Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 29, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE August Political processes resume in U.S. By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator The European wildcat The latest protest technique of Common Market farmers has the public applauding. Whereas in the recent past French and Low Country farmers have destroyed their produce, usually in a spectacular manner, to protest the low prices they were getting, now they have evolved a technique which has come to be known as the wildcat sale. This involves sidewalk selling directly to the consumer at considerably lower prices than those charged in nearby stores. In Antwerp this has meant that eggs were available directly from the producer tor 39 cents a half-dozen, whereas the store price was about 50 per cent higher. French farmers who had been getting about five cents a pound from wholesalers for peaches, which then were retailed for as much as 70 cents a pound, wildcatted them for a lit- tle more than a dollar for an 11-pound box. The wildcat sales were not expected to bring prices down but to show that it is not the farmer who is responsible for high food prices and to illustrate the cost to the consumer of the middlemen in the food chain. In France it was estimated that produce may pass through about five or six hands before it reaches the consumer. One newspaper reported that a farmer gets about one cent a pound for potatoes, which retail for about six times that amount. A spokesman for a French farmers' organization disclaimed responsibility for initiating the direct-to-the-public sales but he added that in view of the sharp increase in profits for the middlemen his group did not discourage the technique. The situation in Canada is not at all analogous Farm income here has increased to such an extent that it is hard to envisage any reason for protesting, es- pecially as long as Eugene Whelan is minister of agriculture. And if the food chain is shortened to cut down on costs, the jobs will have to be made up elsewhere. Nevertheless, to the embattled Cana- dian consumer who must support not only the farmer but also the wholesaler, packager, transporter and retailer, an occasional wildcat sale would come as a minor miracle and would rate first place as a technique of protest should the need ever arise. OTTAWA The resump- tion of normal government in Washington during the last fortnight seems more sen- sational than it really is because of the inevitable contrast with the yearlong void that developed as Wa- tergate became almost totally consuming. United States diplomats, some of them senior, argued loyally and steadfastly during the year of American woe that government was really going on as usual. Of course it was not. When one probed, it emerged that the men attempting to be reassuring, perhaps as much to themselves as anyone else, were really talking about the bureaucratic process. I did not, unfortunately, see Berlin at the end of the Second World War, but it seems to me that it would take a collapse as total as that city's, under those extraordinary con- ditions, to bring a complete stop to the processes of bureaucracy. One could safely bet that they were re- established in the former German capital very quickly. But the bureaucratic process is not the same as government it is an essen- tial part of it but, fortunately. not the whole thing. It was the additional ingredient, which turns administration into government, that has been lacking in the American capital and which is now ac- tive and functioning again. The normal political processes have resumed. Because the change is so striking the short period since Aug. 9, when Nixon resigned, seems much longer than it really has been. There is some danger of over-estimating the importance of individual developments. It is not a strik- ing new departure, but simply a return to normalcy, that ef- forts to cope with inflation are now being picked up again by men at the top of the American government rather than being left in the hands of Arthur Burns, the chairman of the Federal Reserve system. The process of bringing Washington back to normal political processes is being conducted with some skill, es- pecially the quick and interesting ways through which President Ford is creating the essential breaks with the past on one hand while re-establishing a vital sense of continuity on the other. Thus we see the softening of the government's position ACT accountability If there were a law against selling goods or services without showing the price of same, as perhaps there should be. Alberta Government Telephones would be the first to be convicted. It is good to hear that AGT in its next direc- tory i not due for another year i will let its subscribers in on the secret of what its long-distance rates are. The value of long-distance calling, par- ticularly through the ODD service, has been vigorously promoted by AGT. and many people have come to make DDD calls almost as indiscriminately as to an office downtown. Since an additional DDD call costs AGT nothing, the whole ot the charge to the customer is profit to the company. No wonder AGT is promoting the service so strongly. But the subscriber hasn't a clue what he will be charged until he gets his bill weeks later. And he has no way whatever ot checking the charge against any schedule ol published tariffs. He has to take the word of the AGT computer that even thing is all right. He can get a sample list of charges, however, by phoning (collect) to AGT Edmonton. 425-4036. In self-defence, it's something he should ask for in advance. Now AGT has another highly questionable stunt in mind. It has threatened to start charging for "direc- tory assistance" calls If you want someone's number, you'll have to pay to get it The announced reason: Too many such calls are for numbers already in the directory, and if the subscriber is too lazy to look them up. he should pay for his laziness. How are they going to levy the penalty? Will it become part of the monthly billing? At what cost? What if it is a legitimate call, the subscriber not having access to a directory? How can those be differentiated1? What if it is for a number not in the directory? AGT has an even better thing going for it than its sister the ALCB. The telephone has become too often the master, not the servant, ot modern civilized society. With the telegraph service joining the pony express in limbo and the postal ser- vice being what it is, there's no way of escaping telephone servitude. THE CASSEROLE The press wire recently carried a story on the phasing out of all "special deals" at ser- vice stations, with a prediction that "the free road map is about logo, too." Already, it said, major oil companies are charging their dealers for maps in California Everything's up to date in Alberta, too; Gulf stations are asking 25 cents for the road maps they used to give away. Finally, a perfect organization, or at least one that is beyond criticism. Commenting on a recent move to curb public statements by Alberta art foundation members, the foun- dation's chairman said. "I don't feel someone who is inside the foundation should criticize it Other members have bridled at criticism from outside the organization, claiming it was uninformed. But it neither insiders or outsiders are to criticize, then who can? Federal transport officials recently com- pleted a survey of the drinking habits of drivers. It found that roughly a quarter of all drivers checked between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. had been drinking, and a third of those had blood alcohol concentrations greater than the legal limit of .08 per cent. That works out to one driver in every 12 being legally impaired. "Personally I can't see no use fer' th' dang stuff. No agreements on continental shelf By Paul Whitelaw, Herald Washington commentator ERIC NICOL Short visits only, please Next to a diaper washed in Ivory, what I choose for my baby is Art Phillips, mayor of Vancouver. Mayor Phillips has sprung to the defence of Canadian babies by asking for tighter immigration laws He knows that of the tens of thousands of people who sift into Canada each year, legally and illegally. 90 per cent end up at the corner of Georgia and Granville. massed for assault on Day. The immigration policy has been that of filling Canada's empty spaces. Unfortunately the empty spaces don't look all that attractive to the immigrants once they get here. For one thing, about half of the empty spaces in Canada are at ah altitude of 4000 feet or more. To be suitable for this terrain, immigrants should be chosen that have one leg a foot shorter than the other leg. Nothing less can make them feel at home with Canada's other high-level ruminant, the sidehill gouger Much of the remainder of our open spaces is prairie, the effective farming of which now requires a capital outlay of as much as a quarter of a million dollars. If the federal government were to present each immigrant family with a complete set of farming equipment "Welcome to Canada you'll find your tractor combine and fully- automatic hired man in the parking area" it is just possible that the newcomers would opt for Saskatchewan. As things are. however, they funnel into the urban centres of cheap accommodation and unskilled labor. Many of them come from countries of Europe and Asia whose population density is such as to make Vancouver and Toronto look relatively deserted Well, where's the bind, asks the dedicated socialist matter more than property" i Why doesn't Mayor Phillips just lie back and enjoy the rape of Vancouver's vistas by high-rise apartments? Why not an ecstatic groan to encourage Teem Canada9 The answer is that, while some cultures favor people living in each other's pockets, others most definitely do not. Because Canadian society lacks the cohesive factor of strong family ties, or ideological discipline, when Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal and Edmonton and Winnipeg swell to megalopolis they do not become another Peking or Delhi. They become another New York City. Detroit. I.os Angeles and all points south to the damnation bow-wows. Unless our society can be quickly persuaded to adopt, en masse, a religion that finds joy and fulfillment in queuing up for the camp-site biff, we're in trouble. This is not to say that it can't be done. It may be possible to change Canada from a nation of individualists, who love humanity but hate people But Mayor Phillips, and others of us who are not turned on by the scene of Tokyo subway guards stuffing commuters into trains, see it as more practical to plug the inflow of bodies from abroad. This issue is not remotely racist. It matters very little whether the potential immigrant is brown, yellow or Empire pink with polka dots. What does matter is how he feels about unlimited procreation of the biped whose numbers have already polluted much of the planet, beyond recall. It takes some courage to speak out for what, at first blush, seems to be a selfish attitude, to say to the world: "Canada is a nice place to visit but we wouldn't want you to live here Right on, Your Honor CARACAS. Venezuela In the global game of give and take being played at the United Nations Conference on Law of the Sea. the been to give up as little and seize as much as possible. Canada has been no excep- tion at this summer-long dis- play of national self-interest. Although Canadian diplomats have beer, living up to their reputation as seekers of a middle ground and dis- ciples of compromise on most of the issues raised at the UN conference, they have been unshrinking in their demand for jurisdiction over the resources of the continental shelf. Canada has a huge continen- tal shelf comprising an area amounting to almost 40 per cent of its land mass: off the East Coast it extends in places several hundred miles beyond the 200-mile national economic zone on which there has been broad, informal agreement at Caracas. Under a 1958 Geneva con- vention on the continental shelf. Canada claims jurisdic- tion over the whole of the con- tinental margin. This com- prises not only the shelf but also the continental rise and slope which extends to the deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction. Canada also bases its stand on the 1969 decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague which defined the continental shelf as the submerged natural prolongation of the continental land mass. At Caracas, ownership of the potential riches in the continental shelf has come up for grabs. Strong opposition to the Canadian claim has come from landlocked countries and a number of coastal as shelf-locked in the parlance of the have only tiny continental shelves. These countries, numbering some 35 or more among the nearly 140 nations at the conference, favor a very restr'cted area of coastal states rights over continental shelf resources. They want the royalties and other benefits that would accrue from international jurisdic- tion over this area of the seabed Supporting Canada and a J3ook review. Unfair picture of women "Questions Women Ask" by Renatus Hartogs (Prentice- Hall) of Canada Ltd., 142 This book could have been better named, How to Rationalize Illicit Sex, because, although the title leaves the impression that there are a variety of questions dealt with, the problems of interaction with the opposite sex are primary. During the last 21 years Dr. Hartogs has been a practising psychiatrist in New York and, if these questions are really a sample of the thoughts of the majority of women, leaders of the women's emancipation movement had better find another cause because their efforts will be lost on such a scatterbrained, self-centred part of the human race. Perhaps if I had followed Dr. Hartogs advice column in Cosmopolitan magazine, I would have read the book with a different impression of him but, as it is the unfortunate combination of book title and actual questions seems to be a deliberate attempt to make women look stupid. JOANNK GROVER number of other nations with large continental cluding Britain, France. Argentina and some 50 states. Diplomatic sources here say an almost equal number of na- tions have not formulated firm positions on the question. Among these are a number of developing countries with sig- nificant continental shelves which cannot decide whether more could be gained by strong national jurisdiction or the sharing of royalties that would one day result from international ownership. Their considerations are affected by the fact that most poor nations do not have the technical expertise or capital to exploit their shelves. "We're not about to give up existing says one Canadian official in a forthright explanation of Ot- tawa's bargaining stance. Although some delegates here suspect that Canada's in- sistence on jurisdiction over the margin is merely a bargaining be ex- changed for other con- officials insist there is little room for compromise on the issue. The one step in that direc- tion that might be considered is a generous royalty arrangement, with the profits from shelf resources being shared with some inter- national authority. This is a possibility being considered privately by Canada, Britain and a number of other countries with large continen- tal shelvs. The 1958 Continental Shelf Convention is now in force, having been ratified by more than 40 Canada. It sets rather elastic limits for the shelf. The inner limit, according to varying national claims, ranges from the edge of the territorial three to 200 miles, although there is general consensus here on a 12-mile limit of exclusive territorialitv. The outer limit is a double one: it can either be a depth of 200 metres or the depth at which commercial exploitation is feasible. As technology develops, the depths at which resources can be mined is continually increasing. In Canada's case, the shelf is deeply is that of extend to great depth at considerable distance off the north and East Coast. Canada's Pacific shelf is relatively small. The development of national claims on the shelf, beyond the limits of exclusive territorial waters, had its origin in the United States in 1945. In what is referred to as the Truman proclamation, Washington proclaimed that the shelf beneath the high seas but continuous to the United States is subject to its jurisdiction and control. While there has been move- ment toward consensus on a of new concepts of sea law at Caracas, delegates are far from agreement on the question of the continental shelf. When the conference re- sumes next spring in in an attempt to draft treaty articles based on what has been accomplished is anyone's guess whether jurisdiction over the rich resources of the shelf will remain an intractible problem. over draft dodgers and deserters, not as significant in terms of any change it actual- ly makes for the individuals involved as for the deliberate signal it transmitted that at- titudes were changing. It was part of the process of shaking off the Nixon era. On the other hand, the nomi- nation of a liberal Republican to the vice-presidency jumps over the troubled period to re- establish the governmental link with the moderate eastern Establishment. The display of good politics by which new psychological ground is occupied is not, how- ever, all that difficult. Any shrewd politician would make much the same moves that the new American president has. The world has still to wait and see what the quality of government will be, whether the re-assertion of American leadership becomes fruitful or not. Economically, this is desperately needed. Many of the uncertainties of this period are compounded, if they do not originate with, the period of hiatus in Washington. Here in Ottawa, we are also undergoing a hiatus and while it originates in much less dis- tressing circumstances than those which have afflicted the American people it is nonethe- less serious The bureaucratic processes have pounded along much as usual here this year but Canada has had no active and normal government this year except during January, February and March. During April, the dis- integration was setting in and what passed for government was simply a survival exer- cise. The last genuine act of government in this country was the presentation of the budget on May 8. It im- mediately fell into limbo and, where a budget ought to be a stabilizing factor in a nation's economic lite, this one has done no more than add grossly to the uncertainties that the economic situation already inflicted on the nation. An election campaign necessarily interrupts the nor- mal process of government because it is a contest between parties to see who will pick up this function after the people vote. The cabinet meetings of July, after the election, are known to have dealt with house-keeping matters. While the prime minister reconstructed his government during the post- election period, it can hardly be claimed that creating a government is the same as governing. One remains preliminary to the other. And then, in the most aristo- cratic fashion, so reminiscent of Victorian cabinet ministers fleeing Westminster for the Scottish moors and the open- ing of the grouse season, the government went on vacation. It is still on holiday. Because this is such an un- certain period, the case was very strong for a major economic statement by either Finance Minister Turner or the prime minister before the vacations started. The Lake of the Woods beck- oned one. and Anticosti Island the other, too strongly. Vacations, as has happened before in Trudeau government, took priority over problems. There must be something in Pierre Trudeau's academic background that makes this seern so normal a way of work for him. School terms end on schedule and the professors have their ordained periods of relaxation. "It has all gone on un- winding like a yo-yo on an endless one political source commented of things here this week. Since the prime minister won his fresh majority there has been a certain amount of worry that he might go back to being arrogant That seems an unnecessary fear because it implies that an intelligent man lacks learning capacity. The more appropriate concern, it seems, would be that a Trudeau government with a new mandate may become as complacent as those of Louis St. Laurent. The Lctlihridcjc Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbriage, 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"