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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Wedneiday, February THl LETHMIDQI HMALD-W up U.S. District Court Judge John J. Sirica, left, takes a right to the jaw from Jack Dempsey, former heavyweight boxing champion, as they pose for photo- graphers prior to a Washington dinner in honor of Sirica. Labor firmly in office WELLINGTON, N.Z. (CP) A year ago New Zealand's Labor party won office in a landslide after 12 years in the political wilderness. "It's the party proclaimed as its electoral slogan. After a year it has dis- illusioned those who expected the milleniurn, but still is firmly in office. Most of its success is due to the highly effective performance of Prime Minister Norman E. Kirk. As leader of the opposition. Kirk was inclined to rant. Since taking office he has be- come increasingly quiet, rea- sonable, low author- itative. The more he has re- fused to flap, the more his reputation has grown. His performance has been in striking contrast to that of his opposite number in Aus- Whitlam, who took office at the head of a Labor regime at almost the same time. Where Whitlam has been ebullient, abrasive, dramatic Kirk has taken a reassuring unspectacular approach. In foreign affairs, Whitlam has managed to alienate most neighboring leaders, has made various gestures of in- dependence from Britain, has offered the United States, without gaining notable new friends except maybe China. OFFENDS NO ONE In contrast, Kirk has taken much of the same route, but NORMAN KIRK has hardly offended anyone. Like Australia, he has with- drawn forces from Vietnam, recognized Peking and estab- lished friendly relations, as- serted an "independent" line hi foreign affairs, but has aroused no antagonisms. By insisting on withdrawing the battalion committed to de- fence support of Malaysia and Singapore, Whitlam has pla- cated the strong left-wing ele- ment in his party, but has un- dermined confidence built up in Southeast Asia over many years. New Zealand has agreed to leave its battalion in support for as long as Ma- laysia and Singapore need it, and in the process has en- uzzled puppy This cocker spaniel appears puzzled by his reflection as he studies himself in a mirror. He belongs to Gary Aldridge of Decatur, Ala. hanced its reputation in the area as a reliable ally. The only sphere in which New Zealand has tended to- ward the dramatic gesture was in the sending of a frigate to the scene of the French nuclear tests at Mururoa atoll in the South Pacific. But Kirk skillfully avoided the risk of a fiasco by denying that a di- rect confrontation was in- tended and by asserting that the warship was sent only as a "silent witness" of French defiance of world public opin- WON PUBLICITY This policy won New Zea- land a great deal of publicity and approval without risking a direct naval challenge to France. At the same timf comprehensive campaigns against the French tests were mounted by taking the issue to the World Court and by well- planned resolutions at the United Nations and other international organizations. But while Kirk's moderate, shrewd, judicious approach in foreign affairs won plaudits at .home and abroad, the Labor government's performance in domestic affairs has won less enthusiasm. Many people allege that the Kirk government is a one-man band. They claim that while he personally has done well, the calibre of his cabinet is poor. One or two cabinet minis- ters like Minister of ..Justice Dr. Martyn Finlay, a reason- able and articulate spokes- man on almost any topic, have enhanced their reputations. But most others have made little impact. Critics claim that the gov- ernment has allowed inflation, which the previous regime had nearly brought under control, to get out of hand again. And they maintain that far from bringing a period of industrial peace, the year has been marked by more strikes and labor unrest than previously. Indeed, many critics claim that the industrial wing of trade are the real power in the land. .FARMERS MAD Farmers especially are up in arms at a series of govern- ment moves which they claim are sapping the life blood of the pastoral in- dustries. One of the issues which has most divided the country is over sports relations with Sooth Africa. Rugby football is almost a religion in New Zealand. After declaring in the election campaign that Labor in office would not in- terfere with a projected South African Rugby tour of New Zealand, the Labor govern- ment presented an increas- ingly hostile attitude to the tour and eventually banned it. The decision won warm ap- plause from many opponents of South African race policies at home and abroad, but was deeply resented by large numbers of Rugby enthusiasts and by others who claimed that concessions had been won from South Africa over selection of the team and should have been exploited. Kirk has shown a strain of idealism and willingness to take tmpopDlar decisions when be feels a stand is necessary or principle in several subsequent rulings against sports contact with South Af- rica. Power grid dream may come true By VICTOR MACK1E Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA A national power f rid is now much closer to realization in Canada because of the impetus of the energy crisis, Energy Minister Donald Macdonald suggests. A re-examination of the ad- vantages of such a power grid in the light of soaring prices of oil and gas and new techniques for transmission of electricity is underway in Canada. Ottawa has offered federal funds to speed the development. He forecast in the near future a closer interconnec- tion between the four western provinces. Meantime Ontario Hydro is wrestling with the problem of overcoming the substantial mileage gap between the lake- head and the major consuming centres of Ontario which in the past have presented a formidable barrier to such a power grid. Mr. Macdonald reviewed the developments arising out of the energy conference of first ministers held in Ottawa late last month. He spoke to the Canadian and Empire clubs in Toronto and issued a text in advance to the parliamentary press gallery. The federal government has funded research into long-dis- tance transmission by provin- cial organizations. The federal financing of Manitoba Hydro's Nelson River direct current transmission line has established a "body of ex- pertise in Winnipeg which can make a major contribution to the development of a national said the minister. There has been important achievements in long-distance transmission by both Hydro- Quebec and Ontario Hydro, said the minister. Extensive discussions have .taken place over the last sev- eral months with the govern- ments of the Atlantic provinces to establish closer regional cooperation between electric utilities in that area. Tighter interconnections between the power utilities of the provinces can mean greater security in the electric supply systems, economies in operation and a lower cost for consumers, said Mr. Macdonald. Ottawa at the energy conference offered financial assistance to the provinces to enhance interconnection between provincial utilities on a regional basis. 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