Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 11, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIOGE HERALD Wednesday, December 11, 1974 I-IMTOIUALS Slump may be a good thing The automobile industry is of such magnitude that its fortunes have become something of a gauge for assessing the health of the whole North American economy. This being so, there is natural- ly a good deal of worry about the fact that the industry is in deep trouble in the United States and beginning to stagger a bit in Canada as well. From some perspectives, however, the decline of the automobile is not a bad thing, in the face of diminishing supplies of oil there must be other demands that have priority over the powering of privately owned automobiles. These could now be acknowledged rather than efforts being made to stimulate the sag- ging automobile industry. There is also the matter of air pollu- tion to be considered. Some of the stan- dards on permissable levels of obnoxious emissions have been relaxed because the mechanisms for achieving those levels raise the consumption of gasoline. It would be a social gain if the production of automobiles were to remain in a of permanent decline for then the objec- tive of clean air might be attained. Another important gain that could be realized as a result of a reduction in manufacture of automobiles would the changeover from private to public transit. Cities, where an ever increas- ing percentage of the population lives, could become more liveable places if automobiles did not dominate them as is now the case. Employment of the people made ex- pendable by a declining automobile in- dustry is obviously a major concern but it is not necessarily an insoluble problem. If the automobile plants cannot be converted to the production of some other commodity then the workers can be trained for other types of employment. For some time now there has been lots of talk about the need for conservation and for the protection of the environment without corresponding action in dis- mantling aspects of the acquisitive, con- sumptive society. Now the slump in the automobile industry presents a dramatic challenge to consider taking a new direc- tion. The long night The former British ambassador to Uruguay, who was kidnapped and held prisoner for 244 days by guerrillas, has written a book about his captivity which registers a triumph for the human spirit. In fact, Surviving the Long Night: An Autobiographical Account of a Political Kidnapping may well serve as a manual for survival for a larger clientele than potential kidnap victims. During his months of confinement, in which he did not know night from day, in which his captors were always hooded, in which he was kept in a damp, un- derground, pig wire cage and even smaller quarters, Sir Geoffrey Jackson was able to maintain his sanity, his ob- jectivity, his compassion and his self discipline. At a time when self dis- cipline is in danger of disappearing among the population as a whole, his is a stirring example of its necessity. The diplomat's insight into his situa- tion was remarkable. He was even on guard against a hypersensitivity which would have imagined cruelty where it did not exist or where it was only "inherent in the situation rather than ar- bitrarily superimposed on it." Only oc- casionally in his captivity, he wrote, did he meet personal cruelty. His ability to debate the political arguments of his captors elicited their respect. His understanding of their idealism and of what he saw as the fate of many of them, as well as his ability to cross the political abyss between them on bridges of human considerations, touched many of his young guards. One of them said to him on leaving her guard stint, "You will walk with us all our lives. Ambassador." For his part, he wrote, "I return (those words) with all my heart, to her and her young man, wherever they may be." Perhaps the most significant single comment in the book is his remark, "It is as well always to keep in mind that behind all the ideological protestations of the New Revolution lies the ultimate and unchanging sanction of raw force." It is not hard to make the analogy between Sir Geoffrey's long night and the long night in which the world finds itself with its institutions at the mercy of terrorists, its known resources diminishing, and its values being challenged on every hand. It is encourag- ing to recognize the civilized qualities that enabled one man to survive his long night both physically and spiritually. Self respect which is basic to respect for others. Self discipline which is as necessary in a crowded world as in solitary confinement. Understanding of opponents as well as comrades. And a mind enriched by education and by the selflessness of ideas. These will help everyone through the night. RUSSELL BAKER A visit with Santa Glaus WASHINGTON "1 am Suleiman the said Suleiman the Munificent to Santa Claus "Ho, Ho. Ho the old gentleman laughed. "You must be from the oil-rich Middle East. Climb right up here in my lap and tell me what I can do for you Suleiman hoisted his robes and sat. "I'M bet I know what you'd like." Santa said. "How about a nice plastic tommy gun that clicks just like the real thing when you pull the trigger." "The Pentagon is already bringing me all the puns I need, as well as the most up-to- date jet fighter planes." Suleiman said. "How about a nice plastic car model you can glue together all by said Suleiman, "but I've just bought a large piece of the Mercedes-Benz company from Germany." said Santa Claus. "I know you'd like a beautiful picture book about the Swiss Family Robinson who lived on a lovely island." "I already have lovely islands in South Carolina." said Suleiman. The old gentleman scratched his beard and thought a moment. "I he said. "A beautiful cardboard mode! of the Tower of London you can put together right there in the tent "You don't understand." said Suleiman "I've just bought a substantial portion of England." "In that said Santa Claus. With un- accustomed sarcasm, "maybe you'd like me to bring you the Lockheed Aircraft Cor- poration." "That's said Suleiman. Clapping his hands in delight. "Can you just leave it in my stocking, please9" "Anything asked Santa "Yes. Santa." And Suleiman smiled find leaned close to Santa's car and whispered. "I see." said the old gentleman. "What you want most of all is Henry Kissinger Suleiman nodded happily "I shall hang up two stockings." he said. "One for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, and the other for you to put Henry Kissinger in." "You wouldn't settle for President asked Santa. "Thank you. said Suleiman. "Anyone can have a President Ford, but there is only one Henry Kissinger. He would-go beautifully with my Mercedes-Benzes and my South Carolina Islands and my England." "You know that Henry Kissinger is a lot of trouble to keep up, don't you, "Oh. yes. Santa." said Suleiman "I know he must always have airplanes standing bv to whisk him around the earth. And that is why I want the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. And I know he must be kept very busy preventing wars, but with my guns and planes from the Pentagon I shall have no trouble threatening to make wars for him to prevent." Santa Claus shifted his weight unhappily, for Suleiman was carrying two billion dollars in cash, which made him very heavy, and moreover the old gentleman was not ab- solutely certain he could fit Henry Kissinger into Santa's bag "I think you should talk it over with your dad before you get your heart set on Henry Kissinger." he told Suleiman. "My father has no sense of values." Suleiman explained. "Ever since I showed him that he was selling the oil for peanuts, he has left all money questions up to me." "I don't know." said Santa. "Mrs. Kissinger might not like it." "Oh. please don't disappoint me, said Suleiman. "If you give me Henry Kissinger, I'll buy you a new North Pole." It did not sound altogether ethical to Santa Claus but being sweet tempered he tried to close the encounter diplomatically. "You'll have to move along now, Suleiman." He said, "because the store is full of children waiting to see me. and it will be angry if I don't talk to them." asked Suleiman. "Angry with Santa Claus? I assure you the store will not be angry. And he immediately bought, the store and climbed back into Santa.'s lap. he said, "I'd also love to have San Francisco and Her prince charming Letters Better relations ahead By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Canada-U.S. relations took a turn last week, very possibly a decisive one. It is useful that Prime Minister Trudeau and U.S. President Ford came away from their meeting as friends. After a stag dinner at the White House, Ford took Trudeau off alone to meet his family; they talked together for an hour, mostly about the ski slopes of Mont Tremblant north of Montreal where both have been, and where Ford may visit next spring. Now each can phone the other and begin the conversation, "Pierre" or It is useful also that the check-list of current cross- border issues was covered so quickly and so easily. Of- ficials were told to settle the beef war. Trudeau committed himself to extending the North American Air Defence (NORAD) agreement once it expires in May; discussion now centres on an American proposal to phase out the DEW Line and replace it with an advanced "over the horizon" system. Ford ex- pressed concern about Canada's cut-back of oil ex- ports; as a counter offer the Canadian group proposed that if Mid-West refineries really need more oil, then the U.S. must commit itself to export equivalent quantities of oil to Canada as a replacement. The significance of the meeting, and the reason it may presage a turn in Canada- U.S. relations, lay however in the context and the at- mosphere of the encounter between the leaders. Trudeau and Ford, with a couple of aides, met privately for two hours in the Oval Of- fice of the White House, fac- ing each other across a curved, canary yellow couch. They spent hardly a third of their time on Canada U.S. problems. The real interest of both leaders was the world, whether headed toward war or peace, or toward depres- sion or economic survival. "There is a real danger of a world depression Trudeau said at his press con- ference, if countries adopt beggar thy neighbour signs of this order to try to protect themselves, and if ways are not found to recycle the petro-dollars now flowing from the industrial West to the Middle East, "which will leave the West poorer, there's no point in wishing this won't said Trudeau. Faced by the possibility of international collapse, the self-interests of Canada and of the U.S. have become congruent; equally, our cross- border squabbles like who-did- what-to-which country's beef, have become trivial. The fact is, a difficult one for the Canadian conscience to admit, the North American continent today is a fat-cat island in a troubled world. Unlike Europe or Japan we are almost self-sufficient in resources. (Extravagance, rather than supply, causes our oil Alone we probably could survive; to prosper, though, we need the export markets of all the Western countries now in dif- ficulties. Even if the world were a less alarming place, the basis of relations between Canada and the U.S. has changed. Trudeau's much-quoted analogy, coined during his 1969 visit, of the U.S. as an "elephant" and of Canada as a is out of date. The elephant today is weak at the knees, and the mouse has grown, into a beaver at least. The U.S. today is deep in recession; we haven't yet slipped into the pit. The im- migration flow, which once drained off some of Canada's best and brightest, now is northwards. Harper's magazine this month praises Toronto in a feature article as "the city that a com- ment less on the splendors of Toronto than on the horrors of so much of the U.S. urban- scape. There always will be prob- lems across the border. In fact their number will increase. As Canada's economy expands and matures so we will compete at more and more points with the U.S. These kinds of difficulties will be produced either by rival commercial interests or by our need to establish our own identity and, in areas like magazines and films, say, our growing capability to do so. Instead of disputes over ideology, the pattern will be that of bargaining between reasonably-close equals. The Trudeau-Ford meeting achieved one practical exam- ple of what can happen when more or less equals have important inter- ests in common. The two governments agreed to make a joint study of the automobile, not in terms of the Auto Trade Pact but in terms of future prospects for the automobile in an oil-short era and of the social and economic changes this will cause. Canada and the U.S. face equally a future in which the automobile becomes a lux- ury; it is in both of our inter- ests to study that future, jointly. Reliance on U.S. lessening By Joseph Kraft, syndicated commentator By Doug Walker A few days after Wes and Beth Cutforlh's 25th wedding anniversary celebration Elspeth was shown the pictures taken of' the people present "There was a picture of you in conversation with Jean she reported to me. "You look pretty good it was taken far enough away." PARIS The skies are black with the planes of world leaders shuttling between summits. But that does not mean that the talks themselves are merely routine. On the contrary, the meetings register an un- mistakeable drift in world af- fairs. In three major areas detente between East and West; the Middle East; and world economic matters the United States is on the downhill side of a slippery slope. The amount of summiteer- ing is particularly apparent just now here in Paris. Presi- dent Valery Giscard d'Esta- mg has been meeting with Soviet party leader Leonid Brezhnev who is himself just back from his encounter with President Ford in Vladivostok. The French president will next play host to the leaders of eight other countries in the European Common Market, including West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt who has talked with President Ford in Washington and Mr. Brezhnev in Moscow. Then M. Giscard d'Estaing will be off to Martinique for his own summit meeting with Mr. Ford. Detente has figured in all the talks with Mr. Brezhnev. At Vladivostok he and Mr. Ford agreed not to let the nuclear arms race get out of control. Previously he and Mr. Schmidt had agreed not to let Berlin become a major bone of contention again. In France this past week, he and M. Giscard d'Estaing talked about ways to consecrate the present status quo on the continent in a jumbo summit meeting of leaders from both East and West. They ratified a deal whereby Russia agreed to sell natural gas to France in return for modern telecom- munications facilities and a big aluminum complex. M. Giscard d'Estaing per- sonally put out a story about a benign Brezhnev who wanted only to consolidate good relations between East and West before stepping down at the next Soviet party congress in 1975. As part of the story, Mr. Brezhnev was renouncing any Communist interest in soon taking power in France or Italy. Thus the net of the visit is a further legitimiza- tion of Russia as a great power, and of the Communist parties as normal political groups. The Middle East has been on the agenda of all the meetings. There is evident a general movement away from Henry Kissinger's solo diplomacy toward the big get- together at Geneva favored by the Soviet Union and the various Arab interests. The French and Germans have both rallied to the Geneva approach. After the present round of summit meetings it is going to be very hard for Dr. Kissinger to recover the diplomatic initiative in the Middle East. As to the economic crisis, almost all the developed countries are now experienc- ing both rising prices and declining business activity. Managing national economies in these conditions is intrin- sically difficult, and the dif- ficulty is further aggravated by uncertainty as to both the price of oil and the dis- tribution, or recycling, of the huge revenues now being ac- cumulated by the oil- producing states. The oil-producing states have suggested a dialogue with consumers to stabilize prices and work out a system for recycling funds. The French president has picked up that suggestion and made it his own. He expects to line up the other Europeans this week and do a deal with President Ford at Martinique. In theory a recycling system should be neutral, with neither winners nor losers. The United States, however, has been calling for a preliminary meeting of oil consumers, before the open- ing of a dialogue with the producers. The fear has been that, in the absence of a prior arrangement, the United States would be forced to sign on to a recycling system in which Washington made loans to the poorest countries while the oil producers acquired American companies and treasury bonds. Something like that may well emerge from the Martinique meeting. What all this suggests is that the American interest is to slow the pace of inter- national diplomacy. Before going much further down the slippery slopes of summitry, President Ford ought to revamp his own administra- tion and take in hand the American economy. Hurlburt's speech A few weeks ago the con- stituents of Lethbridge receiv- ed an unusual, if somewhat untimely, Christmas gift in the form of a Hansard copy of the speech of their sitting MP, Mr. Ken E. Hurlburt. His message contains not merely some critical broad- sides on federal beef cattle, dairy and egg programs, about which the honorable member, himself a prominent and prosperous cattle man, can speak with authority, but also his latest illuminations and profound reflections on the course of universal history, on the philosophy of labor, and on the proper func- tions of government. Reading Mr. Hurlburt's most excellent speech one suddenly realizes how ap- pallingly ignorant and blind most of us are in thinking that it is inflation, the energy- crisis, food shortages and the risk of war which are the grievous woes besetting the present day. The honorable member for Lethbridge tells us in his admirable speech that we are all entirely wrong for "the most serious problem we have today is the ever increasing trend toward socialism." What a sen- sational revelation! The brilliant and incisive intelligence of Ken Hurlburt enables him to discern quickly and unerringly the root of all evil: "once the principle of the protective function of government gives way to the aggressive or redistributive function the total welfare state is bound to drive the na- tion toward totalitarianism. Government is naturally good and right as long as it acts as a night watchman, protecting the life and property of citizens, especially the property of the rich. It becomes an intolerable tyrant and a leviathan as soon as it attempts to distribute wealth and income more equitably, for the wealth and possessions of the rich are untouchable and sacred "There is sufficient historical knowledge." warns our learned member for Lethbridge, "of the failures of socialism." All of us should know that socialism means the ruination of a nation, the end of prosperity and the suppression of liberty. Wherever socialist policies were tried they brought nothing but poverty and squalor, abject slavery and terrible misfortune. Let us only look around. Don't we see how dismally poor and oppressed the Swedes have become after some 40 years of socialist misgovernment? Is not West Germany on the brink of bankruptcy, engulfed in a deep depression? Have not freedom and the rule of law been smothered and trampled to death by the totalitarian socialist party of Brandt and Schmidt? Is it not true that the endless turmoil, starvation, floods and pestilence have been ravaging the hapless and helpless China of Chairman Mao? Mr. Hurlburt did not confine his great message to sombre warnings and stern reprobations. He is offering his terrified constituents some hope of ultimate salvation. The road to the Land of Hope and Glory lies open if only the cancerous growth of various welfare programs are checked on time. Of course the miracle will not happen at once, it will oc- cur in stages. "First, all welfare programs should be frozen at their present level then they should be allowed to run out their term, and finally they should be phased out gradually within a 10-year period." Should this 10-year period prove too short for the healing process to be com- pleted, Mr. Hurlburt can wait patientiy, but not indefinitely, for he assures us that 20 years would be more than enough for an ultimate eradication of Canada's mortal sickness. What an amazing masterplan! How simple and yet efficacious! Just think of it. and yet it has never dawned on anybody, except on our ingenious member for Lethbridge. At the same time the abolition of welfare programs accords perfectly with the traditional conser- vative social philosophy as ex- pounded by Lord Shaftesbury. Balfour and Le Play in the past as well as by the present leader of the Canadian Conservatives, Mr. Robert Stanfield. We all remember how relentlessly Mr. Stanfield inveighed in Parliament and on the hustings against pen- sion plans for the old and relief payments for the poor, particularly in times of infla- tion such as ours, which badly hits the business firms and employed workers, but provides extravagant benefits for our old folks and un- employed. Down with welfare! should be the rally- ing cry of all true Conser- vatives. Bravo. Ken Hurlburt, we admire your courage and your blunt language and will certainly acknowledge your merits at the next federal election. FAITHFUL CONSTITUENT Lethbridge P.S. Perhaps I have been un- kind in my queries since, after all, the ideas enunciated in his memorable speech did not wholly originate in Mr. Hurlburt's fertile mind. He only repeated, without reveal- ing the source of his in- spiration, what the venerable Ezra Taft Benson said when he addressed his Mormon brethren in Lethbridge earlier in the year. Why borrow heroes? Recently city council in its wisdom voted to call the North Lethbridge industrial park "Churchill Industrial Park." This raises some dis- turbing questions. First, as Canadians, why must we always borrow our heroes? Many Canadian men and women have served their country with a devotion equal to that of Churchill for his, and are well worthy of remembrance and recogni- tion. Second, why is the council afraid of the exercise of a bit of participatory democracy as the citizens debate a local place name? The name Stan Siwik chosen for the pool after last year's debate is a fitting tribute to a man who worked for the betterment of this community, and I am sure a good debate could produce a more fitting name than that chosen by the city fathers this week. By all means, let's have a debate and show some pride in our country and its sons and daughters! MRS. CATHERINE M. KHAN Lethbridge Abortion counselling It seems strangely ironic that the people involved in the Saskatoon Women's Centre (and others working in public- ly supported birth control centres) can expect to receive the taxpayers' money to sup- port an "abortion counselling program" and at the same time proclaim that abortion ought to be a matter decided solely by a woman and her doctor. What are these people doing in the middle of this process of objective con- sultation? This looks like a case of "have your cake and eat it too" with the Canadian public paying for the cake. HYBRID FEMINIST Lethbridge The librutye Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbndge. Alberta LETHBRIDQE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall 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 F-age Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"