Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE August Liberals may use wage, price controls The schools of Ulster The resumption of school in Lethbridge, with all the normal sights and sounds of school buses, rows of park- ed cycles, and small pedestrians in the back alleys at regular intervals, provides a sad contrast with a story from Ulster on the situation in the schools there after five years of urban guerrilla warfare. In beleaguered Belfast, attention must be paid to the routing of school buses and the staggering of hours so that children from a Protestant school do not meet children from a Catholic school, lest trouble erupt. The headmasters of two such schools on the opposite ends of one of the city's main thoroughfares have a daily "hotline" between their schools to try to prevent trouble. School outings are out, travelling to the public library to do research can be too dangerous, and after-school activities are not encouraged by the general situation. Rioting has supplanted smok- ing as the way to "prove" manhood among secondary students. The atten- dance rate is about 70 per cent. The most disastrous effects are felt within the classrooms. In most societies children are looked on as the hope of the future. The teachers interviewed for an article in the London Observer seemed to feel that this is not true in Ulster, that there are no seeds of tolerance or under- standing being planted and that any noticeable efforts along these lines are personally dangerous and generally rebuffed by the communities in which the schools exist, whether they are Protestant or Catholic. A teacher in a secondary Catholic school predicted that the pupils of today would be even more intractable as parents than their parents are. And in a Protestant secondary school a debate on the subject of "This House would meet violence with violence" produced a result so overwhelming that, in the words of one teacher, "We didn't bother to count the vote. They made it absolute- ly clear that, to them, the only good Fe- nian is a dead Fenian." Even the curriculum is divided and two different views of history are taught. Although attempts are made to be objec- tive, the teachers seem to feel that they are making little headway in changing the students' views of contemporary politics, and that the immediate outside world is completely overpowering the schools of Ulster. Some might feel that the London Observer story is exaggerated. But even a cursory knowledge of affairs in Northern Ireland should lead anyone to agree with the reporter's contention that "To be young in Ulster now is to be deprived of childhood." The Yanqui dollar Canada is not the only U.S. neighbor worrying about cultural, economic and political domination by the U.S. A recent report from Mexico states that in the capital city's main street, Insurgentes Avenue, there are more than 50 American style hamburger stands and only 10 taco stands. "O.K." is beginning to replace "esta bien" in ordinary conversation. Most of Mexico City's radio stations play American music most of the time. And "student leaders mutter about imperialistic plots to make Mexico another star in the American flag. The notion that American business was driven out of the country a few decades ago when Mexico nationalized railroads and oil interests is a false one. And the federal government's new policy of restricting foreign ownership to a minority of 49 per cent is not retroactive and will have little effect on businesses already established. Cultural transfer through the economic channels of what has been estimated as a billion American investment is apt to continue. The federal government, intellectuals and students seem concerned that a borrowed culture will swallow.up Mex- ico's identity but the rest of the popula- tion is reported to give little attention to this fear. Cultural inroads are much easier to spot in the smallest North American country than in Canada, the largest, because of the greater residual difference between U.S. and Mexican cultures and economies than between those ot Canada and the U.S. There is the usual dichotomous attitude among those who are concerned. As an instance, a student who expresses concern for loss of national identity nevertheless drives an American style car assembled in Mexico and has a "California or Bust" sticker on its window. And the owner of a taco stand which is losing business admits that he, also, likes the hamburgers served by his competitor across the street. In other words, problems stemming from proximity to a large, vital and powerful country are the same, in kind if not degree, whether one is south or north of its borders. ART BUCHWALD Not for wives Mr. Jack Valenti of the Motion Picture Producers Assn. has done a fine job with his rating system of films. In order to protect children, his association now informs people through the advertisements and outside the theatre whether they are suitable for the whole family, or just the adult part of it. The ratings start with G for the family, then go to M for mature audiences and finally to X where human beings under 16 are not ad- mitted. I am not criticizing Mr. Valenti's ratings but actually trying to improve on them. I think he should add another category to warn husbands what to expect. This rating on a film could be X-NFW which would stand for "not for wives." I say this because I went to a film the other night with my wife only to discover when We got to the theatre that it had an X rating. "What does that she wanted to know. "It means that this picture is an adult film, and only those of us who are mature enough and grown up enough to understand the im- plications of what the producer and writer and director are trying to say are permitted to see it." "You mean it's a dirty she said. "We must not use the word 'dirty' in describing a film. It is an art picture, aimed at a specific audience who wants more out of life than Doris Day and Rock Hudson." "Those billboards out front look pretty dir- ty to me." "What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a girl tied behind a bulldozer "Not while it's knocking down a building." "Well, billboards never really show what the movie is about. It's just a way of getting you into the theatre." "I'd rather see she said. "Don't be square. If adults don't support X- rated films, who Before she could change her mind, I bought the tickets, and we went in. "The popcorn even looks my wife said. "Will you stop behaving like someone who only attends movies for the entire We sat down just behind six members of a motorcycle gang and next to an old man who was reading 'Candy' while the lights were on. Finally, the movie started. It opened up with a woman being whipped by 10 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Let's my wife said. "We can't go until we've found out what she's done. Perhaps that's the way people are punished in Canada." "Nelson Eddy never whipped Jeanette MacDonald." The scene shifted to a pair of lumberjacks walking through the forest with their arms around each other. They stopped in a clearing. "That does my wife said. "I'm going." "But there's supposed to be a big scene between two girls from Toronto and three women from French Canada who want independence from the Commonwealth." She was on her way up the aisle, and I followed her. "I just want to ask you one she said as we were driving home. "What was the point of that Mountie kissing his "Oh, come on. Haven't you ever seen a man kiss a horse I said. "On the Super sports editor By Doug Walker Sports editor Pat Sullivan is rarely in his of- fice in the afternoons but his telephone rings with great frequency nonetheless. I try to ig- nore it because it means a considerable safari for me to get out of my office and around to his even though they are adjacent offices. D'Arcy Rickard, who sits just outside the sports office, usually answers the phone if he isn't out on an assignment. Normally D'Arc takes a phone number for Pat to call or he jots down the information the caller wants to give. But one afternoon I heard D'Arc say, "I'm sure Mr. Sullivan knows about it he's on top of everything." I don't know if D'Arc really holds Pat in that high esteem or whether he was just tired of being a sports writer. By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA It is fascinating, barely two months after the election, to read suggestions by business writers that the Government may, after all, be forced to implement price and income controls; probably in 1975. One of those being quoted is E. Wayne Clendinning, eco- nomic adviser to Richardson Securities of Canada. Mr. Clendinning thinks that the government will attempt first to restrain demand but that any gains are likely to be cancelled out as the economy feels the delayed pressure of the very large wage settlements now being negotiated or in prospect. There is certainly no very impressive evidence that inflation is slackening. On the contrary the summer has brought a number of sombre warnings that we are likely to experience, as some other countries have already ex- perienced, an unpleasant com- bination of continuing infla- tion coupled with recession. Mr. Clendinning's inter- esting point is that the Gov- ernment did not completely slam the door on a controls policy. This is accurate. No responsible Government could, in fact, rule them out in any and all circumstances and the Trudeau Government did not deny that a contingency program exists as insurance against the uncertain future. Mr. Turner argued vigorously that controls were inappropriate to the con- ditions of 1974; that is to say to an inflationary situation characterized, in the Government's view by the pull of demand. Thus a case can be made that the Government would be free to invoke controls if the situation changed, with rising costs becoming the principal generator of higher prices. But while Mr. ClendTnning may be right both in his read- ing of the economy and of Mr. Turner's speeches, he may also be according inadequate recognition to the political dif- ficulties which would now be involved in a change of course. In its first, and un- successful, attempt to bring inflation under control, the Trudeau Gvernment had the "It wasn't wine, women or song that was my downfall actually it was my sweet tooth." Prescription drugs create problems By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Back in the days when grandma would scrape some bark off, a peach tree and concoct a brew which would fight your chest cold and "save you from consump- it was a sort of joke to complain that the cure was worse than the ailment. But in these days when drug companies are pumping out versions of pills and potions which supposedly cure just about anything, it is literally true that the medicine you take can be far more lethal than the ailment you seek to erase. Want your muscles relaxed, your nerves calmed, your cholesterol lowered, your appetite curbed, your child reduced from a noisy dynamo to a quiet, motionless angel? Just about every drug com- pany has more than one product it claims will do the job. But if you take the wrong drug you could suddenly develop cataracts, find your hair falling out, develop severe skin diseases or have withdrawal symptoms that are extremely severe, even fatal. Now, you and I ought not have to worry too much about taking some drug that does us monstrous damage, because too powerful protectors sup- posedly exist' The Food and Drug Ad- ministration (FDA) has a huge bureaucracy of scien- tists, doctors and other ex- perts who are supposed to in- sure that drugs are safe and reasonably effective as measured by the manufac- turer's claims before the drugs can be introduced onto the market. Our doctors, we assume, will never prescribe for us anything that they even remotely suspect could be seriously harmful. Alas, there has been power- ful public evidence of late that neither of these protectors can be relied on wholly. FDA scientists have given shocking and frightening testimony before the Senate health and administrative practice subcommittee that top officials in FDA: destroyed a system of reporting adverse reactions to drugs. and intimidated scientists who produced evidence that certain drugs should be barred from sale, the harassment including transfer of scientists away from study of a drug once it appeared that the scientist op- posed admission to the market to pharmaceutical companies information about scientific findings and ad- visory Committee deliberations with regard to questionable drugs. records of scien- tific findings or committee recommendations so as to permit a company to put a questionable drug on the market. In short, the testimony of the scientists suggests that FDA leadership has been more interested in staying in favor with the pill makers than in protecting the people. One might still feel reasonably protected by his physician if it weren't for the existence of what author Amanda Spake calls "prescription payola" in an article in the July issue of New Times magazine. Ms. Spake tells of a doctor who in three months prescrib- ed enough of a muscle relax- THE CASSEROLE In another interesting spin-off from last winter's so-called energy crisis, a professor of electrical engineering is advocating the building of thousands and thousands of wind- mills across the 1500 mile wind corridor that bisects the Great Plains. He calculates this infinitely renewable resource could supply at least a quarter of America's electricity needs, and at competitive prices. The install- ed cost per killowatt, he claims, would be somewhere between and the same as gas or oil fired stations, and far below the for nuclear plants or the to for hydro power. Remember wind-chargers? The English continue to surprise. Long known as ridiculously indulgent dog lovers, they are now debating proposals to reduce the dog population. Newspapers are publishing articles entitled "Down with "The dog and the like, while governments ponder ways to make dog owning less pop- ular. Ideas being considered are compulsory sterilization, raising license fees by several pounds, additional charges for un-spayed females, even higher prices for dog foods. There is plenty of opposition from dog lovers, naturally, but with nearly six million dogs in the land, and 2'A million being born every year, there's clamor for curbs, too. ant to win a portable televi- sion set, given by the manufacturer of the drug, the B. F Ascher pharmaceutical company. She says that the fiercely competitive drug manufacturers are "buying off doctors" and that "physicians are becoming medical frontmen for the big- time pushers in America today, the pharmaceutical houses." "Last Ms. Spake wrote, "the industry spent an estimated each on the nation's doctors, all in the hopes of convincing the physicians to prescribe drugs, and more of them. Through a massive sales force, two billion free samples, valuable gitts, tours, holiday trips and both mail and medical journal advertising, the companies spent billion on the doctors. The investment paid off. The industry saw a billion return in drug sales, averag- ing worth of prescrip- tion drugs per doctor." Obviously, not every doctor prescribes drugs to win a TV set or a trip to Hawaii. I know a couple of doctors who hate to administer any drug even aspirin. Nor do all the top of- ficials in FDA scheme and connive to please the drug in- dustry. But the evidence of misconduct is widespread enough, the dangers great enough, for us all to worry a bit. Which is why we ought to welcome those Senate hearings. And we ought to hope we get a federal con- sumer protection agency to give us just one more layer of safety from protectors who operate inside the bureaucracy. support of a majority in the House of Commons. It did face union opposition. At that time, however, price and in- come controls had yet to become an issue dividing the two great parties and had cer- tainly not been taken to the people for their verdict at the polls. Apart from the position of the unions, everything seems to have changed. Ministers ex- erted themselves in the elec- tion campaign to persuade the nation's voters not only that controls would be inequitable but also that they would prove unworkable. Various arguments were employed; the constitutional difficulties; the impossibility of controll- ing prices of imported goods; and. above all, the absence of a consensus. To succeed, a controls policy would require public support comparable to that enjoyed by the Govern- ment during the Second World War But this was forthcom- ing only, we were assured, because the country was prepared to make sacrifices m order to achieve victory over totalitarian enemies. If the Government in 1975 wishes to change course, how will it fashion an argument which will win general sup- port in other words overcome the resistance which the same government did its best to reinforce in 1974? The situa- tion might be easier if we were all economists, and thus responsivp to economic arguments, or if economists agreed among themselves. But neither condition exists and the second is against nature. However inflation is charac- terized, it benefits some peo- ple and creates an illusion of wellbeing among others. Those with reason to believe that they are doing well are not likely to change their at- titude to controls merely because inflation is given a new label It is much more likely that they would de- nounce a change of policy as a betrayal. "The Government, after its remarkable recovery from the near-defeat of 1972, must be given credit for good political judgment. Even a government with less im- pressive political credentials would be well aware that, in the event of change, all the arguments used by Ministers so convincingly in 1974 would be thrown back at them when controls were invoked. If matters develop as Mr. Clendinning suspects they and this is certainly 1975 may well be a year of considerable political anguish For Ministers, in such circumstances, will have to choose between their view of what ought to be done to rescue the economy and their view of what it is politically possible to do after their brave election stand. It is reasonable to assume that the Government, in the meantime, will do everything it can to avoid being caught in such a cruel dilemma. Various measures could be taken to dampen demand; restrictions, for example, on credit purchases such as those once contemplated, and even promised, by Edgar Benson. Improved supply policies would obviously help and voluntary restraint cannot be entirely dismissed; after all Mr. Ford, with the ex- ceptional public support en- joyed by a new President, did manage to limit General Motors to about nine-tenths of what it hoped to obtain in its latest price increase. These are possibilities. They seem at the moment less impressive than the new in- flationary pressure currently being pumped into the econ- omy. But with the economic outlook both here and abroad now so uncertain, most pre- dictions are carefully hedged and few resound with notes of confidence. Only time can prove or disprove Mr. Clen- dinning's hunch. It seems fair to suggest, however, that the Government will be very for- tunate indeed if the events of next year demonstrate that he was wrong. The LetlibruUjc 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 The Dade County (Florida) Court has a novel suit to consider. A man who gave a tenth of his savings to a church is now suing for the return of his because he did not receive the "blessings, benefits and rewards" he says were promised to those who gave 10 per cent of their wealth to the church. DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager It has been calculated that Ford, G.M., Chrysler and American Motors together wil! spend over this year in advertis- ing and sales promotion. That figure is for the auto-makers themselves and does not include promotional expenditures of many thousands of dealers and distributors. 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"