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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 13, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD-Tuetday, August Peacekeeping not futile Critics of Canada's role in peacekeep- ing will again be raising their voices as a result of the incident in Syria where a United Nations plane was shot down with a loss of nine lives. Following so closely the death of a Canadian soldier in Cyprus it is bound to bring out anew all the ob- jections to sending our forces into these unstable areas. There is no denying that the prospects for a durable peace in the Middle East are not good. The continued build up of arms throughout the region is a cause for real concern. To expect the United Nations forces to be able to cool out the high feelings or to be able to damp down an outbreak of war if it should come again is unrealistic. No such expectations exist among those involved with the peacekeeping operations. The UN forces are not there to act as miracle workers in bringing about reconciliation or to restrain com- batants when shooting starts. They are present to keep lines of communication open, to exert a moral pressure to respect ceasefire agreements and to be a reminder of the way of reason in human affairs. Just as police in Canadian com- munities do not prevent crime from oc- curring but exercise a restraining influence' that keeps life orderly so the peacekeeping troops abroad do not guarantee that violence will not erupt but create a positive mood by their presence. This is a useful, even if not a perfect, thing. While Canadians will be justifiably' angry about the deaths in Syria and Cyprus they will not be warranted in concluding that the peacekeeping role is futile. Peacekeeping is a relatively new and untried venture in the affairs of men and one in which Canadians can take pride in participating while it is being pioneered. ART BUCHWALD 'Where's the There is no doubt as of this writing (Aug. 7) President Nixon intends to hang tough, stonewall it and stay in Office no matter what anyone says Many people have wondered how can he do it how can a man whose own party has disowned him, whose credibility has sunk lower than Ron Ziegler's, hope to survive his term in office' The answer is quite simple Mr Nixon has one last trump card. He has the BUTTON When a delegation of senators and congressmen went to see him last week, the president told them if he goes he's taking the BUTTON with him. "But you can't do a Republican senator protested. "The BUTTON belongs to the American people. It's our only defence against the enslaved nations of the world." Mr Nixon was adamant. "It's my BUTTON, and if you want to toss me out of office, you're going to have to get another BUTTON A member of the House armed services committee said, "We can't get another BUTTON Yours is the only one that can set off the Third World War. Please. Mr. President, be reasonable." Mr Nixon shook his head. "You guys thought you had me with all that impeach- ment (expletive) Well you can vote anything you want to. the BUTTON is going to stay in my family "Dick." said one of the president's oldest triends, "this hurts us more than it hurts you. But you have to think of your place in history. Do you want to be the first president of the United States who refused to give back the BUTTON'" Mr Nixon scowled, "Listen you who asked you to start the Watergate hearing? And who told you to sup- port Jaworski in his efforts to get the tapes? And who told you to search for a 'smoking You may have a case to kick me out of office, but show me where it says in the con- stitution that, if I'm removed from office, I have to give back the BUTTON. Just show'it to me A white haired senator said, "It's not written in the Constitution because George Washington was never given a BUTTON. But in modern times there is an unwritten under- standing among presidents that when you leave you give the BUTTON back. It's just like the furniture in the White House You wouldn't take that with you, would Mr Nixon didn't say anything "You wouldn't take the furniture, would the senator asked again. "I think he a congressman said. "All right, you have us over a barrel. If you resign we'll make a deal We'll give you 000 annually, for Pat. for ex- penses above the pension, and we'll forget about your tax problems But you have to give us back the BUTTON first." "What about immunity from criminal Mr. Nixon demanded. "That's a little the senator said, "but maybe we can get it through Congress. Now. do you agree to give us the "I wish I could, but I Mr Nixon said. "Why the hell can't you9" the congressman screamed. "Because I sold it." Mr Nixon replied sheepishly "Why did you sell someone shouted. "I needed the money to make a mortgage payment on San Clemente." "Good the senator said "Whom did you sell it "Howard Hughes He's always good for a buck when anybody in our family gets into a jam." I sometimes get the feeling we're not getting through to Difficulties in government flexibility By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA The Trudeau theory of flexibility in govern- ment has the incidental value of providing a convenient rationalization for anything the Prime Minister cares to do, at a given time, in cabinet reorganization. This is not to suggest that it was developed with that in mind On the contrary it seems to be very much a matter of conviction. The Prime Minister has been ex- pounding his theory ever since he took office and has, indeed, applied it quite generally. Almost all the deputy Ministers have been reassign- ed and most of the agency heads have also been changed: such shifts being significant because they do not have comparable political implications. There is one obvious diffi- culty The theory is helpful po- litically to a Prime Minister, increasing his freedom and effective power, to the extent that it is accepted by the public. Until now it does not seem to have been widely accepted. The changes in the ranks of parliamentary secretaries were un- questionably embarrassing to those relieved of their duties; many of them felt (and some bitterly) that, in the eyes of their constituents, they had been tested and in effect had failed. On Thursday Mr. Trudeau was confronted with the prob- lem in a rather acute form. Not only was he shuffling his cabinet; he was moving a number of Ministers to the back benches. If the cabinet is stronger by virtue of the changes, the conclusion is al- most bound to be drawn that those being retired were not very effective in the eyes of their chief. Some of them were comparatively young men. What will this mean for their future political careers? In making an argument that "no adverse political judg- ments" should be made by the public in these cases, the Prime Minister pointed to the practice in the United Kingdom, where more enlightened views are said to prevail. It does appear to be the case that in Britain Prime Ministers have a greater sense of freedom in moving men from one cabinet position to another or, indeed, in and out of cabinet. There are, of course, a number of constraints in Canada (the demands of geography, for ex- ample) which are absent, or at least much weaker, in Britain. Nevertheless, Mr Trudeau may be rather over-stating this case British newspapers do not seem to be very hesi- tant in speaking of the ad- vancement of one Minister or the demotion of another. It could scarcely be otherwise since they are constantly making judgments and calling for changes which involve promotions and shifts to lower ranking positions. There need, of course, be no finality about judgments made by the Prime Minister at any time; it is quite possible, as Mr. Trudeau noted, for a British Minister to retire from cabinet and after a period as a private member to return to higher office. Even so a man may be an outcast for a long time. The most famous of modern out- casts was Winston Churchill; after being Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was long ex- cluded from government and there is not much doubt that in the 1930s he was regarded by a large section of the British public as a washed-up politician. Less well known cases could be mentioned. They suggest that Mr Trudeau's picture of a Brit- ain in which an enlightened public assists Prime Ministers by refraining from adverse judgments is, to say the least of it, idealistic. It may be that a period of meditation on the back benches is a valuable ex- perience for young politicians after an initial exposure to cabinet responsibilities At some undetermined date they may emerge from this com- parative obscurity as wiser men better equipped for onerous duties. How many of them view matters in this philosophical way, we do not know Mr. Trudeau's theory may, or may not. be widely shared in the governing party. But there is this further difficulty. When the Trudeau Government took office, it contained a number of veterans from the Pearson era It was time, in the view of some, that these experienced Ministers gave place to younger men. Periodically, Mr Trudeau did make changes. The veterans were moved in stages from policy- making to administrative posts By the press and public these changes were con- sidered demotions. Although it is inappropriate, in the Prime Minister's view, for such conclusions to be drawn, it is a fact that in the last stage these men were moved out of the cabinet and former Ministers, such as Arthur La- mg and George Mcllraith, are to be found today in the Senate, from whence no com- moner returns. The case of Bryce Mackasey may seem excep- tional But Mr. Mackasey was not shuffled, he resigned and was recently brought back during the course of an elec- tion for reasons which, in the light of events, were political- ly sound. Two opposite viewpoints concerning American people's reaction to Nixon end By William Safire, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Not so long ago, about four out of 10 adults in this country referred to themselves politically as "Nixon people." How should they react to the forced resignation of the man who for so long embodied their beliefs and their prejudices? As a card-carrying member of that group, let me suggest a few reactions both to those who made it to the lifeboats and those who went down with the ship. First, toward Richard Nix- on Despite the frequent hypocrisy of some of his pur- suers he was not unfairly ejected. He is now America's only living former president, for good reasons. When he first learned that some men acting in his name committed a crime, he put the bonds of friendship ahead of his oath of office. When he had the chance to destroy all the tapes just after their existence had become known, he made the wrong tactical decision, and nobody is patting him on the back now for his rectitude in not destroying the evidence that proved him guilty. In retrospect, all the manoeuvres his supporters considered so ill-advised in es- tablishing his innocence gain an intelligent pattern when viewed as a means toward preventing revelation of his guilt. He he knew that there was proof that he and all his actions for the last year, from the fir- ing of Archibald Cox to the re- jection of subpoenas to the falsely based appeal to the Supreme Court, were ab- solutely consistent. No wonder, then, he would allow no lawyer to listen to the tapes, he was stalling for time and playing for breaks, and on such a course there was nobody he could trust without making him a co-conspirator. Nixon was never indecisive, never floundering, as so many of us had anguished: his plan was to protect the tapes at all costs, and their cost was all. Therefore, no torment of un- fairness is due him from the "Nixon people." When "Black Sox" outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson was approached by a fan crying "say it ain't the corrupted ballplayer said nothing; Nixon said it wasn't so. As we spare him our tears, we can afford him more than a little respect. He was never the would-be dictator his severest critics have claimed, and his motives were either noble (to make a peace that would last) or at least not ig- noble (to gain the adulation that would flow from being the man who made the The people who supported him, and most of those who worked for him, can look around now that the shelling has ceased and point out much of substance that was done in reflecting the will of the peo- ple which, lest we forget, earned such a ringing affirma- tion of support just a year and a half ago. Toward President Ford, the reaction of the "Nixon people" should be far different from the reaction, say, of the Kennedy people to the ascension of President Johnson. Here is no cultural or stylistic usurper: Ford was not Nixon's necessary com- promise, but his chosen heir, deserving of a transfer of old loyalties. (Nixon wound up with a lifetime batting average of .500 in picking vice- presidents, better than F D R 's As vice-president, Ford made only one misstep in the loyal support of the man who nominated him, when he dis- cussed months ago the poten- tial makeup of his administra- tion with a reporter on background. When I called him about that, Ford freely acknowledged having been the source and said he had made a mistake. That was refreshing Afterward, he comported himself in a difficult situation with correctness and dignity. As president. Ford has chosen two of the best of the early Nixon supporters to be on his transition committee: Interior Secretary Rogers Morton and NATO Am- bassador Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom bear the scars of battle with the Nixon palace guard. Rumsfeld, a former congressman in his early forties, is especially valuable. Finally, how should the By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator former "Nixon people" view the ecstatic political op- position, led by that agglomeration of academics, old liberals, advocacy jour- nalists and establishment power centres so wrong about the country in 1972 and so right about Nixon in 1973? (As usual in these over- simplifications, we leave out all the uncategorizables who decide For the country's sake and our own, let us let them have their time of vindication without resentment. The triumph of justice is nobody's political defeat Churchill's "in defeat, defiance" does not apply, because Nixon's defeat is not the defeat of the "Nixon people" nor of the causes the former president espoused, only the defeat of that mis- guided toughness which is a form of weakness. Of course, "in victory, magnanimity" does apply, if in months to come, those who justly brought Nixon down want to make a martyr out of him, dragging him down Pennsylvania Avenue behind a chariot, here we go again on another round of vindic- tiveness. For Nixon, who might not have shown enough contrition to satisfy everyone, in nearly his last words as president' showed that the underlying lesson of Watergate had final- ly sunk Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself BOSTON In watching tragedy, the audience finds release catharsis for its own fear and pain. So the Greek dramatists taught us. But to meet their definition of tragedy, the hero had to change during the drama. Like Oedipus, he came to un- derstand the destiny imbedd- ed in his character. He accepted reality, and so he ex- piated the wrongs of the past. What was so sad about the final moments of Richard Nix- on's public life was that he denied his country the em- pathy and the release it desired. For he made clear that he had not changed. He was still trying to escape reality. The only reason he gave for his resignation from the presidency was that he had lost his "political base The unwary might have thought that, as in a parliamentary system, the legislature had forced him out because of policy or partisan differences. That implication was surely intended. He could not bring himself to mention that a vast majori- ty of Congress and the country had decided he was guilty of high crimes and mis- demeanors. Instead, he tried to devalue the great con- stitutional process through which the country has just so nobly passed. A few days before, The Times of London had suggested that he would regain some "moral stature" n resigning by accepting -esponsibility for his wrongs and thus preventing any later claim of unfairness. He so pointedly failed to do this that Sen. Edward Brooke, having heard the speech, disavowed his own proposal that Nixon be given immunity from criminal prosecution "I have always tried to do what was best for the Nixon said, expressing his regret that he would not be in the Oval office "working on your behalf." That from the man whose own taped transcripts show an overwhelming interest in power and no visible concern for the public good. He spoke of "justice." That from a man who has virtually confessed himself a common criminal. He spoke of his "sense of kinship with each and every American." That from a man who called his secretary of the treasury a "candy ass" because he would not join in using the tax system to punish citizens labeled political enemies. In his last remarks to the White House staff, 'he said again and again that no man or woman in his administra- tion had profited from the public till. That from the man who the Internal Revenue Ser- vice found had used in government money for his private houses and in four years underpaid his taxes by Pity for Richard Nixon: yes. And charity. But it would be quite another thing to forget the cruelty he inflicted on so-many individuals and the damage he did his country. He has not sought expiation, and he is not a tragic hero. He left national political life as he entered it- debasing the language and doing violence to truth. Forgetfulness would be the less justified because Nixon was not alone. While the myriad crimes and abuses of Watergate were being com- mitted, persons of reputation stood by him. How could George Shultz participate in conversations as demeaning as those that have now been published and continue to serve a president of such character' How could a man as respected as Gen. Alex- ander Haig once was, close his senses to the reek of criminality' It truly says something about a country, about all of us, that we could for so long accept a politics of hate and slander, of public relations emptiness But change is at hand now The process of impeachment achieved a political catharsis as genuine as any that a nation is likely to have. And in the person of Gerald Ford, the United States just may have proved itself once again to have the greatest of national assets: good luck When President Ford took the oath of office and said his few words of reassuring modesty, it was as if a cloud had lifted Words once more had a simple, direct meaning. Ford rightly asked for kindness toward Nixon and his family. But his thoughts and his prayers could not more boldly have drawn the necessary line between past and future. "Purge our hearts of suspi- cion and of he said. "The constitution works." "We are a government of laws, not men." And, not least "Truth is the glue that holds governments together." There is reason to hope that, in more than the personal sense, the age of Nixon has ended. The Lrthbridge 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" ;