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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 19, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, Dwtmber 19, 1974 EDITORIALS The tone was wrong PEWTER TUNING FORK Probably because of the public outcry that invariably follows each hiking of salaries for parliamentarians the matter is only approached at infrequent inter- vals. Nobody wants to go through that kind of unpleasantness regularly. Unfortunately the failure to deal with the salary issue at regular intervals has made for a very bad situation now. No matter how much validity there is in the argument that the proposed increase represents only a modest percentage increase over a period of years, the total increase is what gets the notice. The danger is that the 50 per cent total increase, rather than the six per cent over several years, will be taken as a guide in wage and salary negotiations throughout the country. Already some union representatives have said they in-. tend to use the larger figure when press- ing their demands. This is clearly an unwanted development. The economic state re- quires the kind of restraint that Finance Minister John Turner appealed for in his budget speech last month. Fueling the inflation fires is definitely the wrong thing at this time. Parliamentarians cannot really be compared with other people in the matter of income requirements. They have unique kinds of expenses: most of them have to maintain two homes; they have social obligations beyond the nor- mal level; they incur unusual costs in serving their constituencies and in winn- ing election. All studies on the financial condition of members of Parliament show their need to be greater than what it is usually imagined to be. Unless Canadians want the affairs of the country to be run more and more by the wealthy there does not seem to be any alternative to paying MPs substan- tial salaries. The prospect of going into debt through serving in Parliament can only have the effect of discouraging peo- ple of modest means from seeking elec- tion. A very good feature of the bill now under revision is a clause calling for automatic increases at the beginning of each new Parliament, pegging them to the composite index of industrial wages. That could end the unhappy business of periodic outbursts of indignation as MPs deal with their salaries. None of this alters the fact that the tone of the bill was unfortunate, com- ing so soon after Mr. Turner's call for restraint. It is right that ii should un- dergo some revision to take this into ac- count. New hope in Rhodesia Diplomacy appears to be moving southern Africa away from a bloody showdown. Until recently the prospects for such a development were generally considered so slim as to be negligible. When Portugal abruptly abandoned its colonial policy early this year all the liberationist sentiment and strength of black Africa was focus on Rhodesia and South Africa. There can be little doubt that Rhodesia would soon have felt the pressure of stepped-up guerrilla activity along its borders. Now, however, there has been some sort of accommodation that holds promise of eventual realization of the aspirations of Rhodesian African nationalists to hold power. To be sure, the plan whereby they would be per- mitted increased participation in govern- ment falls short of what is wanted by the blacks and seems to have been advanced by South African Prime Minister John Vorster rather than Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith. But it holds promise nonetheless. Reluctant though Mr. Smith may be to make concessions he hasn't much choice. Mr. Vorster is in a position to lean heavily on Mr. Smith. He has probably forced Smith to come as far as he has and will prod him even further. There is the danger that die-hard white supremacists in Rhodesia could make things very difficult for Mr. Smith as he yields to the inevitable. Equally, there is the danger that impatient black revolutionaries could reject a step by step approach to majority rule and sabotage the plans for peaceful settlement. Yet, progress has clearly been made. The release of African political leaders from jail, the ceasefire between Rhodesian forces and freedom fighters, and the continuing negotiations are en- couraging developments. They give grounds for hope for the future. THE CASSEROLE There's a new definition of "commercial traveller." It's a TV viewer who goes to the refrigerator or the bathroom during the spon- sor's message. Interesting things are still coming out of the ecclesiastical conference called Vatican II. One of them is the term that action minded bishops used to describe the attitude of certain cardinals and curia of- ficials, when their pet projects were being ex- amined. This attitude could be expressed in the phrase, "That's my baby keep your hands off department's medical research unit for the north, presented a paper on the destructive impact of modern white culture on traditional Eskimo family life. In a wrenching example of tragic irony, the press report on Dr. Schaeffer's presentation includes the paragraph: "But time did not permit him to present the paper in full." At a recent conference on health problems of Canada's native peoples, Dr. Otto Schaeffer, director of the federal health A six month study is in progress at Wellesley Hospital in Toronto, to help the On- tario Health Insurance Plan decide whether it should accept claims for treatment by acupuncture. The study is using 300 volunteers, from among the more than people who have applied for acupuncture treatment for relief of long term pain. "Of course, if you insist on this raise, you eliminate yourself from all government indexing, giveaways, subsidies and other miscellaneous handouts and lose relevance to them vote-wise." Setting a poor example By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator reasonable person would deny that members of Parliament, like everyone else, must have ris- ing incomes during a period of raging inflation. That, however, is about the only favorable thing that can be said about the way they are proceeding to meet the prob- lem. This government, which so rarely shows any under- standing of the need of leadership, now is joined by most members of the House in a collective failure to set an example for the country. At this stage in the inflation, much is more essential than some restraint in wage claims because, unless that can be secured, a fresh surge of rising prices will be fueled. They will in turn pull wages after them. The ideal wage increase this year would offset the rise in living costs and do very little more. Unless we discard all concern for the future the case for large increases in real is, with the inflation factor nonexistent. House Leader Mitchell Sharp, Finance Minister Turner and others all are desperately trying to present the parliamentary pay raise as merely 6% per cent a year. Mathematically, they can make a convincing case but it does not offset the total im- pression created by their ac- tions. The aspect of the parliamentary pay raise that will make the greatest im- pact, that will last the longest and affect the most people across the country, is that they are raising their salaries by 50 per cent in the midst of the inflation we ever endured except as the immediate aftermath of war. They could not be further from setting a decent example to the country. This open handedness comes on top of other demonstrations of free- wheeling spending. There has been a great, over-all increase in government expenditures. The effect of that has been compounded by smaller- scale but spectacular demonstrations of extrava- gance. The second armor- plated Cadillac is not a bad ex- ample of the willingness of this government to splash money around without restraint. The security problem in- volving the prime minister is neither greater nor, probably, any less this year than last or two years ago. One would not really expect RCMP Commis- sioner M. J. Nadon or the director general of security services, M. R. Dare, to un- derstand why .they ought not to have sponsored the squandering of on a car in this particular year of raging inflation. They are, after all, hired as policemen, not economists. But the gen- tlement who sit on Treasury Board ought to have under- stood why the decision was so contrary to the public interest. It should have been even more clearly appreciated in the prime minister's office and by the head of government himself. To spell it out, it was con- trary to the public interest, and grossly so, because this inflation is an extremely serious affair. Open-handed government spending is not an appropriate response to it. Finance Minister Turner believes that a laissez faire approach is best, coupled with efforts to protect the public as far as possible from the conse- quences. A good case can be made for his view but re- straint in government spending is essential to it. That is why the demonstrations of state ex- travagance should not start at the very top. The impression of open- handed lavishness with the public funds is now compound- ed by the approach of the ma- jority in the House of Com- mons. The desperate ex- planations that 50 per cent is really only six and a half per cent over enough is somewhat suspect in any case. The last time the mem- bers of Parliament raised They certainly don't deserve a 50 per cent increase! By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA The salaries bill recalls a favorite quip of Tommy Douglas. "When a man says 'it is not the money, it is the principle', it's the money." Various defences can be of- fered. One is that parlia- mentarians, like other citizens, are entitled to their just desserts. It is wise to ig- nore the argument of the dis- affected; that they deserve the rope. Rewards for performance are common in our society. A business firm sets a sales quota; the local manager who exceeds it qualifies for a bonus, and rightly so. By the test of performance, what would be a fair adjustment in the remuneration of our Ministers and members of Parliament. It must be borne in mind, of course, that most of them are not first-timers, new to their responsibilities, but recidivists with con- siderable records. For what did we elect them? At the least, to manage our affairs with reasonable prudence. What is their concept of prudent management? We have been treated to a Rake's Progress financed by operations bear- ing a family resemblance to those of Jesse James. If we now stand on the edge of ruin, it is due primarily to their competence as the custodians of our fortunes. They were also elected to foster national unity. This they have latterly done by an. approach to the western provinces which might have been inspired by George III. Is this a case for a 50 per cent increase in remu- neration, retroactive over several months of semi- employment? (Some of the Ministers, admittedly, were on hand most of the time mak- ing themselves invisible while matters steadily got On its face, it is a case for reduction. Sackcloth would be appropriate parliamentary at- tire in the current session. Our economy offers ad- ditional rewards for persons with specialist skills, normal- ly in short supply. What specialist skills distinguish our Cabinet ministers and members of Parliament? The simple answer is: none whatever. Some countries have experimented with cabi- nets of technicians: in our country ministers materialize out of odds and ends. Certainly there are skills in Parliament, transported from other spleres. We have a good many lawyers; a few outstan- ding, the others of the com- mon or garden variety. There are also economists who know at least where the honey is. But no one would suggest that economists are in short supply in Canada. We have doctors, farmers, businessmen; a cross-section. None are irreplaceable. If they seem a little larger than their neighbours at home, it is because they have the talent of politicians for inflating themselves like so many balloons. Those non-specialists, now concerned to soften us for the kill, suggest that unless they persist in their "distasteful" duty (Mitchell Sharp's adjec- we will not have in future citizens competent to man the ship of state. This is exactly what we were told last time. We got them and we are headed for the rocks. Only recently John Diefenbaker (now stranded, perhaps fortunately for'the Ministers, in Barbados) was reflecting on his early ex- periences in the Mackenzie King parliaments. In his memory there were "giants" in the House of Commons in those days. How astonishing it must appear to modern "Liberals" that a Parliament which paid a session attracted Ilsleys, Ralstons' and Howes. It is being suggested, rue- fully, by some members that the timing of the distasteful business is unfortunate. One can see the point. The proper time for these salary-fixing conspiracies is before, not after an election. After all, the minority Parliament had 18 months and the salaries Bill is deemed a legislative trifle, an appropriate item for the Christmas rush. In retrospect, one must recognize the wisdom and foresight of Ministers in pushing the salaries of their deputies to North American records. For, in doing so, they have created an argument for a differential. Hew can there be a proper political master-civil servant rela- tionship if rewards are not ad- justed to reflect their respec- tive stations in the Ottawa es- tablishment? According to general belief the Quebec federals pushed for 50 per cent because their provincial kin were after 30 per cent. The lower orders cannot safely be permitted to get above themselves. If Mr. Bourassa had gone for 50 per cent, it would have been necessary in Ottawa to go for 75 per cent. For Quebec restraint, after a fashion, tax- payers should be duly grateful. With the ingenuity of a for- mer Finance Minister, Mr. Sharp sets the increments in official perspective; a single modest increase for eight painful years. On that basis, newly elected members, hav- ing escaped earlier hardships, should presumably contract out. For the untrodden future years, there is an undertaking that salaries will not be increased again in the life of this Parliament. But such un- dertakings are not worth much. Let us think the un- thinkable and imagine an inflation rate of 50 per cent. What then would be the reac- tion of our governors? It might well be difficult, in the ensuing rush, to discern the trough through the dust. There may be a possibility that the increases will do something for the reform of manners. Would it not be un- seemly for a MP to raise hell in caucus with a Minister or Leader of the Opposition or with an 000 Prime Minister? But while our Parlia- mentarians stand resolutely for culture, and intermittently for manners, there have been suggestions lately that other matters are more urgent. John Turner, for example, has been preaching restraint and a tough line on expenditures. The Government, as we were assured only this week, is in the pre-exploratory stage of its search for a consensus which, hopefully, will limit inflation. What are our elected repre- sentatives bringing to this consensus as a result of their careful pre-explorations be- hind closed doors? A whopp- ing, agreed, post-election in- crease of 50 per cent in their own remuneration. This, inevitably, will be taken as the guideline; indeed, one union Letters Specialized information their salaries it was to have had a forward-looking element, taking care of the next few years, as well as the catch-up aspect. As the MPs are working their approach they are introducing a fiddle. This wage increase, like the last one, is supposed to take care of the forthcoming three or four years. But when the tune for the next boost comes, part of the argument will inevitably be that it is their first raise for four years and really extends backwards in time to this point. Most employees would be happy if they could work this double- lapping approach with their employers. The problem is not the money but the failure to set an example. Among other things, members of Parliament will make the position of every reasonable union negotiating committee in the country more difficult by taking this approach. Wage settlements have to be sold to union members. Any negotiator who can be persuaded that the national interest demands moderation this year could ex- pect anyway to have his work cut out for him when he attempted to persuade rank and file members of that. The difficulty will now be that much greater. Where negotiators themselves are not disposed to be reasonable, and give the public interest a high place in their reasoning, the temptation to push ex- cessive demands will have been encouraged. It has already been doubtful how much real energy is going into the much-touted govern- ment search for a national consensus of incomes. But, assuming that the government is serious, the finance minister or the prime minister himself can hardly expect this action to en- courage moderation among any labor leaders they are in touch with. This is a "let-her-rip" ap- proach and it is appallingly unsound. With reference to recent statements by Socred MLA Dick GruenwaM regarding the Lethbridge Birth Control and Information Centre, t see no reason why anyone should be ashamed to go to the Birth Control Centre for help information. Going to the centre for per- sonal advice is analogous to going to see a lawyer for legal advice, a doctor for medical advice, or a psychiatrist for advice on emotional matters. In all four cases, the person involved is either in some kind of trouble, or wants to stay out of trouble. No one sees anything wrong with seeking advice on legal, medical, or emotional matters, which may also be personal; therefore, no one should see anything wrong with seeking personal advice on a matter which may also be has already hailed it as such. How can there be one stan- dard for the elected and another for those they pro- fess to serve? But it is Mr. Turner's modest hope that inflation in 1975 can be brought below two digit figures. How, after the parliamentary rip-off, can this objective be achieved ex- cept through Jthe primitive surgery of recession? The Minister of Finance has been sandbagged by his own Government and its accom- plices in the Opposition. And what of Robert Stan- field and the Conservatives who campaigned for a freeze and wage-price controls? Is this what they had in mind? Or are they reaching out with their tin cups because the 50 per cent is exceptional; alms for those in direst need? Parliament must exert itself, according to many speeches, lest it sink in public esteem. There are a number of variants of this theme, with the sinking occasionally attributed to the ir- responsible media. But no one from the media wrote the Salaries Bill which is likely to stand as a shining example of the ability of Parliament to scuttle its own reputation. What is happening is tragic from this standpoint alone; quite apart from the probably calamitous economic conse- quences. legal, medical or emotional, or all three. Living in our present socie- ty is a rigorous and, for some people some times, a baffling experience. When an in- dividual can no longer solve problems alone, it is sensible to seek advice from people who are considered qualified to give specialized information in a given area. Therefore, I support the concept of the Birth Control and Information Centre, with the understanding that per- sonnel at the centre will refer their clients to a specialist, e.g. a medical doctor, for further consultation when necessary, just as a general practitioner would refer his patients to a specialist in any given area when more specialized diagnosis is re- quired in any given case. BESSIE ANNAND Lethbridge Apology to teen-agers My apologies to the teen agers and young adults for the remarks of the Lethbridge West MLA regarding the Lethbridge Birth Control and Information Centre and for the rebuttals to Dick Gruenwald's statement by the editor and Dr. R. G. H. Hall, member of the board for the centre. They are fighting among themselves when they all have the best interests of children at heart. If readers would take each statement separately they find enmity; together there is good intent everywhere. No wonder teen agers are confused. In my time I receiv- ed my information from my parents and behind the barn. My parents were aware of this but I knew when I did right or wrong, the Ten Com- mandments are very clear on this, so I had no hang ups there, and no modern life or society to blame. Take either of these excuses to court and who is left facing the judge? I say this with tongue in cheek maybe, at least for now, the best place for infor- mation regarding life is still from parents and behind the barn. W. P. A. Lethbridge Students waste food I urge mothers not to send lunches along with their children to school. It appears they don't eat them anyway. Perhaps two meals a day is enough for them, or maybe it is not good enough and they use their allowance for more succulent items such as cheeseburgers, chocolate bars, pop, etc. (Mothers should be able to tell if they break out with chocolate I was taking a drink from a fountain in one of our educational institutions recently and noticed in the garbage can several bulging brown bags. Curious as to their contents, I dumped a couple out. In each was a good piece of untouched fruit. Spurred on by my good for- jtune I emptied the contents of six more sacks and to my {amazement found an untouch- ed piece of fruit in each of all eight containers, plus an assortment of sandwiches and pastries. So I sat down to do a little figuring, and came up with the following figures. If one out of every 25 students threw out one piece bf fruit per day, in Alberta there would be dis- carded fruits per day or per school year. forgetting about the sandwiches and pastries.) frliat is equal to approximate- ly cases of fruit per school year or in dollars 936 for Alberta alone. For Canada as a whole, (that's if other provinces are as generous to sea gulls and landfill rodents as we) the figures are approximately: fruits per day or per school year or cases per year or spent in Canada for rat food for one school year. This is just talking about students. How many other such institutions of waste are there? Factories, restaurants, banquets, hospitals, homes, etc. Is our so low that we would think it great to send to the starving millions when we spend plus, on just wasted fruit? I urge people to stop taking part in this vast crime and eat all that they buy providing it does not spoil. And in so doing, the money saved on the food bul might in part be spent in aid for those dying for lack of a few table scraps. As this festive season draws nigh let us barken to the new laws which were told to us by the Christ of Christmas and at least honor them on his birthday. They are: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; Love thy neighbors as thyself and love one another also. These starving millions are our neighbors. It does not take much effort on our part to ease their great suffering. Can we do it? PERTURBED Coaldale Contrasting treatment Noel Buchanan taunted The Salvation Army with the ques- tion "What can Sally Ann do to please a God so (The Herald, Sept. The real question is what has The Herald done? Mr. Buchanan, carrying on in the same vein, says Satur- day afternoon, Easter, and whenever a controversial movie is screened, or as "the spirit Jesus People from the New Hope Centre, spill out onto city streets and parking lots with tracts of salvation, (The Herald, Sept. 14, Sheep stealers spread the Contrast this with the praise The Herald has given streakers. Young people who have tried to witness for Jesus have received constant resistance from those who adhere to a philosophy of pagan pluralism, but ex- hibitionists have received nothing but praise. It's little wonder so many young people are in the mess they are today. FRED WATSON Bow Island The Lethbridge Herald 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 Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KFNNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH" ;