Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 3, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE lETHBRIDGE HERAID - Friday, December 3, T97T ......., .< ^ Anthony Westell Closure on the tax debate The government has ajinouiiced it will foi'ce a vote on the tax bill. On the bill itself there is room for criticism. On the government's right -even duty-to press it to a vote, there can be no valid criticism. It is a huge bill, with hundreds upon hundreds of debatable items, and the right of Parliament to engage in such debate cannot be argued. But that right is not interminable. If debate were allowed to go on to its natural conclusion the measure would never get to a vote and regardless of what merits it might have the country would never get the benefit of a new tax law. Parliamentary critics have two ways of defeat- ing the bill. One is by mustering the votes in the House of Commons, the other is by fiUbustering it to death. They have been working on the second, within the rales of the House. Now the government has invoked a prior rule and ordered a vote. The voters may rebuke (and perhaps defeat) the government for its tax bill. They should commend it for showing the courage of its convictions and strength in leadership. If it believes its bill is good, as surely it does, then its inescapable duty is to see the filibuster brought to an end and the people's representatives permitted to vote. The hitter choice General reaction by the British press in regard to the proposed settlement on the terms of Rhodesian independence has been that it is about the best deal Britain could possibly get. No one expected that the one-man one-vote principle had a chance, but at the vei-y least the agreement provides that there will be less racialism, less discrimination and more power to the Africans. The big question is, will they ever become the majority party, even in 30 years? There are many loopholes which could delay progress to majority rule even by the turn of the century, if the white minority uses the subtle ways of the educated and "superior" to prevent the African march to power. There is some encouragement in the appointment of the commission which will decide whether the terms of independence are acceptable to all the Rhodesian people, black or white. Its decision will be based on observation of the testing of public opinion in Rhodesia. This is a most difficult procedure, but provisions have been made which go a long way to assure that an honest result can be achieved. The personnel of the commission who will assess the results is encouraging. The first three names an- nounced are Lord Pearce, a former judge and now president of the British press council. Lord Harlech, former Conservative minister and ambassador to Washington whose father played an important role in examining the land problem in Rhodesia; and finally Sir Maurice Dor-man, former governor-general of Malta and Sierra Leone, who as a young colonial governor held notably radical views during the decolonization era in West Africa. There is still a very long way to go before ratification can be achieved. And even after that, progress will still depend on the good will and integrity of the leaders of the Rhodesian front. There's going to be a lot of water flowing under the Rhodesian bridge before any settlement completely satisfactory to the white Rhodesians, the black Rhodesians or the British can ever be achieved. The fact is, that such a settlement is impossible. Sir Alec Douglas-Home has said, "it is the best I could do." From the point of view of the black Rhodesian, it's progress, but it's only inching forward. The bitter choice for them is "less raciaUsm" or apartheid, as practised in South Africa". Christmas gifting By Betty Meyers r'OALALE - I just had to tell you! Our Christmas shopping is ALL DONE! And it was FUN! All done, that is except my husband Ivan's gift for me - but then it seems to be traditional with him to buy his gift for me the day before Christmas - maybe that last minute exposure to the hustle bustle of the Christmas croiwds does something special for Mm. Dollars just don't seem to go very far tiiese days, and being from the farm there seems to be even less of them, so last year we tried an experiment. We had a family conference, we number 10 now with bhe children's spouses and one who is still to be added; and we agreed that our gifts to one another should have a limit of one dollar per person. It was a igreat idea, and no one ended up with a mountain of bills facing them in the month of January. The Christmas tree WAS rather sadly deflated compared to other years, because of the smallness of the gifts, but it was great fun discover-in each package how imaginative each person had been, and how much thought they had given to each other's real needs of the httle things. And oh what a bless-uig to have so much less paper to clean and the ease we foimd in fading just the proper place for each gift. So we have done it again, because it was fun, and it is the givmg that is so much more important than the gift. My girls reminded m e of Cliristmas past when theu- Dad used to save his 50-cent pieces in a little Servel refrigerator bank that came with our old coal oil fridge. At Christmas, Ivan always gathered the children around hhn, took the tiny screws out of the back,of the bank and dumped the big pieces of silver on the table. He would make four equal piles of silver pieces, one for each of the children; and that would be their Christmas spending money for the year. Usually it amounted to $3.50 or $4.00. And they did all thehr shoppmg with that. 1 bear you saying, "oh well, that was those days." But that is what I'm trymg to tell you! It can still be done today, if you just tlnnk, and look around a Utile bit. Here are some suggestions of what we ftound: at one garage we found a whole shelf of bandy items for 99 cents each. There were hanamers, socket seats, small wrench sets, scissors, level and square, nylon rope and many others. All hardware departnDents have a whole host of kitchen aids, like, wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, meat thermometers, box of J cloths, fancy wallboard push pins foi- posters or reminders, plastic scoops, rubber jar openers, and spoon drips. A shelf marked 88 cents items disclosed all sorts of little toys the right size for small children, cars and wagons, blocks and balls, games and puzzles. A search m the stationery departments of stores brought out dot books and packages of non toxic felt pens to trace them with, all sorts of coloring books and new boxes of excitmg crayons, books of stickers to punch out and find the right place to put them. Little books anywhere from 35 cents to 65 cents to read and to be read to, match box toys for 75 cents, a real delight to any child. What fun they would have collecting them. And did you ever tWnk how much more fun it would be for children, if we gave them gifts any tune during the yeai*, just because we love them, rather than have to wait for Christmas or birthdays? The countless bazaars have been a boon to the Christmas shopper. They offer such beautiful items for such reasonable prices - ^fts of love made by willing hands for the cause in which they believe the most, be it the chirch oi- the hospital or their club. Every year, I personally say my little prayer of thanks for the tender loving care put into all the beautiful items made by Tilda Miller. How about some of youi- own tender loving care? Bake a batch of buns, or your veay best cake, or a pan of creamy toffee or fudge, or hot muffins for Christmas breakfast for your neighbor. If you don't milk a cow any more, find some industrious neighbor wlio does, and h-eat your friends to a jan* of rich fai-m cream, or three dozen farm fresh eggs. Even the grocery store is chuck full of treats for Christanas that youi- friends might not buy themselves. Try it, you will find it a lot of fun. Remember, it isn't the gift that is important it is the giving; and likewise, it isn't the food that is unportant, it is just BEING TOGETHER. Ultimate insignificance By Doug Walker A MEETING I attended once was favor-ed unexpectedly by the presence of 1 personage of some significance, suppos-jdly. The chairman drafted somebody to Introduce the visitor to the assemblage. Without the opportunity to prepare the introdudion, the ijkoor fellow fell back oa some old cliches one of which got badly mangled. He intended to say that the visitor - as a fine chap, or whatever he was- was second to no one. What he said was that the visitor was second to nothing. TIk fellow on my left, out of the side of his mouth, remarked, "How low can you get!" Leaking of cabinet secrets is serious QTTAWA - When tlie Gray report to the cabinet on foreign investment leaked to the Canadian Forum, it was merely an unusual incident. The pubUcation of the confidential cabinet decision on the report, which quickly m another paper followed seemed a coincidence. The third leak recently, of a cabinet paper on Indian policy, suggests a conspiracy. We have, it appears, a branchplant Ellsberg, someone who has access to government records and the belief that he is the best judge of what the pubUc has the right to know, and when. In addition to exciting the media, amusmg the opposition and annoying the government, the trickle of leaks raises serious long-term issues. Those people who see nothing but good m the publication of cabinet papers should understand that they are really approving a fundamental change m our system of responsible government. I happen to think that we should reform the system to make more information available to the public and to opn decision-making to scrutiny. I've been advocatmg it for yeai-s. But I don't think we should be hustled by some self-appointed savior with a copying machine. The cabinet system as we have known it depends on con-fidentia.'ity. The prime minister asks one of his colleagues to study a particular area of policy and to make recommendations. The minister takes his draft proposals to a committee of cabinet, where they will probably be amended. The committee report goes on to full cabinet for final decision, probably after further debate and amendment. This decision becomes government policy when it is announced in the form of legislation, a cabinet order or a white paper. The cabinet is collectively responsible for tlie collective decision, and any minister who cannot give his support must resip. When there is a leak in the middle of the policy-making process, the cabinet collectively is imperilled. For example, the publication of Revenue Minister Herb Gray's draft report showed that he was recommending a new agency to screen foreign investment. What happens now if the cabi- net modifies that proposal, or even persuades Gray that it is ml the best course? Can he sui-vive in the cabinet, exposed to jeers and crilicLsm that he is knuckling imder, or must he resign? Tills is hypothetical because it seems that the cabinet wlU accept, in essence, Gray's pi-o-posal. But only a couple of years ago, Prime Muiister Pierre Trucleau made the mistake of allowing his deputy, Paul Hellyer, to serve as head of a task force on housing and to identify himself with pul^Uc proposals to cabinet. When the cabinet was reluctant to act on some of tile recommendations Hellyer had little alternative but to resign. Certainly he couki no(, stay in the cabinet and support policies different from those mth which he bad publicly endorsed in tlie report of the task force. The Conservatives have called tor the resignation of Indian Affaii-s Minister Jean Chretien on the basis of Indian reaction to a leaked cabinet document. The document shows tliat on July 29 the cabinet endorsed in principle the decision of its social policy committee to begin a $40 million program to develop native cultiffal-education centres. The paper called for more detailed studies to be prepared "by this fall, and noted that funds for this year would have to be provided in supplementary estimates for the secretary of state's department. I don't know if the cabinet has yet made the final decision scheduled for the fall, but the funds seem to be included in the book of supplementary estimates put before Parliament recently. But Indian leaders are convinced, on the basis of the July document leaked to them that the cabmet is holding back the promised money to pi-essure them into good behavior. In their anger, they are refusing to accept any help whatsoever from Ottawa, and it is this apparent breakdown in communications which has brought the call for Chretien's resignation. So what has been achieved by the leakage of the cabmet document before a poHcy decision had been made? Some lieadlines, TV film and political debating points. But the Indians seem to be worse off. Similarly, what was acliieved Letters to the editor Amazed at high salaries of teachers The school authorities association of Lethbridge and Medicine Hat should be commended tor presenting such a com-prehens ve and clear report on contract negotiations between the school boards involved and the ATA (teachers' union). Anyone who reads this report must surely be amazed at the high average salaries teachers are now receiving and it is unthuikable that the 1972 salai'y scale as per tlie conci-hation award would not be readily acceptable to the ATA. Aocorduig to federal government statistics, we note that from 1949 to 1969 farmers average mcome mcreased by 34 per cent. "All employees" income by 133 per cent and teachers income by 194 per cent. From 1959 to 1969 farmers income mcreased by 23 per cent, "all employees" by 56 per cent and teachers by 82 per cent. The "all employees" group includes store clerks, auto workers, carpentei-s, etc. (and also teachers) and the increase m this category would be somewhat less had teachers not been included. From these figures it is apparent that the ATA has been successful in achieving abnormal salai-y increases and the conciliation award indicates a contmuation of this ti-end at an accelerated rate. Teachers now have to be the group of employees with the highest hourly pay, based on theh* teaclung week of 23V'2 hom's and this over a nuie month period. This work week is evidently still not satisfactoi-y to the ATA however, who want the maximiun Long live Chief of Police Michelson In reply to Law-Abidmg Citizen, who is too cowardly to sign its name, I can only say "Long Live Chief of PoUce Michel-son." The police are far too busy with genume crimes to start dealuig out false punishment, and if tlte "youth" hadn't deserved the punishment, he wouldn't have got it. It wasn't simply a matter of "a few ten-cent light bulbs." It wasn't what he destroyed but that he destroyed, which was wrong. If the poUce let these boys off easy, the boys only snigger and go do something worse. We must stop crime at the beginning, or soon we can't live in a town. If we all brought up our families in the soppy manner that Law-Abiding Citizen sug-gets, we would soon have a whole generation of little hoods. No, I am not suggeting we return to the medieval thumb screw and rack, or that we hang people for stealing a loaf of bread, but lately the whole sentunent of the country has been to sympathize with the criminal, dragging in the most improbable examples to support our case. Everyone believes the criumial, for in- stance, when it is known that such people never tell the truth, and never looks at the evidence at all. As for being fingei- printed, what is so terrible about that? I've been finger prmted, and not for a a'iminal record eith-' er. You can't jom tlie armed sei-vices now-a-days without it. Many hospitals routinely fmger and footprint new boms, and some places require finger prmts for drivers licences, bank books and credit cards. It is simply a form of identification. The police may have my finger piints any time they wish. Tliey won't ever find them were they shouldn't be. MRS. AMY SPENCER. Cardston. teaclung time to be 22 hours. It wall be difficult for those people on low fixed incomes, and the many thousands on salaries substantially less than those enjoyed by teachers to understand why they should be asked to pay the teachers' Health Care and Blue Cross premiums as well as their own. A local teacher recently stated in Tlie Herald "The ideal education situation would be to have a tutor for each child." This is not as preposterous as it sounds and this pupil-teacher ratio is no doubt the ultimate aun of the ATA. IRATE CITIZEN. Lethbridge. by the pubhcation of the Gray report and the cabinet mmute approving it m prtociple and callmg for fuither studies? The editor of the Forum, Abraham Rotstein, said he understood there was a deadlock in the cabinet over whether to publish the Gray report. He claimed rather piously that in making public part of the document, he was seeking to break the deadlock and force the government to issue tlie whole report. But there was no deadlock. Trudeau had made dear 0/1 several occasions that he considered the Gray report to be a confidential cabinet paper, and once the prime miid�-ter had spoken, the matter was settled. The provisional plan, hi fact, was to issue a white pa^r when tlie final policy decision had been made. Wliether the paper would have been as complete as the Gray report iS an open question, but certainly it would have been more readable and more likely to receive broad public attention. The Gray dociunent contains very little new information and consists mostly of explanation and discussion in almost unreadable bureaucratise. What the cabinet will decide now to publish remains to be seen. Fewer people now within tiie government apparatus will have access to cabinet papesrs. The machmes which shred up confidential papers will be busier than ever. Ministers and public servants will be less ready to talk even privately about matters before the cabinet. This is not a criticism of the Canadian Forum or of any of my journaUsUc colleagues for publishing the private papers which came into theu- hands. I'm sure that in the same position I should have done the same thuig, partly because of the desire for a scoop and partly because the journalist is not in a position to make final judgments about the pubUc interest. James Reston of the New York Times, for example, thought it was not in the public mterest ifo publish his knowledge about the planned Bay of Pigs adventure and has since lamented that if he had reported what he knew, he might have saved his country from a terrible mistake. The first duty of the journalist is to pubhsh what he knows. When he decides to censor himself he had better be very sure where tlie public interest really lies, and be ready to acc^t responsibility for Ws action. Similarly, the responsibility of the politician and the public servant is to keep official secrets. To breach them is to claim to know the public interest bettei' than the government elected by the public to serve its interests. These oabdhet leaks, therefore, are serious matters and not simp.ly political skylarks. Certainly we should have better access to research material which hes behind cabinet decisions. One solution, recommended by the economic council in its recent report, is to follow the British practice of publishing green papers - that is, summaries of information about a problem to encourage public discussion before the cabinet is ready even to state its own poHcy in a white paper. Another proposal, which was debated in the Commons by backbenchers from all parties, is to further strengthen parliamentary committees, by giving them better research facilities and more uidependence irom cabinet control. These ideas and discussions do not make headlines or scandals on TV, but they are the right and responsible way to go about reforming and open- ^ ing om- system of government.' (Toronto Star Syndicate) Looking backward Complete mental midget Ctommenting on a letter to the editor m The Herald by "A law-abidmg citizen" and in which Law-abiding appears to me to be a strong beUever in the right of persons to steal or destroy property without penalty and who suggests that a poUce chief who warns these nasty vandals, is a "doddering fool," It .seems to me that our pohce forces have a hard enough time to protect the public without persons like Law-abiding giving what amounts to aid and comfort to the vandals. The taxpayers of Lethbridge have suffered thousands of dollars of damage in the last few years from these vandals that Law- abiding seems to believe should be exempt from any punishment and it is my considered opinion that only a person who is an enemy of society or a complete mental midget could condone cruninal vandalism. With citizens like Law-abiding, the saying tliat "crime does not pay" could be reversed and every citizen would be obliged to guard his property night and day. I have always noticed that those people wo criticize the police forces the most severely, are the type who make police forces necessary. RAY KEITGES. Lethbridge. Through The Herald 1911 - C. W. Ci'oss, MPP for (Edmonton, is planning to introduce a bUI which wiU call for the closmg of all retail stores and barber shops at 6 p.m. every day. 1921 - Fine weather and good roads brought a crowd to tlie opening concert of Uie Canadian Chautaugua Co. appearing in Winnifred for three days. 1931 - The special CPR passenger oar to be carried on the northbound train to Okotofc.