Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 29, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, December 29, 1970 Anthony Mrs. Gandhi's dilemma Mrs. Gandhi lias cunsullcd the stars, and with their help and that of the faithful members of the Con- gress party, which she heads, has decided it's time to go lo the 275 million Indian voters lor a new man- date. Mrs. Gandhi emerged from the v.'ith a substantial jority, but the Congress party split over a number of issues, including the nationalization of the banks and the stripping of rights and privileges from the Indian princes. Although she retained 228 seats in the 520 seat parliament, she lias been forced to depend on the support of left-wing and Communist members to push through her legislation. jo little doi'.bt the deci- sive factor in Ihe decision to call an election was a Supreme Court deci- sion denying her government the right to "strip the Indian princes their privy purses, titles and privi- leges. She apparently i'eels that she cannot continue to rely on the so- cialists and Communists for support as long as the princes, who have come to symbolize pockets of privi- lege and enormous wealth, continue to' retain their centuries-old preroga- tives. The princes' case is going lo be one of the big election issues. But because the Supreme Court decision has gone against Mrs. Gandhi, she is going to have a rough time calling for respect for law and order, if she herself, insists on overruling the law. Clearly the election in India is going to be a bitter one. It could result in riots and further political division in a country which is in desperate need of internal unity, of clear decisive policies on external affairs, and eco- nomic reform. Radiation pollution Something went amiss in an under- ground nuclear test in Nevada re- cently tiiiu a Ciuuu UL C tides was released into the atmo- sphere. The level of radiation was dangerously high so that workers were rapidly evacuated. This spill "was the seventeenth leak of radioactivity at the Nevada site since the 1963 'signing of the partial test ban treaty. Gerald Leach, the science correspondent the London Observer, says the Russians have also had several accidents. Radiation hazards may be greater than "the authorities" have conceded to date. Nobody seems to know how much radioactive material has es- caped into the environment from in- dustry as well as from the testing sites. Gordon Rattray Taylor, in The Doomsday Book, says the degree of deviousness, amounting to deceit, dis- played by business interests and the public authorities particularly the Atomic Energy Commission is in- credible. What was originally known as 'hazard analyses' has been re- named 'safety analyses' because the latter sounds more comforting! There is really no such thing as a 'safe dose' of radioactivity and the habit of talking about an 'acceptable dose' is misleading because it clouds the fact of risk in the suggestion of safety. The worst form of polluion may be radiation and it is the one that seems least likely to be attacked be- cause its production is so cloaked in secrecy. Perhaps the accident at Nevada recently will provoke some questions at levels where they could lead to curbs. One question that should to be ask- ed is why there needs to be further testing of nuclear weapons w hen there are already enough to destroy all life and perhaps demolish the earth. Perhaps even the insatiable curiosity of scientists that leads to the testing could be satisfied without the present risks. A. S. Douglas, pro- fessor of computational method at the London School of Economics, writing in Science Journal says "it is easier to simulate an explosion on a com- puter than to e x p 1 o d e a live one." Then he adds, "it is also rather more socially acceptable." The task of a newspaper By F. S. JIanor in The Winnipeg Free Press IN June, 1949, the royal commission on the press presented its report to the British Parliament. It was a blue-ribbon commission of highly qualified people, in- cluding Lady Barbara Wootton. The conclusions of the commission were unambiguous: "It is generally agreed that the British press is inferior to none in the world." And speaking of the mass-circula- tion newspapers, the commission had this to say: "Two of the most obvious merits are cheapness and readability We can think of no other product, equally expen- sive to produce, which is sold for so small a sum. The readers of the penny newspa- per clearly find in it something that sat- isfies their reading needs. They find 8 brightly colored kaleidoscopic picture of the world day by day. They find excit- ing incidents at home and abroad: they find pathos and tragedy mingled with sen- timent and comedy In the quality press important questions, whether na- tional or international, are handled se- riously, and if the presentation of events and the treatment of personalities are not untinged with partisanship, these newspa- pers do succeed on the whole in convey- ing to their readers a clear picture of the conflict of issues in the world today." It is more than probable that were a new commission to report on Ihe British press a generation later, its report could well be less sanguine. Standards have fall- en all over the world, in the press as elsewhere, and above all in the schools from which emerge the young men and women who produce the communications media. These products of modern schools, particularly but not exclusively in North America, seem to be long on emotional value judgments and very short on solid knowledge on which to base such judg- ments. Tills will hardly be remedied by the provision of more journalistic colleges. A college of .journalism will no more pro- duce a qualified journalist than a college of poetry will produce a great poet or a school of fiction-writing a gaggle of best- selling authors. Journalism, like medicine and teaching, is a vocation, not a profes- sion. UndoubtedIv have doctors who are skilful plumbers of the human body but lack compassion for the human being and are thus bad doctors whatever their technical skills; and there are teachers who arc clock-punchers and unionists first and foremost, and even a uill mark them as U'achiTs. The saire applies U> .journalists. Tl'-cre are good and bad journalists, bill, the in- gredients of good journalism, an abiding interest in public an insatiable curiosity about Ihe luinum condition, a thirst for knowledge combined with an ar- i.ont desire to share such knowledge hon- estly acquired, none of Iliis U; tauyht in .schools of journalism, or any oihor schools. One is ihus n.ssertions niiKlo in ihe commission report on mass media a report which like those of so many of the modern com- municators, is excessively wordy (1.117 pages as against 362 pages of tile Brit- ish Undoubtedly, many of the com- mission's strictures will be accepted by ev- erybody connected with the newspaper in- dustry as correct and requiring remedies. But these are mostly strictures of which the industry has long been aware are! which stem, more than anything else, from the inadequacy of human material pro- duced by modern schools. Such shortcom- ings will not be corrected when more value judgments of doubtful provenance are added to the surfeit that could well one day cboke the industry. A puzzled newspaper man has been prompted to ask Sen. Davey how he mea- sured a "good newspaper." The answer was: "The standard we choose to employ is pretty straightforward: How successful is that newspaper, or broadcasting sta- tion, in preparing its audience for social This, with due respect, is irresponsible playing with words. ftTiat is social change? Is it Prime Minister Heath's determina- tion to get the government out of the na- tion's business and return individual initia- tive to the people? Or is it the change advocated by the "most authoritative (what does authoritative mean, incidental- and thoughtful" periodical, Canadian Dimension, edited by Prof. C. W. Gonick? Preparing the public for anything is the job of a propagandist. It is not the job of a newspaper. Compare this with the stan- dards set by the British commission: "Truth and absence of excessive bias in recording of public affairs, and a suf- ficient variety of newspapers for the press as a whole to give an opportunity for all important points of view to be effectively presented." The reporter's duty is to report what, w here and when. The editorial writer's duty is to say why in his opinion. Or as this newspaper stated some years ago: "The primary job of the newspaper is to report the things that have happened in react to lhat news? This is the concern of the newspaper's editorial page The primary function of a newspaper's edi- torials is to help people to think over such questions awl make up their own minds. The newspaper's editorial policy in not there fo uin friends ;md influence people. II is not UKTP for the readers lo agree with. If is there because its presence is the best way of encouraging further discussion, of stimulating further thought among as many people as possible. Its value lies primarily in the r.billy of the daily newspaper to jump in rather than where, the philosophers, lot alone tiie angels, fear lo tread." These 'eriC'ts, and those of the 1'riti.sh luyai commission of uill persist long afUT Ilir three by the .Senate commission been foruotten. Trudeau doesn't need the press corps f'JTTAWA Pierre EllioU Trudeau (Iocs col have bad relalions Hie Otlawa press corps. Tlie real trouble is that lie has hardly any rela- tions at all. It is a year since he has held a general press confer- ence hi the capital, and he seems to have abandoned the prime ministerial custom of meeting senior journalists in- formally over a drink or a meal at his home. 24 Sussex St. But this lack of contact with the press does not mean that he is ignoring public rela- tions. Far from it. He is making extraordinary use of TV and radio to com- municate directly with the pub- lic, and he probably has more personal contact with ordinary Canadians than any of his pre- decessors, by the device of holding question and answer sessions and town hall meet- ings across the country. In addition, he is conducting almost unnoticed a lively cam- paign to promote the Canadian image or is it his personal image? abroad by use of the foreign media. Although he is often accused of turning Cana- dian attention inwards, he has done much to make the world aware of the Canadian pres- ence. In short, Trudeau and his ad- visers are developing a net- work of public and political re- lations which largely bypass the venerable parliamentary press gallery. But it is not yet clear how the new system will work out for Trudeau or for the media, and it is certainly hard for many newsmen to ac- cept. Some are already convinced that Trudeau is conlempluous of the media in general, or at least disdainful of individual reporters, but Ibis is hardly fair. He is usually polite in a distant way. acknowledging n familiar face with a word or a smile, but he is never matey. Nor is it right to say that Trudeau avoids the press be- cause he runs a secretive gov- ernment -and fears interroga- tion. To the contrary, the gov- ernment is unusually frank in laying its opinions and inten- tions before Parliament, and the prime minister faces in the Commons every day question- ing at least as sharp as could be directed to him at a general press conference. Trudeau certainly tries hard to maintain the privacy of cabi- net discussions, but many of his ministers feel able to talk freely to journalists about their own departments. It is fair to note also that Tntrieau has put more of his political philosophy into arti- cles and books than any prede- cessor and prides himself on being consistent. But what journalists miss in all this is any ultimate contact with the prune minister as the ultimate source of power in Canada. If power corrupts, as Lord Acton said and Trudeau likes to quote, they want to know what is happening to the prime minister. There is liltle opportunity to explore developments in Tru- dean's private thinking, to be satisfied about his motives, to understand his attitudes to cur- rent events and to question his priorities. There is nn way lo know birn as a person rather than as a prime minister concealed in tile trappings of office. This lack of personal con- tact with the press arises to some degree from the fact that he is an extraordinarily busy and hard-working man whose every day is closely program- ed for maximum benefit. He sees people with information to give him; he wastes little time on people who merely want to talk, to gain impressions from him. Nor will he suffer fools glad- lv. A conversation with Tru- deau can be a strenuous occa- sion. One has to be mentally alert and energetic to hold his attention. When John Diefenbaker was travelling outside Ottawa as prime minister, he often made a point of strolling through the plane or train to chat with newsmen. When Prime Minis- ter Lester Pearson had settled into his hotel suite, he might telephone reporters to come up for a nightcap. In his first months of office, Trudeau occasionally invited travelling newsmen to share a meal with him, but nowadays he is quite capable of stalking down the aisle of an aircraft between rows of reporters without a warm word. When newsmen try to com- plain to him directly, instead of dealing with his press office, he ignores them or brushes off In Toronto recently for the Grey Cup Game, Trudeau visited the sick lads' hospital, and his staff decreed that only one silent TV camera could fol- low. Both CTV and CBC re- fused to be told how to do their jobs, and there was no cover- age. Thereupon, a senior TV newsman wrote to Ihe prime minister. He .never received an official answer, but the word around the gallery was that Trudeau dismissed the letter with the remark that the net- works could either accept the arrangements offered, or go without. A distinguished newspaper commentator w h o was indis- creet enough to mention some- thing that had happened in cabinet, was alarmed to dis- cover that Trudeau was direct- ing ministers not to talk with him in future. A complaint to the prime minister got no- where. There is perhaps no pressing political reason why Trudeau "OK, OK! You have anxieties about the uncertainty of ihe Aove anxieties about ihe uncertainty if (6 W MM. should entertain complaints when he is riding so high in the polls and when the Senate Committee on the Mass Media reports, on the basis of exten- sive research, thai Canadians are generally quile satisfied with relations between politi- cians and the press. When Trudeau wants to com- municate through the media, TV and radio are always avail- able and eager. He chooses the days, perhaps once or twice a month, on which he steps out- side the Commons to face the cameras and mike s, and on other days he simply bounds up the slairs, shielded by aides. This year, when he has had no general press conferences here, he has twice taken time to answer questions on open- line radio shows, once in En- glish and once in French; been interviewed twice on the CBC English TV network and twice on French TV shows; and once on CTV. He has also of course made formal statements on TV as prime minister and as Liberal leader a n d, been televized twice while answering stu- dents' questions in the capital, apart from regular news ev- ents. This is splendid exposure and Trudeau may feel Uiat he needs to spend no time on the writing press, in which his pro- nouncements are subject to in- terpretation, or possibly misin- terpretation. But, interestingly, he does seem to make himself available to foreign publica- tions. He has been interviewed this year by Le Monde newspaper of Paris, The New York Times Magazine, and Time Magazine. He has also made special ap- pearances on NBC and CBS TV networks in the United Slates, CBC-TV in Britain and Australian and New Zealand programs. In the Oltawa press gallery there is still much uncertainty among the 120 members about how to respond to the phenom- enon of an immensely popular prime minister who apparently does not need them. Some seem to feel that flattery is the way to his favor, nol real- izing lhal Ms staff usually show him only the best critical articles. Others are tending to retreat into suspicious and sur- ly criticism. The modern gallery is not the cohesive body it once was, dis- seminating a conventional wis- dom about federal politics. But if it continues to feel slighted and cut off from the prime minister and again develops a collective view, Trudeau may yet find it a more dangerous opposition than Ihe MPs on the other side of the Commons. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Tim Traynor U.S.-Canadian automotive trade agreement disputed WASHINGTON In its pre- sent state, the Cana- dian-American automotive free trade agreement does not sit at all well with a Congress in which there is a decided ten- dency to feel that America's post-war generosity on trade and other matters has been ta- ken advantage of by its trad- ing partners, notably Japan snel the European Common Market. It is in this climate of resentment that the pending protectionist trade bill has flourished. Since the conclusion of the agreement hi 1965, over-all auto trade has multiplied, with Canada making sharp gains in terms of new auto- production facilities and ex- ports to the continental mar- ket. Despite this, Canada has Ijeen unwilling to do away with special provisions safeguarding Canadian production which qualify the agreement, and have the effect of maintaining a differential between Cana- dian and American retail auto prices. (Though Canadian cars can move freely into the U.S., the Canadian duty on cars imported from the U.S. is waived only for manufacturers meeting the production stan- dards. Consequently, in the present congressional climate, ihe auto question tends to be dealt with primarily in terms of Cana- dian use of Ihe safeguard de- vice for the nourishment of Ca- nadian production facilities al: the expense of Ihe U.S. indus- try and lo Ihe detriment of the U.S. balance of paymenls. (Ac- tually, the safeguards are not wholly responsible for the pay- ments shift.) W h i 1 e the administration works through diplomatic channels to get rid of the safe- guards. Congress is sounding a harsher ncte: Tin; safeguards must go if tire U.S. is to ciin- linuc l.o participate. In the car Iv (all. the ways and means committee of the House of Rep- resentatives used these terms in dealing with the matter in connection with the trade bill, though an auto provision was not written into the legislation at that time. Following the passage of the bill by the House in late November, and prior to its final submission to the Senate, the Senate finance committee formalized the demand for changes, stipulating that a fail- ure to eliminate all impedi- ments to full free trade by the beginning of 1973 should be considered grounds for ending tile agreement. In a statement explaining its action, the finance com- mittee complained that nothing had come of 1965 assurancs that steady progress would made toward full free trade un- der the agreement. It was criti- cal of Canada's residual 15 per- cent duties and restrictions af- fecting used-car and parts ex- ports. "The committee feels that the lack of reciprocity in this agreement and the lack of momentum toward the objec- tive of free trade in automo- biles should end in a rea- sonable period of the statement added. The bill, or some part of it, could be roinlrnduerd when the new Congress meets in the new year (President Nixon, who must sign the bill before it can become law, has indi- cated his attitude will vary ac- cording lo the contents of the bill, leaving open the possibil- ity that Congress will come up So They Say I am one who would, tomor- row, totally scrap the whole concept of party political broad- casts. Because of the great pro- fessionalism of the medium now, such broadcasts look more and more like amateur night. Mr. William Deeds, Ml', (Irciil Britain. with an acceptable formula, el- iminating the worst protection- ist elements, but leaving intact the auto pact provision.) With the U.S. demanding that the safeguards be scrapped, and hoping that this would re- sult in some redress of the auto trade balance, Canada dwells on the possibility of changes in the industry which could be dangerous in the absence of the safeguards. (Significantly, it is acknowledged that the de- velopment of Canadian produc- tion facilities has considerably exceeded the specifications set out by the safeguards provi- sions.) The benefits of the agree- ment have been great, the Ca- nadian negotiators say, but that is not in itself grounds for abandoning the safeguards, as the Americans suggest. It is said the benefits should be con- sidered in the light of figures showing that Canada's share in total Norlh American produc- tion is still slightly smaller than her share of total North American sales. Until recently, evaluation of the relative merits of the positions on either side has been complicated by the lack of uniformity in the data liscd. However, considerable light has been shed on the mat- ter with the publication of sev- eral indcpendenl studies, not- ably that done by Carl Bcigic, under Ihe auspices of the Ca- nadian-American committee. Underlining the large Cana- dian gains under the agree- ment. Mr. Bcigie cites as im- portant contributing factors the attraction of lower Canadian wage levels and the fact that facilities were established in Canada for production of com- pact cars which developed into big sellers in the U.S. (The w age differential is currently on its way out as Ihe result of the push for parity between Hie U.S. and Canadian aulo in- dustries.) While cautioning against reckoning the loss to the U.S. on the basis of erosion in the auto trade surplus without ref- erence to the repatriation of profits by the U.S.-owned auto companies, Mr. Beigie equally casts doubt on the necessity for Canadian production guaran- tees and a price differential. He advocates further bilater- al free trade initiatives, but says the development of the auto pact will make it difficult to gain U.S. acceptance of the idea. Mr. Beigie's conclusions were reinforced by the Canadian- American committee, which is backed by leading industrial Looking TIIKOUC.II THE HERALD 1920 Whatever the discom- fort of strap-hangers may be, they have the satisfaction of knowing they are the ones who make the street cars pay. To put on an extra car on the Blue line would have created a deficit in the now paying line. IS.'tO Henderson park was (he scene of contrasting sports as golfers went around the course in the mild weather and skaters cavorted on the ice of the lake, which is said to be hard and smooth despite Ihe warm weather al fhe presenl lime. figures in both countries. While not confining its criticisms to Canada, it pointedly rejected the idea that Canada has a right to expect a share of pro- duction facilities precisely equal to the Canadian percent- age of North American sales. The committee urged the two countries to look to liberalization as the touch- stone of a solution to their dispute, perhaps balancing the modification of extraneous U.S. trade restrictions against a Ca- nadian commitment to aban- don, or at least modify, the controversial production s a f e- guards. (Herald Washington Bureau) backward days too late lo present Southern Alberta with a white Christmas, two inches of snow fell in the city and surrounding district. Much of the snow is melting rapidly. 1950 One of the 16 persons who survived the crash of tha CPA DC-5 on Mount Okanagaji, Miss Eileen Ostruirr, arrived in Ihe cily. She had missed Christ- mas dinner with her parents, tut she didn't mind that too much she was just too glad The Canadian dollar was around par today for the first time in nearly six years. The Utlibridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridgc, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, by Hon. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration Nn. 001? Member of The Canadian Press end the Canadian Daily NcwEp.iper Publishers' Association end the Audi! Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Atr-ecui'c Editor ROY MILflS UOUGl AS K. WALKER Advcrliiinrj Manager tdilorial Page Editor "THE HERAID SERVES THE SOUTH"