Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 5, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, February 5, 1975 Optimism in the dark According to the Petroleum Economist, a monthly British publica- tion with editions in six languages, and possibly the most prestigious in the in- dustry, there may be a silver lining in the cloud of nationalization hovering over the petroleum industry. Host governments have largely been insulated from the realities of the inter- national petroleum trade. They have been merely tax-gatherers. If nationalization proceeds in the Middle East and elsewhere, governments will be taking over an industry with a surplus of production capacity at a time when im- porting countries are economizing on the use of oil and are seeking alternative sources of energy. Following nationalization, the oil cartel will be held together by only one thread, the desire to enforce a price level which is 50 to 100 times the true cost of production. In every other sense, members will be competitors and, as the magazine puts it, "it may soon occur to one of the state sellers to test the elasticity of demand for its principal ex- port" by cutting the price. The publication discounts the possibili- ty that the oil cartel can effectively program production and eliminate com- petition among members by fixing quotas for all and devising sanctions for non-compliance, reasoning that the OPEC countries do not have the staff or the expertise to operate an effective cartel under conditions the publication foresees. "All past experience suggests that, as the present excess capacity within the industry swells, some of the exporters of crude oil will start to trim their prices in order to boost their sales. When this oc- curs, the cartel will crumble and the nor- mal forces of the market will determine the supply price of oil." This is the Petroleum Economist's conclusion. It may be whistling (in the but its logic is persuasive at least in its op- timism. Copyright law The subject of copyright, of great concern to writers and publishers, scarcely provokes a ripple of interest in other segments of society. Canadian publisher Jack McClelland's observation that "copyright is one most boring and complex subjects known to man" hardly seems calculated to change the situation. Despite the negative impression created by Mr. McClelland's comment, some others besides .writers and publishers probably should interest themselves in the subject of copyright notably, legislators. Court cases in both Canada and the United States threaten Canadian authors and publishers with revenue losses that could more than offset the help now being given in various ways by the federal government. Applications to restrain the importa- tion of American editions of works by Canadian authors were dismissed in two Canadian courts in. December. The attempt to restrain had to do with books that were overstocked or remaindered, on which no royalties are paid to the author. In the United States the justice depart- ment has filed an anti trust suit against 21 publishers. It charges the publishing houses with conspiring to divide the world market into exclusive territories. Sandra Martin in the February issue of Content says that it is suspected that pressure to sue came from a U.S. wholesaler who sees an open market as a boon to his business. If the international copyright conventions were in effect repealed through the anti trust suit, says Ms. Martin, it would be much easier for wholesalers. The resulting competi- tion could it very difficult for Canadian publishers. Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs Andre Ouellet intends to proceed with a complete revision of the Canadian Copyright Act. This could be'a slow process because many special interest groups will want to make represen- tations. Mr. McClelland together with two of his authors, Pierre Berton and Farley M'owat, think an amendment dealing with imported remainders should be introduced immediately. But in view of the admission that the subject is a complex one, the public may not feel inclined to give them backing, being con- tent in knowing that the appropriate minister has the whole thing under ad- visement. Letters Projects not connected The paragraph which was in Chris Stewart's column (The Herald, Jan. 29) left me wondering if she were referr- ing to me or someone else, 1 shudder at the impression left relating to a rehabilitation centre, and staying with the dying. Also the attitude of the general public's "callous at- titude" caused by the inhuman hospital and medical staff as highly organized ser- vices. Now I am wondering to whom I would dare to go for treatment if I did get sick and needed a doctor or a nurse. I hope my own doctor doesn't forsake me after reading this paragraph. To begin with I never did try to establish a local rehabilita- tion centre. I happened to be one of many in the Rosalta House Society with this objec- tive. As for the importance of staying with the dying, I do certainly want to use every opportunity I can get to speak to groups both in the city and in the area on this everyday occurrence which brings sorrow and grief and frightens so many. But it has nothing to do as it appears in the article, to the frustration of trying to establish a rehabilitation centre. There just is no con- nection. MRS. J. DARYL STURROCK Lethbridge. Editor's note: Mrs. Stewart did not intend to imply a connection between the two projects. Salt damage irreparable "So who says that just 'cause you're not athletic 'you can't get in on the Winter A lesson in timing By Paul Whitelaw, Herald Washington commentator When I moved to Lethbridge several years ago, two things immediately impressed me: The immaculate condition of most houses and yards; and the obvious pride residents took in their cars. I have been in the auto body business for more than 25 years and know there is nothing worse than repairing cars rusted with salt (calcium chloride) that was used on the streets. At the price of cars today, I think the city should refrain from using this horri- ble substance on the streets. Judging from arguments at city council, I can tell there are some aldermen who do not know what they are talking about! You just do not wash this substance off a car at a car wash. I hope the coun- cillors will think and investigate thoroughly before they act. I know from experience an automobile rusted with salt cannot be repaired. We in the repair business call it "cancer" as you repair one area, it breaks out somewhere else. Once salt has penetrated the metal, there is NO stopp- ing it. CONCERNED Lethbridge THE CASSEROLE Indeed it's a topsy turvy world. Now there's a story out of Ontario that provincial cabinet ministers are considering a pay cut -for an anti-inflation measure. mons. And to make it even more typically British, the Crown office does not have to really exist. The recent Stonehouse case has brought to light another quaint old British custom. It seems members of the mother of Parliaments can be dismissed for cause, but cannot resign. The traditional way of vacating a seat is for the incumbent to re- quest a Crown appointment, because holding office under the Crown bars anyone from sitting as a member of the House of Com- As if the world hasn't had enough disasters, a University of Utah professor has sounded a dire warning about the physical stability of Salt Lake City and environs. In a scholarly ar- ticle in the professional magazine Geology he points out that the city is built on up to a thou- sand feet of "sensitive" saturated clay originally laid down as sediment from the Great Salt Lake, and that it is an earthquake prone area to begin with. "The hazards are he says. ERIC NICOL Canadian value index WASHINGTON It doesn't take a freshman politician very long to figure out that the newsworthiness of what he has to say often depends less on content than on the time or place he chooses to speak out. If ever there was a clear ex- ample of this fact of public life, it is demonstrated by the reaction to a speech in Win- nipeg recently by External Af- fairs Minister Allan MacEachen. The minister's remarks on the current condition of Can- ada-United States relations might have gone largely un- noticed, had he not spoken on the same day Ottawa an- nounced it was ending the special tax status of Time and Reader's Digest. Instead, Mr. MacEachen's speech was accorded front- page treatment by the prestigious New York Times and mentioned in an angry editorial in the equally- influential Wall Street Jour- nal. There may be a lesson in this for young, publicity- starved backbenchers in the House of Commons, for Mr. MacEachen's remarks con- tained little that.was-rin or newsworthy. The external affairs minister merely reiterated the well-known Canadian government desire to become increasingly independent of U.S. economic and political influence. He repeated the cliche that the "special relationship" between Ot- tawa and Washington had be- come a thing of the past. Yet Mr. MacEachen was "You got your picture in For 30 years, this has been the proof positive, for a Canadian, that he has arrived. No other six words have borne such a weight of meaning, on the scales of accomplishment in Canada. You could get your picture in Time and die, confident that life can bestow distinction with no imprimatur more authoritative. This index of value for Canadians is now jeopardized by Time's announcement that it will cancel its Canadian edition, because of tax changes cutting into advertising revenue. Even though the Canadian edition of Time has devoted only 10 per cent of its content to Canadian affairs or perhaps because of this to have your picture in the magazine was for a Canadian the next best thing to the ul- timate success of being an American. I can vouch for this because once, many years ago, I had my picture in Time. Talk about the Americanization of Emily! In the turn.of a page I was transformed, in my own .eyes at least, from a minor Canadian writer to a Continental Resource, only slightly less vital than the Missouri. My colleagues treated me with a new respect. It didn't last long I have trouble wearing a charisma without its falling down over my nose but for a week or so there I was definitely His Nibs. Being listed in a Who's Who has a certain antique charm, but for hard, immediate im- pact on one's peer group nothing, I'll warrant, has matched having your picture in Time. When Time becomes a 100 per cent American publication, your picture will appear in the news magazine only if you have done something to impress 220 million Americans. This is a heavy burden to be placed on Canadian achievement. Without disparaging the deeds of persons like me who have had their pictures in the also careful to point out that Canada's purpose was "not to supplant, but to supplement relations with the United States." Noting that relations with the U.S. "will remain the most important that this country he con- tinued: "Our purpose is to strengthen Canada in order to create a more balanced, more reciprocal and thus healthier relationship between two independent partners." However, in referring to the minister's speech, the Wall Street .Journal editorialized that Canada's increasing na- tionalism is marked by a "banana republic syndrome." Specifically, the newspaper is angered about the change in tax status of the Canadian editions of Time and Reader's Digest. It writes that Ottawa has "rigged a tax gimmick that will force the closing of the Canadian edition of Time" by no longer permitting Cana- dian businessmen to deduct from their taxes the cost of advertising in U.S.-owned magazines. The Wall Street Journal also charges that the "economic cost" will be less than the "cost to freedom." It "Canadians will no longer be free to buy a Canadian edition of Time Canadian businessmen will have their freedom to "present their com- mercial messages curtailed." The MacEachen speech caused no ripples at the U.S. state where some diplomats who follow Canadian affairs have almost Canadian edjtion of Time, it is fair to say that what made us competitive with the other 90 per cent of the magazine's contents was the advertising revenue. Deprived of that cash inflow from Canada, Time might well be less disposed to give me equal space with Norman Mailer and Neil Simon. Maclean's has said that it will try to fill the vacuum by publishing a weekly news magazine. But will it be the same: "You got your picture in Alas, no. Getting your picture in Maclean's is only a small cut above getting your picture in the staff news- paper as a member of the bowling team. Deplorable, yes. But there's no blinking the fact: Time was where it was at, celebrity- wise. Appearing in-Time, the photo of Xaviera Hollander, the Happy Hooker, defin- ed her as an author to be reckoned with. In Maclean's, just another candidate for the Governor General's medal. It is going to require severe readjustment, to compensate for the loss of the Canadian edition of Time, and nowhere more than among the media professionals, the people who conscientiously read The New York Times to keep tabs on what merits attention in North America. They, like you and me, will be entirely on their own. Colonials of the Luce empire, suddenly given their independence. My God, Slopwith, who is somebody? As it has done before, in moments of national crisis, this space urges Canadians not to panic. It had to come some time, self assessment thrust upon us. In the long run it will be all to the good that having our picture in Canada's national news magazine cannot be confused with a Special Advertising Feature. memorized the key sections and codewords of the Win- nipeg speech because they've heard the message repeated so often. However, there is no dis- agreement with the strident tone of the Wall Street Journal editorial on the issue of Time and Reader's Digest. One American official noted: "There's no, point in law to object to what the Canadians have done. But the L Canadian edition of Time was established, without objec- tions from Ottawa, after Canada decided to accord Canadian editions of U.S. magazines a special tax status. They're now changing the rules in mid-stream, which we don't think is fair." However, the official noted that while there was "much sympathy" tor the editorial stand of the Journal, the U.S. government has adopted "a hands-off policy." The external affairs minis- ter's speech not only coincid- ed with the Time-Reader's Digest announcement, but it was delivered to the Winnipeg branch of the Canadian In- stitute of International Af- fairs. This is the same group which William Porter, the American ambassador in Ot- tawa, chose to address last fall when he listed U.S. com- plaints over Canadian policies. To American officials here, the timing of Mr. MacEachen's remarks and his choice of audience appears more than coincidental. Correction systems In accordance with the re- cent increase of interest concerning correctional systems, I have noticed ar- ticles in The Herald written by people who seem to think they know all about the cor- rection systems. May I first remind them, punishment is no longer the standard. Modern systems are supposed to rehabilitate the offender. Citizens may have noticed the local institution's title was changed from Lethbridge Provincial Goal to Lethbridge Correctional In- stitute some time ago. The name change is a farce. There is admittedly more privileges than in recent years, but this system does very little to rehabilitate an offender. The number of cor- rections officers in this jail who will help an inmate can be counted on one hand. Citizens seldom know the whole story Also just because certain in- dividuals request jail time in court, this does not mean all inmates have nothing to look forward to in the free world. This just goes to show all is not as it seems. AN INMATE Lethbridge Correctional Institute School board priorities Questionable independence From the Wall Street Journal What is the public school board up to? Jim Grant reports (The Herald, Jan. 29) school trustees held a secret session while they approved another central office position. Despite protests from one school and the ATA local council represents all teachers) trustees authorized an ap- pointment, likely to cost 000 a year. Previously, the school board agreed to spend over for free driving lessons for high school students and will soon budget for extra support staff in the form of resource teachers. A spending spree of and that's only part of the story. My child is one of 35 students jammed in a small classroom; teachers tell in frightened whispers of class- rooms with 40 and even 50 students; articles and letters have been written by local teachers about the problems caused by enormous class- loads.. Yet, trustees ignore the problem or piously claim they have no money to hire extra staff. No money for teachers to reduce class sizes but 000 for unnecessary fancy schemes not wanted by teachers and certain to add to their paper Work. Ttiere is an urgent need for the Lethbridge Public School Board to re-examine its priorities. Public funds should be used to help all students and not squandered on stunts and building up private kingdoms. CONCERNED PARENT Lethbridge In what was described as a major foreign policy statement, Canada's secretary of state for external affairs recently announced the end of Canada's "special relationship" with the United States. Allen J. MacEachen said Canada henceforth would seek economic independence, which freely translated means Ottawa will broaden its three-year-old policy of trying to discourage U.S. capital invest- ment in Canada. While we have from time to time expressed a degree of sympathy for Canadian com- plaints that their country is suffering from "Americanization, both economically and culturally, we're saddened by the method Ot- tawa takes to express its attitude. It has rigg- ed a tax gimmick that will- force closing of the Canadian issue of Time magazine. And it is proposing tax changes that will discourage Canadian businesses from advertising in U.S. publications and on U.S. broadcasting stations. Some Canadians may get psychic benefits that cannot be quantified as a result of these actions. But at what cost? We can't see how Canada does anything but damage and weaken its own economy by these kinds of ac- tions. Setting up barriers to international commerce, whether through tariffs or tax gimmicks, harms mostly the nations that employ them, not the nations they are sup- posedly designed to effect. But more than the economic cost is the cost of freedom. Let us thank Time as it flies-if fly it must; Canadians will no longer be free to buy a for what it has done to celebrate the Canadian edition of Time; Canadian Canadian. If nothing else, the Canadian edi- businessmen will have their freedom to pre- lion has taught us to spell our names right, sent their commercial messages curtailed Such is the beginning of true greatness, i Mr. MacEachen makes much of the fact that by 1971; 27 per cent of the assets of Cana- dian non-financial corporations were in U.S. ;hands, with the figure above 75 per cent in some industries. But the way to reverse that process is not by government fiat, making it .more difficult for Americans or anyone else to buy Canadian assets, but to improve and strengthen the Canadian economy to the point where Canadians have the capital with which they can buy Canadian assets. The process Ottawa is now engaged in is only a sophisticated form of expropriation, which the banana republics have been employing for generations. It makes a few people feel good for a week or two and sets back economic growth for a decade. The banana republic syndrome, we might add, has not only made inroads in Ottawa, but is beginning to gain ground in Washington. After more than a half century of putting capital abroad, the United States is now ex- periencing an inflow of foreign investment, and know nothing politicians in Washington are grumbling about "foreign takeovers." Even usually thoughtful Americans worry about petrodollars buying up the New York Stock Exchange. Except when national security is explicitly involved, the economic cost of thwarting such investment through trade and tax barriers far outweighs the illusory psychic benefits that might obtain in keeping American assets in American hands -through government decree. Heaven forfend the day the United States decides, like Canada, that it prefers "economic independence" to'the freedoms and economic efficiencies of being an integrated part of the world economy. Speeding drivers It becomes increasingly nauseating to read and listen to the whining of the crazy wheels drivers who got caught speeding on the new 6th Avenue south bridge and bridge approaches. Every person who holds a drivers licence should know that the maximum speed in Lethbridge is 30 miles per hour unless otherwise posted and I will gamble that no one was charged for speed less than 38 miles per hour and that should be ample leeway for anyone. There always seems to be those who will criticize the police for trying to enforce laws that the police did not make but which the police have sworn to uphold and only those who disregard the speed laws need be concerned about "speed traps." RAY KEITGES Lethbridge The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th SI. S. Letr.bridge. Alberla LETHBRIDGE 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. 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