Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
December 11, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 21 Richardson elevates his sights Canada wants bigger slice of NATO defence contracts BRUSSELS (CP) Cana- dian Defence Minister James Richardson told NATO .allies Tuesday that Canada deserves a bigger share of the defence contracts that have been go- ing to Europe and the United States in the past. "We're not in NATO for economic he said in an interview after a meeting with other defence ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. "But we want to get in on the action like everybody else." He said Canada has contrib- uted about million during NATO's 25-year lifespan for shared ranging from hangars and of- fices to costly com- munications gear. But the companies and civil- ian workers reaping the bene- fits of this NATO spending had been mostly European and American. European economies had been enriched by installations and employ- ment on the continent, while U.S. firms had supplied high- technology goods. Richardson said long negotiations over One new NATO project have brought greater rewards for Canadian companies. Canada will provide mil- lion in the next several years to help pay for telegraphic automatic relay equipment to be used by the defence forces. Under the agreement, million of that will be spent in Canada for hardware and ser- vices. But the minister said he wants more in future, and that the other ministers "were quite understanding." He has set his sights on ma- jor Canadian contract-sharing in a planned system of NATO ground terminals for satellites, to come under negotiation next year. The closed-door meetings of defence ministers, to conclude today, will be follow- ed Thursday and Friday by the regular autumn meeting of NATO foreign ministers, in which External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen will take part. With his remarks on defence spending, Richardson stepped into an argument already running between European allies and Washington about who should get the bounty from ever- rising defence spending. SPEND MAINTAINED He coupled his plea to assur- ance that Canada is keeping its total defence spending roughly in line with Canadian inflation, and that Ottawa plans "to maintain at current strength our forces stationed in Europe, and also their sup- port in Canada." He said keeping the man Canadian air and land forces in West Germany now costs more than million a year. This year, Canada would spend billion for its total defence bill, 12.4 per cent more than last year. The total would rise another 11.2 per cent in 1975-76. "Any reports about cut- backs in the Canadian defence budget are he said. But he added that the manpower of the Canadian forces would have to be cut as more is spent on equipment and operations. Getting more defence con- tracts from NATO would be one way of offsetting the high cost of soldiering. But sources said another way broached by Richardson Tuesday was selling training space in Canada to NATO allies. Britain, the Netherlands and Germany already are training land and air units in Canada, and Richardson offered similar arrangements to other countries. East Kootenay protests exploration plan FERNIE, B.C. East Kootenay Regional District has protested the granting of a provincial government permit to do seismic prospecting for oil in the Quinn Mountains, 30 miles northeast of here. The exploration by Texas Pacific Oil Co., wholly own- ed by Distillers Corp. 'Seagrams Ltd., will involve construction of 19 miles of roads into virgin mountain valleys within two miles of the newly designated top of the World Provincial Park. Frank Bertoia, secretary manager of the regional dis- trict, said "the permit was granted without any co or- dination or liaison with the people here." 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