Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 28, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, August 28, 1974 Farmers must surrender As of Wednesday morning this seemed to be the situation regarding the terminal grain elevators at Vancouver: 1. The federal government has made it abundantly clear that if the elevator companies, owned mostly by Alberta and Saskatchewan farmers, do not voluntari- ly pay the rates suggested by ciliator" Dr. Neil Perry. Parliament will force them to do so. 2. The inference was that Parliament would be asked to act quickly, in the interests of getting the elevators back into normal operation so grain, long since sold, could be loaded on to waiting ships and Canada's wheat customers abused no longer. 3. Now the federal labor minister says there is no hurry and thus no plans to call Parliament into session. 4. Meanwhile the union, to increase the pressure on the companies, was pulling a work slowdown for several weeks, three shifts doing the work of one or two. The companies finally tired of paying for work not done, so they laid off some staff. The union calls this a so it threw up picket lines, which its members won't cross, so nobody is working, and yet they pretend it is not a strike. The companies are beaten. If the word of the cabinet ministers means anything, there is no doubt that in due time the men will be back at work at the Perry rate. The only point in doubt is when, how soon, so why need it be in one month when it could be one day? Why should Canada's overseas grain market be sub- jected to any further unnecessary abuse? The companies have been saying they will not take the responsibility, at this inflation-ridden point in Canada's history, for such an inflationary settle- ment as that proposed by Dr. Perry. If the government, through Parliament, will take the responsibility, let it. But that point is resolved. The govern- ment has said it is prepared to take responsibility some time. Meanwhile havoc is intensified in the overseas market. In not acting immediately the government is being irresponsible, the ultimate victim being the farmer. So it all adds up to this: The farmers, through their elevator companies, should stand on their pride and sense of justice and economic responsibility no longer. They should admit that the government and the union together have beaten them, and that in the interests of saving the Canadian grain market they are now sur- rendering. Letters Discipline necessary "Hungry HI' devil ain't he One of the first things the new U.S. president did was to appeal for the control of inflation. He asked industry and labor to restrain their demands upon the general economy, in other words exer- cise discipline, claiming that this is essential. This could be taken to mean an alternative of economic disaster if ig- nored. This appeal has the super- ficial appearance of a desire on the part of major govern- ment to have the society which it is supposed to govern control itself, thus excusing government of all respon- sibility of the many harsh or unpleasant consequences that may arise. How many times have we been told by various governments that price and wage controls won't work? Now we see governments ask- ing society to do just this. This implies in my analysis that governments do believe it is the answer but also that it would be very unhealthy for any democratic government to enforce it, thus causing them to hesitate and search for a smooth remedy. I believe the tool to repair inflation is fundamentally dis- cipline or control. Society has amply demonstrated up to now that it is incapable of exercising the discipline required to cure the ill of which it complains so loudly. Obviously the essential discipline must come from somewhere and there is no more appropriate place than major governments. In conclusion, what has traditionally been expected of good government is that it function as a body of un- disputed power, ability and control. For the good of all in a time of economic distress we should permit it to do so without excessive interference. LLOYD WEIGHTMAN Lethbridge Mature thinking essential Independent f ishermen Bylaw a backward step When the city's dental adviser recommended fluoridation of the public water supply, city council wisely- accepted his advice by doing all it could do authorizing a plebiscite. The provincial legislature many years ago said there could not be fluoridation without local citizen approval by way of a plebiscite. At that time the procedure was relatively new and perhaps the plebiscite requirement was justified. To- day scores of millions of people on this continent and in the world are drinking fluoridated water, it is no longer ex- perimental, and so a plebiscite seems less valid and necessary. On the other hand it ought to be easier to get citizen approval. Science has shown that it works, that it greatly reduces tooth decay, that nothing else works.nearly as effectively and ef- ficiently as fluoridating the water supply, and that there are no health hazards whatever in it. Dentists and doc- tors are closer to unanimity in recommending fluoridation than in probably any other health matter. Numerous Alberta villages, towns and cities are now enjoying the proven benefits. Coaldale among them. Yet it is not at all certain that the plebiscite will pass. Five times already Lethbridge voters have gone against it. Why. if it is of such proven benefit? The reason is that this community has a small band of very skillful, very dedicated people who sincerely believe that it is harmful, that it is rat poison, that it is part of a Communist plot to take over the world, and so on, and these peo- ple successfully sowed doubt in enough minds to deny fluoridation the required majority. They will try again. And perhaps once more the majority will fail in their responsibility to render mature judgment. They will be taken in by half truths, falsehoods, quackery, and other such devices. And if the voters are so gullible, it is fair to ask whether their children deserve the benefits of fluoridation. By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator RUSSELL BAKER The evil of work WASHINGTON I read in the papers recently that there are 500 million marginal people on the earth. These are people the world can't use. There is no economic need for them no jobs, not enough natural resources, not enough arable land, not enough food. Socially and economically, they are useless, if not worse, since they cause political upheaval, high taxes and slums. It must be very dispiriting being one of the world's marginal people Knowing that the blue chip people wish you would just disappear cannot help self-esteem, living in the margin must be cheerless and demeaning Even at its best, as in the United States where old people in the margin dine on pet foods and marginal mothers are tyrannized by welfare bureaucrats, the sustenance offered by a robust state is poisoned by the bile of the benefactors. Uselessness" and idleness stand high on the American tablets of cardinal sin. Helplessness is a condition not lightly forgiven, and charity's reward is a tax deduction. More and more Americans Will become marginal very soon now. if the economists are correct. These are the people who will have to move off the employment list as inflation shakes down the economy. Official economists are talking about unemployment going as high as six per cent before inflation begins to slow down, and pessimists are talking about seven per cent. These are only guesses by people whose guesses have "lately been wrong with regularity, but everybody seems to agree that we are going to have to shove more people out into the cold of the margin before we stabilize the price of milk. And afterward, what? Shall we go on. old style, abusing them as idlers, welfare bums, failures, shameful takers of government handouts, life's losers, people who have let the country down? These traditional views rest on the notion that work is good and that people who work are. therefore, good too. and ought not to be burdened with the support of people who don't work Surely, however, this traditional view fails to recognize economic reality. If more people must go into the margin to halt inflation, then the people who go are doing great service to the state. The government should point out that these are people who have made great sacrifices to enlist in the war on inflation. They should be honored, not reviled, service in the margin, like service in Vietnam a few years ago, may be an honor largely confined to the luckless, but we can at least refrain from treating it with scorn. We might go further toward a truly sensible policy. At present the ranks of marginal people are filled by a sort of draft policy: nobody asks you if you want to become marginal, you are simply plucked out of your life's work one day and pressed into the margin. Would it not be sound to follow the military's example by abolishing the draft and switching to a volunteer margin? Vigorous recruitment programs might persuade workers in secure jobs to leave them for service against inflation in the margin. All those who now complain about having to work hard to support the idlers in the margin should be easy targets for recruitment, persuaded as they appear to be of the pleasures of idleness and the burdensome nature of work. I am not naive about this. I realize that there is a serious obstacle to recruitment. This is the national faith in what President Nixon used to call "the work a conviction that working is ethical and not working isn't. The government can change this with its propaganda machinery. What, after all, is so ethical about work when the country is crying out for unemployment to save its economy from being inflated into an uneconomy? If the country needs fewer workers, not more, it has every reason to preach the nobility of the non-work ethic. Uncle Sam needs idlers. That should be its slogan. Once we lured into the margin all the additional people necessary to save the dollar, what would we do with them? Give them a distinctive lapel button they could be proud of. I suppose, and some sort of unemployment compensation until the crisis passed, and then, when enough time had gone by. go back to wishing they would disappear, like all old heroes. The time savers By Doug Walker Walter Wiebe and I always knew we had remarkable wives in Bev and Elspeth but a new dimension of their unusualness emerged recently when the Wiebe's came to dinner. Elspeth and Bev always have a lot to talk about when they get together or are connected on a telephone line. On this occa- sion they both had so much to say that they talked simultaneously. When we kidded them about what they had been doing Bev assured us that they had listened to each other while talking. That's really saving time. SALVAGE, Nfld. The name of Salvage comes not from something rescued from the sea but the edge, as in edge of a bolt of fabric. Beyond Cow Head, a massive lump of bare rock with small spruce trees on the lee side, that shields the village from the northeast gales, there is nothing any more between you and Ireland. John Lane and Et (short for Ethelred) Brown had taken their 22-foot open boat beyond Cow Head to practice their trade of inshore fishermen, as they do each day but Sunday of the five months or so that the ice is out and the fish are in. I was with them to try to learn something of the reality behind the ponderous reports of the Law of the Sea conference and the dry stories about offshore foreign fleets scooping up the best of Canada's Atlantic catch. The outport has been settled for at least 300 years. Salvage once had 700 people. Today around 300 remain to man about 20 boats, not all of them full time. The inshore trade attracts few young people. In a good year you'll clear perhaps In eight hours we haul- ed in some 800 pounds of cod, worth perhaps John and Et still had four more hours of work ahead of them, spliting, and salting the fish and resetting their nets. This year the ice, the worst in memory, jammed the bay through mid-July. John lost 150 of his 205 lobster traps. Random insights about the fishery are all that you bring back from a few hours bobb- ing about on the edge of the Atlantic. For example, the mesh of the gill nets, once six inches, is now only five because the bigger cod are caught by the offshore fleets and never reach the coast. You learn, in the end, less about the trade of fishing than about the art of independ- ence. John and Et, both in their mid-50s, are more than just inshore fishermen. They are independent men, and almost the last of that breed. Bigness and bureaucracy have left little of room for independence. Like small small businessmen, prospectors and sculptors, painters, potters and writers John and Et are men of pride and dignity. They do their own thing and answer to no one. Government assistance though is their survival line. "It's not right" says John. "It makes me ashamed to be a fisherman." But unlike most independent men John and Et also belong. They belong to Salvage, a community where only strangers knock on doors before entering. It's a place with a powerful sense of peace, where everyone is a relative or a friend. Where Saturday means step-dancing to accordion music at the Legion hall and Thursday means bingo. Late in the morning we break for lunch. In the lee of Shag Island the breeze dies and the engine is switched off. Lunch is a fresh caught cod, steamed in a covered iron pot with salt pork scronchions, home-baked rolls and strong tea. We try to top each others stories. John and Et one-up me by telling theirs in their thickest Bay accents. I try, because they ask me, and give up the attempt. John says he has two dreams, one that fishing could come again, pay for itself, so he need accept no handouts from government. The other, that Bonavista Bay would dry up 'So I could see the old schooner wrecks and the gear and the old sealing guns." We chug home, round cove head and past Sailors Island where John was born in a house that his father later hauled across the ice to Salvage, the same house John now lives in. We are happy with the days catch, except that I know that of John's two dreams, Bonavista Bay will dry up first. I note with some interest the headlines and articles in The Herald Aug. 20. relating to the bylaw prohibiting cycl- ing on certain designated arterial roads in Lethbridge. In view of the current and almost certain future energy shortage, and the prevalence of local motor vehicles with only a single occupant, I regard the exclusion of cyclists as a retrograde step. I would certainly agree that they should as far as possible be separated from the motor traffic. I would suggest that in the future when any such arterial roads are made that it should be mandatory for a separate path for cyclists and pedestrians be made at the same time. Also that where these have not been provided, they should be made immediately. From several points of view this would be advantageous, the maintenance of fitness of health, lessening of at- mospheric pollution, and increased safety of pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, at present it is difficult to ride a bicycle out of the city of Lethbridge in certain directions without travelling along one of these roads. DR. G. A. WRIGHT Lethbridge Expensive additive Re The Herald's recent casserole item on non-leaded gasoline costing more than leaded fuel. Lead is added to gasoline to increase octane ratings to meet the demands of increas- ed compression ratios in modern internal combustion engines. Lead is used because it is the least expensive ad- ditive obtainable without decreasing efficiency. When you take the lead out you have to put something else in to maintain the octane ratings. The alternative is a refined additive which is more expensive to manufacture and also requires modifications to existing refineries which also costs a considerable amount. The additional three cents per gallon for no-lead gasoline is necessary to recover these ad- ditional manufacturing costs. OIL WORKER Edmonton Memorial planned Analyzing Rockefeller wealth By William V. Shannon, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON Nelson A. Rockefeller has arrived in Washington as if he were an elemental force. His physical gusto and equable temper help account for this sense he conveys of an overpowering personal presence. But something else accounts for it, too. Rockefeller personifies money on the move, great masses of accumulated money, money skillfully deployed by dozens of lawyers, accountants, and investment managers, money flowing in many different directions and touching countless political and economic nerve centres. Not since Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry have the inhabitants of any town itched to see something usually hidden as people here now desire to see the extent of the Rockefeller fortune and the uses to which it is put. More than political prurience impels this interest. The Rockefellers control the greatest private fortune in the world. It is somewhat misleading to define Rockefeller's personal fortune as a mere million to million. His own wealth is inseparably intertwined with the entire Rockefeller fortune which he and his sister and brothers control. For tax purposes, this fortune is dispersed through scores of family trusts for children and grandchildren and through family controlled foundations.. In addition to vast oil and gas holdings through Standard Oil stock, the family controls the Chase Manhattan Bank, the nation's third largest commercial bank, of which David Rockefeller is chairman. Through this bank with its vast lending power, Rockefeller agents sit on the boards of directors or can financially influence numerous corporations that they nominally do not control. The family controls eastern airlines, resort hotels and great tracts of land from the Caribbean to Hawaii, and the vast real-estate complex in the heart of Manhattan, Rockefeller Centre. The House and Senate are being asked to confirm not just another rich man such as Averell Harriman or John F. Kennedy. but the representative of a unique agglomeration of economic power. There is widespread agreement here that by experience and demonstrated capacity, he is the best qual- ified man in his party to serve as a standby president. But there are risks when economic power and the power of government are joined in the same few hands. Freedom is usually better served by diversity. If an exception is to be made in Rockefeller's case, it is imperative that the boundaries of his economic power be clearly defined and its nature widely understood. To be acceptable in a democracy, power must be fully accountable, and that includes personal financial power if a government official possesses it. It would be an absurd fig leaf to settle for Mr. Rockefeller assigning his holdings to a "blind desirable as that may be as a legal formality. No one supposes that he personally supervises his investments anyway. That is what he has well paid managers to do for him. The critical question is whether the Senate rules committee and the House ju- diciary committee will settle for thumbing through Rockefeller's personal income tax returns and making sure he did not take too many deductions or will the committees do a real job and lay bare the anatomy of his family's entire corpus of economic power. No such analysis has been made since a study by the Senate temporary national economic committee 35 years ago. Another is needed now. Through the power that he and his family already wield, they do much to determine the framework in which choices in foreign affairs, military policy, and economic policy are perceived and decided. Whether or not one thinks the Rockefellers have exercised this power in constructive and benign ways, such oower has to be fully discloses and fully accounted for. It is much too significant in the lives of all of us to be concealed with a wave and a "hi ya, People in a democracy ought not to have that kind of blind trust in anyone. It was with interest that I received word from Rhodesia that a fine garden memorial, possibly a flower clock, will be laid out in Victoria Falls village, in honor of the .two Canadian girls who were shot and killed in May 1973, beside the Zambesi River. This gesture has apparently been approved by Mr. and Mrs. Drijber, parents of one of the girls, and who visited the University of Lethbridge last autumn. Having been in Victoria Falls village several times, I can't think of a lovelier place for a garden memorial to these unfortunate girls, than in this village, so close to the heart of the great and magnificent falls. MARIAN VIRTUE Waterton Lakes Park Bicycle needs insurance Ride your bike on the sidewalk! I presume a bike is a vehicle, it can't go by itself, so it must have power. So, I presume it is logical that a cyclist using the sidewalk shall carry liability insurance, a horn and a light. A senior citizen would not hear a bike coming behind him and may step in the wrong direction and get hurt, who is to blame? The people who started this rumpus aie very likely those conscientious citizens who always claim the right of way at all times and under all con- ditions. DICK FISHER Lethbridge Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are required even when the letter is to appear over a they are sensible and not libelous; they are of manageable length or can be shortened (normally letters should not exceed 300 they are decipherable (it greatly helps if letters are typed, double spaced with writers do not submit letters too frequently. 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"