples, of "enemies" real and imagined, remain more or less constant, year in and year out, our worries about drought vanish with the first period of steady rainfall, with the first sight of lush wheat bending in a gentle prairie breeze. Is it possible that man will ever devote as much time and money to the art of drawing rain out of a clear blue sky as he has to producing death out of what once was an innocent atom? thought this meant they would be appointed to Rome. "We had to go to Athens she added Constantine com- mented: "A hell of a thing to tell a Greek." Tasca also saw Caramanlis, who told friends: "He is a small man, clearly trying to put himself in a position vis-a- vis the U.S. Congress of hav- ing been in contact with prin- cipal opposition leaders." Tasca came to symbolize an attitude typifying the Nixon administration to most of Greece's anti-junta op- position. When Constantine met ex-vice-president Agnew at the Shah of Iran's party in Persepolis three years ago, Agnew visited the former king who recalled: "He spoke to me as if I was one of those liberal pinkos he is always talking about. He had the nerve to tell me that this" (the junta) "was the best government Greece had ever had because it kept out the Communists, that in the past Greece was changing its government every year." The king exploded: "Mr. Vice-President, you don't know what you are talking about. From 1953 to 1963 we had only two prime ministers. We fought a bloody civil war against the Communists and we had new parliamentary elections right afterwards." The United States image here has unfortunately been compounded of similar im- pressions. During the seven years of dictatorship for which Washington had no responsibility American popularity waned until it approached vanishing point. U.S. policy sought to main- tain NATO's strength on this flank by keeping Greece's armed forces strong and sup- porting its own Mediterranean position by a homeporting ac- cord that helped the U.S. navy but undermined its democratic reputation. This memory must be swept away and, fairly or unfairly, Tasca must go along with it. The best man to wield the new American broom is Harriman who, old as he is, still retains enough energy, foresight, and determination to qualify as sine qua non. felt compelled to take its case to us, the people. The Mining Association has committed to full page ads asking "Does anybody out there give a damn if the mining industry is taxed to Any reasonably competent economist could make a case for either the mining industry or for the governments in- volved. What's behind those ads is a three way fight over the ownership, control and taxation of natural resources. Traditionally, control and development of resources have been a provincial respon- sibility, with Ottawa reserv- ing a claim on the tax revenues arising from resource exploitation. Historically, the mining in- dustry has been given extraor- dinary tax concessions which have allowed it to pay less into the tax coffers than other sec- tors of the economy. But in the last couple of years, commodity prices have risen sharply and profits have gotten fat. Ottawa has decided the days of easy taxes should be numbered and that all Canadians should share in the returns of natural resource exploitation. But the provinces have had much the same thought, on the grounds that provincial citi- zens should make the most gains from the resources in their regions. As of this spring. Manitoba. Saskatchewan, British Colum- bia and Ontario had all served notice of higher tax or royalty rates. The budget which brought down the minority federal Liberals and which will be reintroduced proposed that provincial resource royalties be dis- allowed as a federal tax deduction for corporate tax purposes. As a result, the Ontario min- ing tax will go up from 40 to 51 per cent, and the B.C. rate will increase from 43 to 70 per cent. A lot of shareholders of big, widely owned resource com- panies just don't care. They have watched the companies in which they have invested increase their profit position by as much as 100 per cent, and seen nary a penny of it in increased dividends. A lot of consumers don't care much either. They have watched the profits Of the mining industry too, while they continue to pay inflated prices for products which con- tain asbestos, nickel, aluminum, gypsum, zinc, et al. On the industry's side, they say they needed the tax concessions just to stay alive years ago when commodities were in overabundance. Now they say the combination of federal and provincial taxes will wipe out or at least crip- ple the industry. They say the high profits of the past couple of years are a mirage, and will probably disappear soon. They justify not sharing their new found wealth with their shareholders because of inflation's excessive demands for cash. To drive home just how tough it is to be in mining, the industry points to the number of expansion arid ex- ploration projects which have been delayed or cancelled. There have been a significant number of them. While all the talk has, so far, been economic, it would not be surprising if all the solutions were political. Last winter's confrontation between the provinces, the companies and Ottawa on oil showed that Ottawa thinks it should control resource development for the benefit of all Canadians. The provinces think they should control their own resources but share in the wealth of the other provinces. The companies are in business to make profits, although it is not clear whether these profits are real, or if they are why they are not being used lo expand capacity or lower prices or increase dividends. In the meantime, all us Canadians for whose benefit everything is being done will watch closely as the goose is separated from her golden eggs by Caesarian section. The Lethbridge 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 DONALD R. DORAM Managing Editor General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"