Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 21, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, Docombor 1970 _. Bruce Hulchison Polish anger The riots in Poland, as far.as news- men are aware at present, began as small protest demonstrations against proposed rises in food costs. The demonstrations became bloody anli- govei-iiment riots in which people were killed, stores burned, and tanks had to be brought in to quell the dis- order. Ever since the end of the last war when Poland came under Communist control, her leaders have been at- tempting to "modernize" the country bring it from a largely agricul- tural economy to an industrial one. The changeover has been only par- tially successful, and huge capital in- vestment by the state has not paid off. Now the state technocrats are demanding further change. They say that an economic reform program must be instituted which will propel Poland out of the iron and steel age (which it entered only into the era of computers and petro-chem- icals. The technocrats, a group reput- ed to be influential in government circles, believes that the newly sign- ed treaty with West Germany will give them the opportunity they so badly need, to trade profitably with the West. In the years since the war, Poland has been almost totally dependent on Russia for economic survival, the bear hug has all but squeezed the breath out of a proud nation. The attempt to institute the econo- mic reform the technocrats see as vi- tal to Poland's future, is going to take time and cost money. This is probably one of the reasons for the sudden rise in food prices. Mr. Go- mulka, before his resignation, made it very clear that he was not about to relax control in this sphere, but many of the Polish people who have been suffering not only from high prices for their food, but a shortage of it, have had enough of unfulfill- ed promises and they are out to show their resentment with conditions as they are, with the government as it is. The mass of Polish people want the basic things of life and some of the better ones too. They find it iron- ic that the new hope should be econo- mic rescue through the West Ger- man door. For they like the West Germans no better than the East Germans, and the Russians probably less They have had to learn to live with them all, and Mr. Gomulka too. It's too much for a proud and inde- pendent people. A few months ago prospects for a European detente looked promising. But things are not so rosy now. They've reached the gut issue, the need of a four-power settlement over the status of West Berlin. The 25 year-old problem has grown new thorns. East Germany claims that it alone has the right to control the ac- cess routes through its territory to West Berlin. Britain, France, Russia and the United States, the original occupying powers deny that the East Germans have this right and they are trying to work out some reason- able settlement which would prevent East Germany from closing off ac- cess to Berlin any time it wants to do so. The members of the Warsaw Pact, other than East Germany, want to trade with West Germany and a pact has been signed between Poland and West Germany to provide for an opening up of trade relations. But it will not be ratified by the Bundestag until an agreement on the status of West Berlin has been reached. Walter Ulbricht, aging Communist boss of East Germany, views accommoda- tion with West Germany with horror and fear. He is already painting a Ulbricht resists black picture of the disastrous im- pression being made on the East Germans by friendly Russian ges- tures to the West and is arousing his people to a pitch of nationalism which hasn't been seen since Uie state was carved out of the Russian- occupied portion of East Germany 21 years ago. There are all sorts of rumors fly- ing about as to what kind of a set- tlement will be reached, but it seems unlikely that Willy Brandt, the West German Chancellor, will settle for a watered down agreement on Berlin. Nor would the western Allies look with favor on handing over to East Geirnaiiy the authority they claim by virtue of being victors in the Second World War. It is beginning to look now as if a Berlin deal is not as close to realiz- ation as some thought it was a few months ago. East Germany is stub- bornly resisting with all its might, any arrangement which might open it up to western ideas, or to admit western people freely into the coun- try. It is the stubborness of a closed society, led by a dictatorship who can see nothing but ruin for them- selves, and their people in a free exchange of goods and ideas. Men- the reluctant shoppers By Margaret Lnckhurst TVTY FRIEND SUE was over the other night helping me make mincemeat and we got onto the subject of Christmas shopping. "I don't mind doing all the shopping for the kids and my family, but when John doesn't even come up with a fresh idea for gifts for his mother and grandmother then I find it a bit she said. "I I sympathized, "I have the "I didn't like to point out to him that we'd been there exactly twenty minutes, what was the use, so that was the end of that stopping expedition. I guess it's my own fault, because he will accompany me as long as I know what I'm going for, but lie hates wandering around a store, just looking. Why, when he shops for me he's out of the house and back again in jig time, with what he set off to buy. If he can't find it, well, it's tough apples for me 'Oh, maybe a scarf, he said, and I said, 'your Mum has enough scarves to tie the world in knots.' 'well, he said, 'how about bath and I said, 'she's got bottles of bath salts in her cupboard sire's had since Clara Bow decided it was bet- ter to bath in milk; I said, 'if your Mum decided to dump them all in the ocean she alone could wash away the sins of the and he said, 'don't talk so smarty' and went away to watch T.V." "So what did you get Sue asked, Interested like. "She's going to get the surprise of her I said, "this year I've sent a plant; of course we always send plants on her birthday, Valentine's day, Mother's Day and when we go too long between letters. But what do you get someone who doesn't need ran out of ideas for her twenty years ago and wliile I don't blame him for not having any, exactly, I just wish he'd show some Interest." "I got John into a department store last Sue recalled, "I thought we'd get his old Auntie a nice warm nightie, but John just gets all uptight in big stores and grumbles and fusses Uie whole time. He goes on and on saying things like gosh it's hot in here, why do Uiey have these places so hot now don't go into that lingerie silly standing around in nighties and gird- les, sure, that one looks fine, buy it, buy it and let's get put of this awful place, we've been hanging around here all alone and uses very little imagination, fol- lowing my list with faithful and dutiful attention. If I say buy two pounds of sugar and they haven't any in that size he won't get the five-pound size because I said two pounds. So we go sugarless." Sue gasped in surprise. "Really? Well count your blessings girl. John can wreck my whole weekly budget if I let him go into a supermarket alone. He comes home with crabmeat and duckling and fancy cheeses and chocolate covered grasshop- pers, none of which, you may be sure, were on my carefid list. He argues that we need a change in routine diet every once in awhile, but what kind of school lunches can you make out of grasshoppers and Gorgojizola cheese? Once when I had flu we were without peanut butter for two weeks and the kids had a terrible time filling up on party crackers and pate." We agreed, as we packed the last jar of mincemeat, that men don't mind in the least shopping for cars or colored T.V.'s or pool tables or anything that is big and expensive. But try to get them to shop around, comparing prices on towels, bed jackets, teakettles and the like and the whole matter becomes nothing more than a painful exercise. Neither one of us has read the report on Uie Status of Women, but we wondered wheUier this subject was given any re- view, or whether women will continue to be the main family-shoppers for ever on. Bachelor Bill By Doug Walker GPECL'LATIOX about why some people Bachelor Bill's bad the remain in Ihe unmarried slate has usual theories about why he was unat- alwnvs been a favorite indoor sport. The Bllt thcre was one explanation that seemed so appropriate that it came reasons proffered range from the of ,hc opportunity to the choice of celibacy a.s n Said a close friend: "Bill can't, face tlio vocation. ordeal of Controls are costly but inevitable TN Iiis own lime of troubles President Nixon may rc- member what the great Frenchman, Georges Clcmcn- ceau said about war that it was too important to be left to the generals. Facing another kind of struggle, Mr. Nixon (and perhaps Pierre Trudcau) must realize that economics are too important to be left to the economists, the officials ones at any rate. As he looks back over two years of office, the president can see that lu's economists, with Uie best intentions, totally misled themselves and him. Their famous "game plan" has thrown the nation for a serious loss. Consequently, president and nation suffer the worst of two worlds, with galloping in- flation and high unemployment combined, against all economic prophecy. What are we to make of this confusion in the United States and Canada as well? The first clear point, surely, is that the orthodox governmental method of curing inflation and the hope of voluntary restraint in wage demands have both failed. In Canada, it is true, the gov- ernment's bold use of the bud- get and the money supply did cool the economy and reduce the rate of price increase dur- ing the last year. Yes, but only at the cost of very high unem- ployment, low economic growth, regional tension and, lately, a sudden reversal of pol- icy to stimulate business. Be- sides, we are already in danger of what the government is pleased to call "another round" of inflation, as if the existing round had been stopped. It has not been stopped, it has merely been slowed a little, when prices are still rising at about three per cent annually, or fast enough to make a cur- rent dollar worth about 50 cents in a decade or so. What the government really means, therefore, is that it may bo unable to keep inflation within even these appalling limits, that the minor stimulants of lira- latest budget will soon heat the economy up again to last year's fever level, or beyond it. Anyhow, fiscal and monetary brakes have not worked as the orthodox economists had ex- pected. In one sense, to be sure, they have worked too well, by depressing the econ- omy and leaving idle some of the manpower and machine power of production when it is most needed. In anolher senso the brakes have failed altogeth- er to curb the long-term infla- tionary spiral and must fail be- cause a new factor has changed the whole economic equation. That factor, of course, is the wage rise; and government, hi Canada and the United States alike, simply could not curb it, either by policy or by_ persua- sion. Nothing, indeed, is so re- markable in tliis exercise as the new power of the labor unions. They have completely defeated government m both not by breaking any law or in- tending any harm, but by re- jecting the most obvious mathe- matical facts and the desperate pleas of government. The unions say that in a free market economy their proper purpose, underwritten by law, is to get all the money they can for their members, that the responsibility tor resulting price increases and unemployment is not theirs but the govern- ment's. They go still further and say that the cost of wages is a small factor in total pro- duction costs, that someone else is to blame for high prices and lliis despite the govern- ment's official figures showing that wages are by far the larg- est factor. And the unions may even believe, quite honestly, in their own propaganda though the figures disprove it. Accepting, then, the premise that in a market economy both management and unions are en- titled to get all they can get out of the public, where does tlu's leave us? Given the current trend, it leaves us with the cer- tain prospect of continuing in- flation until at some point, net far. off, the market economy collapses in a grand smash, as it did 40 years ago. A delicate, amazingly efficient machine of production can stand only so much strain. 1970 b, NEA, I.e., Get your shoplifting tl NEA, IK "Charles, not for me, for the sake of the children, give up this hippie whatever it is you're doing, and come Today the strain Is near the breaking point and the means of easing the strain are not ac- ceptable to the most powerful group in society. Such a situation was not fore- seen by Sir. Nixon's experts. nor by the unforunate Cana- dian prices and Incomes Com- mission with its doomed hope of co-operation from the unions. But the situation was foreseen, several years ago, by that un- official economist and ever- buzzing gadfly, Kenneth Gal- braith. If you can ignore his buzz of sarcasm and candid omniscience for a moment, if you can forget the actor, read his books and look at his ideas, vou will find, in broad terms at least, that he has been right in his analysis, if not in Ins solution. He says, in brief, that the economy of the Western world is being taken for a ride to ruin by the giants of manage- ment and labor and that not the small business con- ierns or the unorganized work- ers must be controlled, in their profits and wages, by the state, since no one else can control them. Certainly I am not wise enough to know whether such controls are possible, workable or avoidable. I can only report what Dr. Galbraith told me re- cently at Harvard that con- trols of some sort are definitely coming in the United States, and some of the most influen- tial members of the United States Senate told me the same thing. Now we hear the great historian, Arnold Toynbee, reit- erating that prediction in Britain with a sense of horror and in- evitablity. Our own Edgar Benson made a similar threat in his latest budget speech. So events may be moving to- ward state controls that no one will like not because they are desirable but because the freedom of the market has been abused by its chief bene- ficiaries, and because society, unable to discipline itself volun- tarily, will turn at last to the state for protection. If it does, the cost, in terms of personal freedom and individual living ways, will be high, even assum- ing that the experiment suc- ceeds in arresting the cost of goods. What is the alternative? Tlie governments of Canada and the United States have not answered that question yet. But they cannot dodge it much longer. (Herald Special Service) Joseph Kraft Dr. Allende's political game is a dangerous one SANTIAGO, Chile Whether Chile follows Cuba to be- come the second Communist beachhead in the Americas de- pends in large measure on Dr. Salvador Allende, the self-pro- fessed Marxist who became president of this country one month ago. And that means, an interview with Dr. Allende strongly suggests, that the fu- ture of Chile remains open- ended. Dr. Allende is not a strong figure, commited to resist to the utmost an effort by the Communists in his government to take over. But he is a skilled politico with enough tricks to double back on his past and baffle the Communists if lu's self-interest so indicates. The uncertain nature of Pres- ident Allende's commitm e n t finds clear expression in his en- tourage. I was ushered in to see him by a proper command- er in the Chilean navy. But Dr. Allende is plainly afraid of a right-whig coup by the armed forces. In' the middle of our chat, he had to receive a visit- ing dignitary. I was taken to a back room where I encountered the President's personal guard a crew of men in then' twen- ties drawn from among the far-out militants in Dr. Al- lende's Socialist party. Physically, Dr. Allende is a short, peppery man, much younger in looks than lu's 62 years, who gives his short stat- ure a couple of added inches by a pompadour and an upward tilt of the head, lie pounds his knees together to emphasize a point. When he makes a which is often he giggles slightly. Critics charge that Dr. Al- lende is a lightweight with no capacity for detailed analysis of hard problems. "He's never read a book through not even one by a politi- cal acquaintance of long stand- ing once remarked. And in the course of my interview there took placo a lilllc incident that reinforced lhat view. Dr. Allcnde pulled from his desk a fr.ider full of clippings from the foreign press. All of them, he said, were hostile I at least which I had written myself, one from the New York Times, and one from Le Monde of Paris which I knew to be quite favorable. Dr. Allende acknowledged as much. Plainly he had not read any of them. Like most men who do not concentrate on issues, Dr. Al- lende is given to the flip slo- gan, full of sound and empty of meaning. When asked about plans to naUonalize copper mines owned in large part by American companies, he re- plied: "I respect Uie American in- terests. But I respect the Chil- ean interests more. We can't live without copper in Chile. It is the air we breathe." But Dr. Allende's Chile-first- ism does not only go against the grain of American inter- ests. He is wary of Soviet in- fluence, too. "I promise he said in an obvious reference to Fidel Castro's practice, "that as long as I am president, Chile will never have a foreign military base on its of any country." More than 30 years of Chil- ean politics, furthermore, have given Dr. Allende a feel for the modes of democratic gov- ernment. Even his critics ac- knowledge that he is a sincere believer in the parliamentary system. And when describing Chile's condition one month Need for more discussion Without entering here into any argument about the rela- tive good that its promoters hope to achieve with the intro- duction of ETV into the two city school systems at a cost of about S40.000, let me just point out a few facts relevant to such expenditure. For that sum of money, each of the high schools could hire one full-time English teacher for senior classes, (thus reduc- ing matriculation classes to a much smaller number) or buy worth of or buy record-players, projectors and tape-recorders for each depart- ment. Certainly, unless we are falling for some of the more naive and uneducated versions of McLuhanism, many more books arc urgently needed. For matriculation students who arc expected to work beyond the pcrmissivcly low levels favor- ed by some teachers, a few thousand dollars' worth of well- selected nooks would make a significant and demonstrable omererice to learning opportu- nities. 'Ilic gap between uni- versity expectations and actual high-school standards, which is too great in some places, may be lessened; and teachers who do challenge and inspire their students to te inquiring, ima- ginative and scholarly in their studies, would be able to achieve more. These considera- tions ought to be weighed and measured in (lie balance against the supposed benefits of ETV; and we ought not to Ifit the more suspect assu mo- tions about so .called "rele- usually held by the less literate and less thoughtful of the media-mites, obscure them in a fog of modernity and edu- cational quackery, when school budgets are so tight. All of this in no way denies the value of ETV, wisely used, as an important aid to teachers and students. It's a matter of priorities and of the need for more wide-ranging discussion on such important decisions. PETER HUNT. Lethbridge. 'Crazy Capers' after he came to office, he said with pride: "We don't hide what we do. You can go outside and see for yourself. No liberties have been suspended. There is no over- whelming force on the streets. There is no censorship of the press. Everybody said when I came in there would be no more elections. But now all the parties are preparing for the municipal elections in April." Not the least of those pre- paring is Dr. Allende himself. He has brought the Commun- ists into Uie system through a unity front which includes sev- eral other parties besides his own Socialists. Now he is try- ing to get the Maoist left. "If they can achieve their social aims he says of the projected alliance, "then they won't use violence and subver- sion." Dr. A11 e n d e's game, of course, is the old parliament- ary game of trying to build a majority by absorbing the left into the system. It is a dan- gerous game. No one can he confident that Dr. Allende will have the force and acumen to master the difficult problems that confront Chile, particularly in the economic field. But provided there is no eco- nomic disaster, the president's political finesse might be great enough to see Chile through the next presidential elections six years hence. Certainly, it does not make sense, in the fashion of some American officials, to talk the future away with pra- dictions of the worst, which can only feed Dr. Allende's elaborate suspicions and, thus, prove self-verifying. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Looking backward THROUGH THE HERALD cruiser and two de- stroyers have arrived in Hali- fax and will form the nucleus of the new Canadian Navy. administration of old age pensions, involving the taking over of the whole operative system from the provinces and the assumption of practically Uie entire cost, looms up as a prospective piece of legislation in the com- ing session, according to a re- port from Ottawa. survey by the Cana- dian Press shows that approxi- mately trees have been cut for the Christmas trade. About have been sold in the U.S. request lor a week's extension of the Christmas school holiday was sent to pro- vincial' authorities in the hope that the epidemic of mumps in the city might be curbed. There are now 645 cases reported. new system of social allowances will be available to some welfare cases in the prov. ince. Albcrtans who cannot cam an adequate income by reason of physical or mental incapacity and mothers of de- pendent children who cannot earn enough to support them will be eligible for the new allowance. I sometimes wish I'd kept the bouciucl am) thrown away DIE aroonw The Letltbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1951, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Reglslrallcn No. 001! Member of The Canadian frcss and the Canadian Caily Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audil Bureau of circulation! CLEO W. MOWERS, Edllcr and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Edilor ROY F. MILES noaOLAo K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERAtD SERVCS THE SOUTH"