Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 7, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE IETHBR1DGE HERALD - Wednesday, February 7, 1973 Protective coloration for the PM By Peter Desbarats, Toronto Star Ottawa commentator Rights of possession As one reads the commentary on the decision or non-decision ol the Supreme Court of Canada on the appeal ot the Nishga Indians regarding their claim of rights to territory, a suspicion arises mat legalism got in the way of common sense. No case as important as this one should be allowed to go into some kind of legal limbo because of a technicality. This is apparently what has happened as a result of the failure of a judge to break a tie by casting his vote, on the grounds that the Indians' appeal had not come through the proper channels. The astounding thing about the vote against the Indians' claim is that they were based on the charters and other legal precedents established by the European invaders of North America. Clearly the charters and other legal precedents are grounded in the simple act of taking possession of territory. This is surely the point of departure for deciding the Indians' appeal. What is right for the white man ought to be right for the Indian. If the Indian has been able to occupy a territory against the aggressive invasion of the white man he ought to have as much right to lay claim to legal title to the land as the descendants of the early white invaders to their titles. History cannot be reversed; the white people are in Canada for better or worse. Compensation to the Indians for all the land taken from tliem initially does not seem to be within the realm of practicability. But land that has been in the hands of Indians until the present should pose no insunnountable problems for the recognition of right to title. The least that could be done in the way of making some amends for ancient wrongs would be to allow possession today to have some of the same force as it had in the past. If the Supreme Court cannot deal with the matter within its terms of reference, let the government do it. Railway lifeline An assortment of withering southern Alberta communities is envisaged by Magrath Chamber of Commerce president Harold Boucher should the CPR freight service to these points be abandoned. The CPR plans to apply to the department of transport on Jan. 1, 1975 for permission to abandon the lines in 1976. In Boucher's opinion the rail line is' the life of the small town. Its termination would spell instant death. He has seen southern communities wither before this, such as Foremost in 1926 following five years' draught and Grassy Lake in the thirties when five trainloads of grain had to be brought in to keep the livestock alive. He believes the same tragedy would be triggered with the exit of the railway. A foretaste of operating without rail service was experienced this past fall at Whiskey Gap from August 18 until November 6. It took the efforts of former MP Bud Olsen to revive the service. He points to the conditions at railway - abandoned Raley, where a huge 'For Sale' sign adorns the town's three elevators, as a prime example of railway departure. With a total of 791.3 million bushels of grain moved by rail this past year, the abandoning of rail lines spells a backward step to Boucher. He foresees farmers having to invest in $12,-000 trucks for long grain hauls to the proposed 80 new strategically located elevators, estimated to cost $7 million. Instead of abandoning rural lines he is urging that the government purchase the CPR together with its airlines, hotels and holdings and get in on the $69 million annual profit. Included in the deal would be the oil and mineral rights along the 4200 mile right of way. Believing rural town railway service is worth fighting for, the Magrath chamber president, accompanied by vice president Charles Matkin will be touring the southern communities to gain public support for the protest brief feeing prepared for presentation to the legislature in June. If previous protests are any indication of the tone of the southern farmers' thinking it is apparent Boucher will be backed by a wave of concern sure to be heard as far east as Ottawa. ANDY RUSSELL Charlie Wise's Bear WATERTON LAKES PARK - Charlie Wise was a mountain trapper, one of the oldtimers I knew when I wandered through the Rockies with a packtrain years ago. Seventy years lay light on his shoulders; he carried his rawhide-tough, six foot two inch frame straight as an arrow. He was a friendly, soft spoken man, well liked by most people who knew him, although something of a recluse preferring to live alone on the upper reaches of the Flathead in southeastern British 'Columbia, where he had a trapline. Away back during the flu epidemic of 1918 he had lost his wife and daughter, a tragedy that he never fully got over for he pretty much buried himself in the wilds for the rest of his life. Uunlike some trappers he kept Ms cabin neat and trim. Every so often he would mix a can of pure lye in a pail of hot water, spread it all over the floor and then sweep it outside. This was followed by another bucket of hot water and soap suds treated in the same fashion. Consequently his board floor was the color and texture of bone. He also loved chewing tobacco. In summer he kept the top of the puffing billy heater open and could spit accurately into the hole from about any angle. Charlie was an interesting man to talk to and I always enjoyed a visit with him. One day in June I rode to his door in late afternoon on the way back to my camp 15 miles farther up the river. It had been a long hot day and my horse and I were both in need of a rest, so when he invited me to stay for supper I gladly accepted. After hobbling my horse on a lush meadow back of his cabin, I was returning when I noticed a big black bear skin nailed to the wall under the gable. Apart from the fact that it was a huge skin, it was a most unusual color being a deep purplish red unlike any I had ever seen. After we had finished a good meal and were stretched out in Charlie's comfortable hand-made easy chairs, I asked him about the bear. Aiming a dead centre shot into the top of his stove, lie grunted, cogitated a bit and proceeded with a story. A couple of weeks earlier he had come home from a trip out to civilization for some supplies. It had been raining and while he was busy getting some wood to cook supper, he noticed fresh bear tracks on a patch of wet earth not far from his door. The bear was a big one, but he thought nothing of it for it hadn't touched anything. Bears, both grizzly and black, were numerous on the Flathead 20 years ago. Anyway, Charlie made his supper, tidied up his cabin and in due course went to bed. His bed was a pretty fancy affair - a kind of combination four-poster and bunk - located under the window at the front of the cabin with bed posts at the head and foot, cross pieces between and the ends filled in -with hand-whittled spokes. By way of covers he used his eider down sleeping bag spread out on the mattress. He was soon asleep, but along toward morning he was jarred suddenly awake by the crash of the window breaking. He looked to see what was happening and was somewhat-astonished to see the head of a big bear thrust through the sash right across his middle. Being a pretty cool type and knowing sudden moves were out of order under the circumstances, Charlie sneaked his hand back to his .45 sixshoot-er hanging in an open holster on a belt that was hooked over the bed post near his head. Sliding the gun free, he thumbed the hammer back and in the same motion cut loose at the base of the bear's ear. There was a thundering report, a mushroom of red flame blossomed at the muzzle of the gun, and the bear lurched and half fell on top of him before it disappeared back out the window. At the same time Charlie felt a sharp burning pain in the toes of one foot and for the moment figured the bear had bitten him. In one jump he was out of bed limping toward his rifle with his ears ringing from the blast of the sixshooter in the closed room. A look out the door revealed the bear standing on the edge of the timber fifty yards away in the grey light of dawn. Another shot brought it down stone dead and Charlie set about taking stock. His first shot had gone low, the bullet just grazing the bear and then penetrating the sleeping bag to pass through between his big and second toes. It did not even cut the skin but just burned it a bit. "Damn lucky I didn't blow my foot oft!" Charlie remarked in winding up his story. "But I sure blowed a big hole in my bed. There was feathers all over the placel.'' OTTAWA - Since the election three months ago, the dominant color has been brown. Brown suits, shirts and ties. If it were possible, one suspects, the prime minister would wear a brown carnation. The few speeches and press conferences that he has given have been low-keyed. Even in the House of Commons, Mr. Trudeau fades into the woodwork. There are many days when the enlarged and more aggressive front bench of the Conservative opposition seems to lose sight of him. Their fire is drawn by the more responsive ministers, who sit on either side of Mr. Trudeau, particularly Transport Minister Marchand and Finance Minister Turner. Mr. Ti'udeau's reticence since the election has been deliberate - the product of advice from his own staff as well as his own decision to concentrate on the job of putting together a new cabinet and legislative program while making his personal adjustment to the unexpected decision of Oct. 30. But it has mystified the public. Recently, it has contributed to a fairly widespread assumption that the election was the beginning of the end for Mr. Trudeau. This opinion is heard more often outside of Ottawa these days than in the capital. After the prime minister's press conference in Montreal recently, a local radio journalist said to me: "Of course, none of it's important - he's on the way out, isn't he?" The notion that Mr. Trudeau's every move now only hastens his political demise has become extremely fashionable. Trying to assess the prime minister's own reaction to his current situation is far from easy. There are perhaps only two or three people in Ottawa in whom he really confides, and they don't talk about him to outsiders. Observations and recollections by members of his own staff and cabinet colleagues are reasonably plentiful, but they all have to be taken with a grain of salt. As long as this is kept in mind, the scraps of information now available from these sources can be combined to create a rough sketch of Trudeau II. To begin with, there is no doubt that the result of the election surprised and shocked Mr. Trudeau. Everything came into question after October 30. Turning to one of his ministers in those early days of reassessment, the prime minister said: "I'll tell you one thing that's certain. From now on, no more philosophizing." This remark was prompted by the aftermath of the election within the Liberal Party, when the prime minister, his staff and the cabinet underwent a torrent of criticism from former candidates and the rank and file. "The caucus descended on us like a ton of bricks," recalled one of the younger ministers. "They blamed us for providing nothing but generalities during the campaign. They said "Members will recall we agreed yesterday to receive representations from across Canada ..," A joyless and uneasy Vietnam peace By Tom Wicker, New Yc�k Times commentator CAMBRIDGE, Mass., - At his recent news conference, President Nixon suggested that some of his critics were gagging at his phrase, "peace with honor." Pointing out that "it takes two to heal wounds," he further suggested that his critics seem to be those getting "the least pleasure out of the peace agreement." That may be true, if not precisely in the sense Nixon intended it. But even if he were literally correct in imputing to his critics a certain lack of generosity, what would be so surprising about that? It was they, after all, who began urging an end to the war long before Richard Nixon took office. It was they whose position, courage and even patriotism have Letters to the editor been constantly disparaged by the Nixon administration. But it is those same critics whose views on the basic senselessness of the war have been vindicated, however, Nixon may insist that only his policy could have ended it honorably. All that aside, it is true in another sense that many who have vigorously opposed the war are not entirely pleased with the substance of the settlement or the way it came about. Too many questions remain, even after Nixon's news conference and two long television appearances by Dr. Henry Kissinger; and many whose interest in the war has consumed much of their intellectual and professional lives doubt that there was only one possible or honor- Rally to the cause Because of a certain article written in The Herald (January 12) a great deal of controversy has arisen. A large number of people believe the true facts have not been made public. I as one of that number do not believe The Herald is purposely guilty of hiding those true facts, or of misleading the public, to the detriment of the local brotherhood of carpenters. To be specific, 100 carpenters were supposed to be out of work at that time, subsequent investigation shows only a quarter of that number out of work. Further, a job opportunity open at the Lethbridge Community College offered a fee of $10.50 per hour for an instructor. May I point out that this "fee" amounts to $450 less than was offered last year. If last year's fee had been offered the finest carpenter superintendent in Lethbridge would have been willing to accept this challenge . . . The vital defence of our basic right, which is to be a part of any organization that protects our livelihood, is at stake Please brothers rally to the cause. Unionism has brought us a long way from what such a noted statesman as Churchill said, "United we stand, divided we fall." BRUCE R. MOYNAN Coaldale. Furious dog owner I am also a furious dog owner and taxpayer. I have a male dog that has been fixed and is not allowed to stray. How would you like to have (and I've counted them) up to seven or eight dogs in one morning come to your yard and spray at least five or six places, mess at your back door (and I've stepped in it coming to the door)? Is this why the dogs should have running room? I do not tie up my dog, he has the run of the back yard, so why can't other people do this? I've bought dog repellent pel� lets which I have hung here and there to no avail. What am I supposed to do? Is this why I pay a five dollar licence fee? To have all the dogs in the neighborhood here and mine in the back yard. If I called the dog pound and had them just stand here and wait, they could earn their full day's wages and believe me I'm going to. I am sick and tired of cleaing up mess after mess from other people's dogs. FRUSTRATED DOG OWNER Lethbridge able pattern of events to bring it to an end. In his conversation with Marvin Kalb of CBS, Kissinger did supply a plausible explanation for what had seemed to be Nixon's arrogant refusal to explain the Christmas bombing attack on North Vietnam. The president would almost certainly have had to specify, had he made a speech on the matter, under what conditions he would end the bombing; and that, Kissinger said, would have posed "an issue of prestige" for the. North Vietnamese and probably would have made it harder for them to return to the negotiating table. But that does not explain, nor does anything else that has been said by Nixon or Kissinger, why the Christmas bombing was necessary. The American people have been left to believe that the bombing was ordered because, in November and December, Hanoi would not negotiate seriously and raised frivolous questions of detail. No one has yet offered an explanation of why, by Kissinger's own admission, the North Vietnamese negotiated serously and in good faith in October, to the point that he could say that peace was "at hand," and why they then turned around, as he contends, and refused to negotiate seriously in November and December, to the point that the president was justified in bombing their capital city. Kissinger told Kalb that "it was not a case that we made certain demands that they rejected." But at least two major events took place after he and Le Due Tho drew up the October draft agreement, and before they resumed negotiations in November. One was the American insistence, to some extent prompted by Saigon, that further negotiations were necessary on certain points; the other was Nixon's landslide reelection. To what extent, it is fair to ask, did these developments contribute to the lack of seriousness attributed to Hanoi in the negotiations that then ensued? Until that question is answered more fully - indeed it has not been answered at all - there is no way to assess the real necessity, or lack of it, for the Clu'istmas bombing. Those who have 'their; cioubla on this point can only have found them increased when Kissinger told Kalb that in December "the more difficult Hanoi was, the more rigid Saigon grew." Thus caught between the "contending Vietnamese parties," whose attitudes Kissinger seemed to condemn equally, Hanoi got bombed and Saigon got another visit from general Haig.) Kissinger also was willing - as the president has not been - to say that it was "no shame" to have advocated an earlier end to the war than actually came about. Indeed not, particularly since he had just explained that the Nixon administration had carried on the war for deliberate political purposes - which in the long view of history may or may not prove to have been worthwhile. One was to give Saigon "enough authority so that its actions meant something and could be carried out." The other was to end the war "by a decision of (the American) government and not in an act of exhaustion." Previously, Kissinger had asserted that peace could not have been had before October, 1972, because Hanoi insisted until then on a coalition government in Saigon as a prerequisite; even if that is true, he now concedes that there was also, on Nixon's part, a desire to continue the war until certain aims were achieved. So it is probably true, as the President suspects, that those who oppose the war are those who get "the least pleasure" from the agreement now tenuously in force. To be glad that the agony is over is not the same thing as to be proud that the war was fought; and well it might be said of Nixon's way of ending it, "another such peace and we are undone." that the public had a right to expect specific programs from a government." Since then it has become accepted fact in the party that something was wrong with the "spirit" as well as the organization of the cabinet in the last few years before the election. "The whole cabinet became del I isive under the pressure of all the protest and criticism that was current in the late sixties," explained a senior party official. "Whenever a new idea was brought up, they could think of a thousand and one objections to it. There were too many nay-sayers in senior positions, and no one argued with them. "The problem during the campaign was that the platform was mainly left up to the cabinet, and they treated the platform as if it were proposed legislation." The prime minister contribu-uted to this development. In the year before the election, he often analyzed his role in the cabinet as an instrument of consensus. He was there not to impose his opinion on others - a role that he certainly had filled within less important groups at earlier stages in his career - but to help the other members of the cabinet to reach agreement. "At times, he seemed to be allergic to any real division in the cabinet because then it would force him to take sides," recalled one of his ministers. Another minister felt that Mr. Trudeau experienced a growing lack of confidence in himself at that time. For him, public criticism of his government was compounded by criticism and conflicting advice about his own style in office from his own associates. "I've always felt that Mr. Trudeau was an insecure individual and that his arrogance was simply a defensive tactic that he used to protect himself," said this minister. "The Trudeaumania thing in 1968 hid the fact that here was a very insecure guy who had trouble relating to people, particularly at close range." Mr. Trudeau's own sense of growing frustration before the election was evident when he talked about the campaign as a "bath of fire" that would somehow burn away the accumulated trivia and debris of the preceding years. According to his associates, the liberating effect of the election of the prime minister has been increasingly apparent. "It's a strange word to use," said one, "but the best term that I can think of to describe it is serene." "I think it's clear in his own mind that he wants to stay in office, that he will go to great lengths to stay in office, and that he fully intends to make others go along with him in this decision." "At this point, you'll just have to take it from me that there's been a marked change," insisted a senior party official. "He realized after the election that he had not sufficiently exerted his leadership, and this is now happening." It may yet be a' little while before the public is able to judge the extent of these changes for itself. But the prime minister will probably move more decisively in t h e public forum, as well as in the cabinet room, after the budget rounds out the government's initial legislative thrust in Parliament. 'Crazy Capers' Mom....it's live commercial break. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS) K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"