Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE Restraint needed in government spending The cost of nationalism An example of the cost of nationalism can be found in a bill which is about to pass the U.S. Congress requiring that 30 per cent of all oil imports be carried on U S. flag vessels. Almost no oil is carried today in such ships and it is estimated that this will add from to billion in energy costs to the U.S. over the next decade The bill, it passed, will require construction of 40 tankers by 1977 at a cost of billion and this, in turn, will add one or two cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline to the consumer. The administration is opposed to the bill, which violates existing treaties prohibiting preferences for commercial cargoes, but it is being pushed by the maritime unions. The bill does indicate that Project Independence. Nixon's plan for the U.S. to be self-sufficient in by 1980. is waning. After all. if the I'.S is to be self-sufficient, it will have no need tor oil imports via tanker or otherwise. As an indicator of narrow sell-interest, though, it is distressing. Real national self-interest in the area of energy requirements should lead to closer co-operation among the nations of the world, even in the tangential matter of transportation. Indeed, the major oil- consuming countries, led by the U.S. and minus France, have just reached agree- ment on co-operation during any oil shor- tage like that of last winter. The action was a follow-up to the Washington energy conference called for last February by President Nixon. It is a step in the direction of world-wide co- operation in the area of energy re- quirements including the oil-producing countries and the attitudes which have spawned the costly and protective bill now before Congress are oddly at variance with this goal. However, pointing the finger south of the border is a dangerous pastime. Nationalism masquerading as national self-interest is not unknown on this side of the line and while it will cost the American consumer a penny a gallon to have oil carried in U.S. tankers, it would be interesting to know just how much the "Made in Canada" label costs the Cana- dian consumer for goods manufactured in this country at greater cost than they could be produced elsewhere. Equal rights movement effective Two separate news stones from the United States give an indication that the movement to gain equal rights for women is having some effect. They report in indicative of what is happening. Some Christian educators think that in live years halt of the enrolment in the major >em manes will be women. nhke women doctors, who seem to be well accepted by their patients, women ministers have not yet gained the same degree of acceptance by their parishioners. The ultimate rejection of women ministers is not by the likes of the Episcopal bishops who recently ob- jected to the ordination of 11 women in Philadelphia but from women who con- stitute to 70 per cent of the membership in most congregations. There may be grounds for doubting if women are equally endowed with men lor all possible vocations but there ought to be few doubts about the suitability of women for careers in medicine and the ministry. Both call for the capacity to care and give comfort, qualities which may not be unique to women but which certainly are not absent, except perhaps in some lamentably strident womens' lib advocates. The difficulty women still experience in being accepted fully in the church suggests that the campaign of enlighten- ment may have been disproportionately directed to the males in society. A good number of women apparently have yet to see the light and need some persuasion. THE CASSEROLE The Saskatchewan Safety Council recently proposed that drivers who did not wear safety belts should at least wear a soft hat to protect their ears when their head goes through the windscreen New Australian findings, atter two years of mandatory safety belt use, show a 300 per cent reduction in eye injuries, and a 50 per (ent reduction in facial injuries treated. The current issue of Dimensions, a journal specializing in medical and hospital matters, reports a recent survey of 727 families that shows children exposed to tobacco smoke have almost twice as much respiratory ill- ness as do children in non-smoking The survey, conducted by Wayne State University discovered that the greater the number of smokers in the household, the more respiratory illness. The incidence of respiratory illness in "smoking" homes was about six per cent and about three per cent in non-smoking homes. Air Canada will increase the non-smoking proportion of seats on its planes, so that in some models 50 per cent of all seating will be designated non-smoking. This will provide an opportunity for the anti-smokers of the world to show their true metal. If they have the good of all travellers at heart, and not just their own immediate comfort, they'll take seats in the smoking compartment, leaving vacant seats only in the non-smoking section. With half the passengers not wishing to smoke, and the other half not able to because they're in the non-smoking section, there'd be no smoking at all. ART BUCHWALD The speech of his life WASHINGTON Now that the House is going to vote on impeachment, every congressman is feverishly at work writing a speech which will not only be seen and heard by 220 million Americans but, more impor- tant, by his own constituents. Since their political futures are hanging in the balance, most congressmen are asking for all the help they can get. I received a call from my good friend Congressman Turntable yesterday. "You have to help me with my impeachment he said. "No problem." I said. "I've written a lot of h.ipeachment speeches in my time. Now the first thing you have to do is set the right tone. What kind of decision will you have to "The most agonizing and painful decision of my life." "That's I said. "And what do you have to throw partisan considerations." "What do you plan to vote I asked. "My "No, stupid. Your conscience. And don't forget you also have to search your soul." "Listen, can you go a little slower so I can write this "Right. Now what kind of obligation do you have as a "An important "No! No! No! A sacred obligation. Don't forget you took a solemn oath to uphold the constitution of the land." "Which the forefathers of our country in their wisdom provided us." "That's good, Turntable. Now let's get to the heart of the speech. What is no man in the United States "The "You got it. And, therefore, you, as a chosen representative of the people all the people must face up to a certain kind of question. What "Uh, uh, uh. Can you give me a "A momentous question, a question that troubles you, a question that you have been wrestling with for over a year." "What's the Turntable asked. "Can this great nation survive when criminal acts by those in high power go un- "When do I get to say 'on the other "I'm coming to that. On the other hand you have to have evidence. What kind of evidence, "Beats me." "Clear and convincing evidence." "That's the best kind." Turntable agreed. "You must weigh this evidence carefully, because the only thing you are searching for is the truth. Now to sum up on a personal note. What will you have to do every morning for the rest of your "Eat "No, damn it. You have to look in the mirror every morning and ask yourself, 'Have I done what's best for "That's got a nice ring to Turntable said. "Now, who are you going to ask for guidance in this grave hour of crisis, when your vote will affect future generations of Americans for all time to "My "Try again." "My campaign "God, Turntable, "Of he said happily. "Why didn't I think of that By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator OTTAWA Today, the government faces a problem of economic balance. It must avoid strengthening the forces of inflation through its own operations and yet it should not give way to the panicky cries which would lead us into a major deflationary effort. The necessary balancing act will not be helped by the cost- ly promises that were strewn about in the spring but the government can. at least, take the position that these were proposals to be implemented over the life-time of this Parliament and not an action program for the initial session. For the moment, the rate of growth has obviously slowed down although less markedly in Canada than in some other industrial countries. The full extent of this mid-year slow- ing and the conclusions to be drawn from it are not yet clear. Its existence is clear enough, however, that it will probably be seized upon by ministers with expensive programs as a further reason they should get the money they need. It seems, however, to be the moment for strong hands both at Treasury Board and in the finance de- partment, although these are never much use unless the general support of cabinet as a whole can be won. The Turners, Drurys and Reismans need support. The government's prelimi- nary financial statements for the last fiscal year contain a wide-ranging lot of evidence why ministers should show a decent restraint until it be- comes clearer how this very unsettled and uncertain economic period can best be managed. It is instructive to look at some of the sources of rapidly rising public expen- ditures. The ordinary member of the public must often feel pretty battered as he listens again and again to the minister of "Uh, remember me Nixon to set mood of government switch Bv James Reston. New York Times commentator WASHINGTON The mood of Washington has been tran- sformed by President Nixon's confession of guilt in the Watergate cover-up. On both sides of the aisle in Congress, members are shocked but relieved by the evidence. The main question here is no longer whether the president will go, but how and when. He is not yet through, but he's finished. This has released an odd mixture of paradoxical emotions. The capital is not really surprised to find that the president was involved in the cover-up, but it is startled by the brassy lies, astonished that the system finally produced clear evidence and an overwhelming consensus for conviction, puzzled that the president chooses, almost longs for, the final punishment and humiliation, and vaguely sad about the human tragedy but at the same time almost giddy that the shadow of Watergate is finally passing. For the first time in over a year, men and women here can now talk seriously about reconciliation and plan together for the future and there is an eagerness to pass the bill of divorcement and get on with the orderly transition from President Nixon to President Ford. This will take some time. The leaders would like to hurry it along, but there are some problems. The House ju- diciary committee has yet to write its majority report sup- porting the three articles of impeachment, and it has to LETTER take into account the new damaging evidence finally dis- closed by the president. Once this is finished, it must lie on the table for three days so that any members on the committee still supporting the president can prepare their minority report. So the chances of starting the House debate on the floor before August 19 are not good. The Senate is in no mood now for delaying tactics by the president in bringing the case to trial. Last week it appeared that the White House might be able to stall the start of the Senate proceedings for weeks and prolong the debate for months, but the president's confession has clarified the issue and produced a deter- mination by the leaders of both parties to get a final vote before the election in early November. Even so, there will be an interregnum of three months with a lame duck president. What will he do during this awkward period? Washington wonders about this. Would he agree, as some have suggested, to the creation of a council of state, composed of the vice-president and the leaders of Congress, with whom he would agree to con- sult on major decisions of foreign and economic policy? Perhaps more important, since he agrees that his im- peachment is now a foregone conclusion, would Nixon agree to the careful preparation of Ford for his forthcoming responsibilities, and to the American chauvinism It is certainly ironical that so much is written and worried about American views being presented to a handful of students at Cana- dian universities when no one is concerned about the worst of American traditions being imported via the comics which are read by every Canadian! I am writing, of all things, about Little Orphan Annie, that vicious little swine, in The Herald, August 3. There we have, in its full glory, one of the most hideous excrescences of American chauvinism a stupid and un- questioning loyalty to authority, defended with brute violence at the drop of a hat. Kick the vicious little twit and her insidious plumbers off our newspaper pages, I say! JOB KUIJT Lethbridge creation of machinery to assure that Ford's cabinet is ready to take over when Nix- on's cabinet members send their resignations to the White House? The council of state idea could be a bit clumsy, but the world will not stand still dur- ing Nixon's long farewell. There will undoubtedly be new alarms overseas, and quite a few hiccups in the sick economy between now and November, and the political and emotional pressure on the president will be severe. Thus the suggestion for a con- sultative council. In more normal circum- stances, the transition in the United States from one ad- ministration to another has been marked by a high degree of co-operation between the outgoing and the incoming ad- ministrations. For example, when President Eisenhower carne to the end of his second term, he appointed a White House aide, General Wilton B. Persons, to consult with Clark M. Clifford on the transition to the Kennedy administration. Clifford was also brought back by President Johnson to do the same job after the murder of President Kennedy in 1963. In 1960, as Kennedy chose a new Cabinet member, it was arranged between the election and the inauguration for that man to work closely with the Cabinet officer he was to succeed, and this on-the-job training proved to be highly useful, even though General Eisenhower's admiration for Kennedy at that time was not unlimited. The present situation is ob- viously more difficult, for by co-operating with Ford, Nixon would seem to be assuming he will be convicted, but the problem of transition remains. Other governments obviously see the Nixon ad- ministration coming to an end and wonder what changes there will be in American policy toward them under Ford, whose experience in foreign affairs is not his strongest point. Fortunately, the vice- president has known Secretary Kissinger ever since he started going to Kissinger's seminars at Har- vard 15 years ago, and there is every indication that he will ask Kissinger to continue as Secretary of State, and that Kissinger will agree, if in- vited. Nevertheless, the need for a rapid transition is obvious. The Chinese in particular have been asking for reassurances of continuity in American policy ever since the impeachment of Nixon seemed certain, and Kissinger twice this week, once at the Chinese embassy here, and again in public, has been try- ing to assure them and other nations that the foreign policy of the United States has been settled on a steady course, with bipartisan support. These will, just the same, be difficult days both for the president and the vice- president. Nixon still has it in his power to help ease the way for his successor. If he cannot save himself, he can help those who inherit the wreckage. He can either go out and slam the door or open it generously to the vice- president. This may be his last public act, and the manner of his going will be important. Just out of curiosity, was I ever reported missing! agriculture, Eugene Whelan, tell him that higher and higher prices are essential to a flourishing and stable food producing industry. Whelan does not believe in giving the consumer much rest along the way and, skilful politician though he is, he skates along at the edge of a popular backlash. The public is probably not equally aware that, in his ef- forts to stabilize farm prices, Whelan has been one of the ministers running his departmental expenditures to new levels, raising the net loss (cost is probably a more ac- curate word but is not the one employed in the accounts) of the Agricultural Stabilization Board from to jump of million in a year that also saw the introduction of a million subsidy program for milk. The Whelan stabiliza- tion efforts involve not merely high consumer prices but the application of substantial tax funds as total of about million on these two items alone. As the operations of the egg marketing agen- cies, provincial and federal, have demonstrated, it remains to be proved that stabilization will in fact be the outcome. Production of sur- pluses must not be equated with stabilization. By contrast, spending by the entire department of con- sumer and corporate affairs jumped only million year. Jack Davis became an un- popular fisheries minister, but his spending in the last fiscal year rose from million to million for operation of the fisheries and marine serv- ices and from to million on environmental ser- vices. Since he was the only minister defeated in the elec- tion, rising spending does not always guarantee ministerial survival. Few people would look to the external affairs depart- ment as a major element in the rising total, yet its operating expenses went up by million and those of the aid agency, CIDA, by the same amount. In the latest estimates, external's spending jumps another million and CIDA's a further million. Almost anyone, asked to pinpoint sources of rapidly ris- ing public spending, would say at once 'health and welfare and unemployment in- These do. of course, involve large sums. Because we have not been able to get unemployment down below the four-per cent level that triggers additional costs, the government had to contribute million to the fund last year. There is, of course, controversy in the country over reality of some current unemployment. Despite this, remarkably little effort has been made by the government to throw real light on the nature of joblessness in Canada and to establish with certainty whether it is true that it has changed in the last few years. The cost of family allowances under the new system rose dramatically in the last fiscal added cost was roughly million. Hospital insurance costs went up million and federal medicare contributions by million. These are predictable increases but some from other departments are more sur- cost an extra million to administer tax collection and million more for the customs and ex- cise services. Grants under bilingualism programs were up another million and so on. To view rising government spending fairly, it is necessary to look beyond the few big, obvious items into the very impressive totals that are built up by million here and million there. These represent services the country wants but at the mo- ment what it should want even more is a healthy sense of balance, putting longterm interests first. 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 Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM 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"