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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Monday, Dtctmbvr 23, 1974-THE LETHBRIOGE HERALD Pessimistic Fulbright reflects on state of world affairs By OSWALD JOHNSTON Washington Star-News WASHINGTON "Thirty years at the same reads, the hand-lettered sign on the inside of the outer of- fice doors. "Everything must go." Back in the inner office, J. William Fulbright has been packing books. They used to line the walls, now they are being piled into cartons on the floor, on the sofa, on chairs. It is a tiresome task, he ex- plains, because to decide whether or not to keep a book you have to know what's in it, and to do that you have to flip through its pages. An entire Sunday afternoon passed this way, with only six volumes packed. Fulbright is in shirtsleeves, with waistcoat unbuttoned, but he is sitting behind his desk to receive visitors. A private man. after all those Canada's 10 dollar Watergate OTTAWA (CP) Depending on how it's handled, the forthcoming committee inquiry into alleg- ed bribery of the Parlia- mentary Press Gallery might become a sort of Watergate. Even if there is no sub- stance to allegations that some MPs have bribed reporters, the hearings themselves are bound to create excitement far beyond that normally accorded com- mittee studies. When the press is under attack there is a tendency for reporters to provide excessive coverage to forestall suggestions of news supression. The hearings which open Jan. 28 into allegations by Social Credit Leader Real Caouette is a sure-fire bet to attract this excessive coverage. Anyway, alleged bribery is a highly readable subject, much sexier than dreary debates on petroleum. And committee members, being politicians, are not traditionally adverse to publicity. So the hearings may be stretched beyond the time normally given to examining, say, the importation of South Korean footwear. Rod Blaker (L-Montreal Lachine chairman of the privileges committee, has said that "we will want the broadest possi- ble opportunity-for anyone to give evidence." If all 264 MPs and all 160 members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery offer their views on the sub- ject, the opportunities would indeed be broad. Mr. Caouette has said that he personally bribed two from the CBC and another who worked for a Quebec newspaper. He also said outside the House he thinks he gave money to a CTV reporter, but he would not reveal any names The CTV Television Network has demanded a retraction, saying that legal action is being studied. Members of the press gallery welcome the inquiry, since Mr. Caouette's allegations have created suspicions about all re- porters. Many predict that if the in- quiry goes beyond the narrow allegations of accepting money from MPs, the hearings will go on for months. Mr. Blaker says the com- mittee does not yet know its terms of reference. Will the studies go beyond the confines of alleged cash bribery to talk about the free or subsidized services reporters receive through Parliament? These include free stationery, work- ing space on Parliament Hill, government telephones and other office supplies. What about reporters being entertained by political par- ties? Should reporters accept a ride home from a neighbor- ing MP? What about that drink you had in an MPs of- fice? Or if the reporter enter- tains an MP is it "cultivating as the expense ac- count says, or something more sinister? The only reporter to reveal she was offered a bribe here is Fay LaRiviere of the French-language service of The Canadian Press. She has said she received a bill, which she tore up in front of the Member But that MP is no longer in Parliament anyway. years in public lite, he never much courted publicity, directly at least. At the foreign relations committee he regularly used to let the television cameras in, and the bright lights were permanent- ly installed there. But he took to wearing flip-up sunshades on his eyeglasses, and the dark lenses used to give him an air of imperious detachment, as though he were a spectator at his own hearings. Now he has agreed to talk generally about global matters, reflecting his years as committee chairmen, when for a time he became a major figure in the dismantling of America's self-imposed postwar image as world colossus, world policeman, world granary. Fulbright is pessimistic, as he ticks off the things that worry him. The Middle East is on the brink of a war that would include the whole world, or at the very least bankrupt the West. Detente between the superpowers is a shaky proposition at best, un- der fire in Congress, which ought to know better, and from the military, which never learned. The Vietnam War was the main crisis of our time, and time United States is still paying the price for getting involved there. Through a quirk of history, the defeat in the Arkansas Democratic primary which is ending Fulbright's political career with this Congress happened to come at the close of a chapter in the nation's relationship with the rest of the world. A shift of wealth and influence of historic proportions is now taking place with the emergence of the Middle East oil region as a new center of gravity in what had been a bi-polar world. Surveying the scene, Fulbright almost exclusively casts his gaze backwards, searching for explanations of "How we have brought ourselves to such a low es- tate." The ghosts of the Cold War flit by as he talks. The first nuclear bombs, the hydrogen bombs, the impossibilty of war, the early high hopes for the United Nations. "We have had two world wars and two small wars in my lifetime." Eisenhower, Joe McCarthy. The missile gap. And again' and again, Indochina: "It never dawned on me that In- dochina would play a role in our lives until way up into the sixties, when Jack Kennedy sent the first real troops over ther." But the main drift of the conversation ia away from specific questions of policy to the larger questions of motivation: Why do nations act as irrationally as they do? Several times Fulbright referred to a set of hearings his committee conducted some 10 years ago. Now most- ly forgotten and never much noticed at the time, they in- volved a study by a panel of psychiatrists into "the reasons whv nations act as they do." A study, really, of the pathology of national behavior, in Fulbright's somber view What emerged most clearly from the self-portrait of Fulbright's words was a deep- ly skeptical brand of rationalism, in echo, perhaps consciously, of those 18th cen- tury philosophers whose failli in man's reason and enlightenment was shot through with the darkest suspicions that human nature is at bottom irrational This man is having the time of your life! Alberta Check Stops can stop him before he stops you. When he leaves the bar and starts his car when he becomes his own worst enemy and yours. Dead in your tracks that's how he can stop you. He could be the impaired driver approaching you or the one coming up behind. To keep him off the road, we have to stop safe drivers, too. Alberta Check Stop is a province-wide program working all year to make our streets and highways safer. When you come to a Check Stop, have your pink card and registration ready. Your delay will be kept as brief as possibie. We're out to stop the drinking driver with death on his breath. CHECK STOP ALBERTA CAN MEAN SAFE DRIVING. HELP US KEEP THE IMPAIRED DRIVER OFF OUR ROADS. Under.the auspices of The Solicitor General's Department ;