Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 7, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETNMIDQE HERALD Thursday, February LIHTOIIIMS Custodians of ideals The significance of Watergate is not in exposing corruption in high places, but in the discovery that the United States took a wrong turn in the road. However often it was soiled or dimmed, the American dream remained for many generations the brightest light in the political geography of the world. To reach the United States, with its promise of freedom and opportunity, was the highest goal of millions of Europeans. James Reston, whose wisdom frequently is relayed on this page, invoked the even greater wisdom of Walter Lippmann when he (Reston) was analysing President Nixon's attempt to dispose of Watergate by saying "one year of it is enough." Said Lippmann on another occasion, "Those in high places are more than the administrators of government bureaus. They are more than the writers of laws. They are the custodians of the nation's ideals, of the beliefs it cherishes, of its permanent hopes, of the faith which makes a nation out of a mere aggregation of individuals. They are unfaithful to that trust when by word and example they promote a spirit that is complacent, evasive and acquisitive "The people are looking for men who are truthful, and resolute and eloquent in the conviction that the American destiny is to be free and magnanimous, who will talk to the people about their duty, and about the sacrifices they must make, and about the discipline they must impose upon themselves about all those things which make a people self- respecting, serene and confident." There is a Canadian dream, too, as grand and worthy as the American but seldom articulated or even felt. Canada has been spared her Watergate, but otherwise she too has failed. Attempts have been made to make a nation out of a mere aggregation of individuals, but so often they are denounced by regional bigotry. More than anything else Canada needs a sense of national purpose and of national cohesion. The gross national product, the balance of payments, the control of energy, foreign take-over of industry, even the rate of inflation all of these are secondary. As Lippmann said, the great issues of life and politics in a prosperous nation are not material but spiritual. That fits Canada today. When is a crisis? An Observer story out of London reports that foreign businessmen are asking, "Is Britain trying to commit A front page headline in the left-of- centre London Daily Mirror reads, "Is everybody going bloody The London Times says, "The mood of the country is restless and concerned... The prospect is dark." Small wonder that the outside world thinks that Britain is going through a crisis. This is denied, in one way or another, by some of those on the scene. Many British workers, chopped back to a three-day week, find that they are about as well off financially as they were before, what with lower taxes on a lower income and unemployment compensation to make up much of the difference. Shopping by candlelight, waiting for trains that may not come, foregoing the telly after p.m. all are accepted with such calm than an unrepentant Australian journalist wrote home, "I am beginning to suspect that the English enjoy crises." A point that is frequently overlooked in an analysis of news is the deceptive fact that the daily current of life is inexorable, crisis or not. Even during the sad, bloody revolution in Santiago, a great many Chileanos rose in the morning, went about their daily business, and went to bed at night with little change in the usual routine of daily existence. While the social fabric of British life long ago proved itself sturdy enough to survive the wear and tear of even serious inconvenience and to deny the prophecy (not invented ,by journalists) that the impasse between the Heath government and the coal miners' union would lead to class warfare, is really little doubt that Britain's economy is at a critical stage. Britain's balance of payments deficit is about three times as much on a percentage basis as in 1964, which was supposed to be a critical year. Manufacturing output has fallen by more than 15 per cent, the equivalent of about million a week. By the middle of February a third of all manufacturing companies expect to be in financial trouble, brought on by the difficulty in obtaining industrial materials. The governor of the Bank of England has warned that economic austerity might last until 1984. The long range view is rosier. In an energy-short world, Britain might even be said to be in an enviable position, being an island of coal surrounded by a sea of oil. Nevertheless, the short-term outlook is bleak. The coal miners have learned a lesson from the Arabs and they, too, have political as well as economic goals. THE CASSEROLE According to Outdoors Unlittered, an ecology-minded group with some Alberta government affiliation, Holland is planning a special 180 levy on each new car sold. Every time the car is re-sold the buyer must pay the seller that levy above the price of the car itself. When the last owner proves to the authorities that he has properly scrapped the vehicle and effectively disposed of it so that it doesn't clutter up the land or landscape, the 180 is returned to him. A six-year study of respiratory illnesses in a Michigan town has turned up the information that more people get colds on Monday than on any other day, that the rich get fewer colds than the poor and that well- educated people seem to get more respiratory illnesses such as colds or flu than others. This is bad news for the highly- educated person with a low income particularly on Monday. 'His master's voice' Letters Federal secretaries rebel By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator If all goes well, 500 or more government secretaries will parade on Parliament Hill on St. Valentine's Day, to carry placards "Make Work, Not Love" will be one and to present to Pierre Trudeau, unless he chooses to offend half the electorate and turn the scene into a personal St. Valentine's Day Massacre, a petition demanding an end to "rug-ranking" in the federal civil service. The 27.000 secretaries are the government's most- exploited, and most-easy-to- exploit, workers. "Rug- ranking" reduces a secretary to a status object, equivalent to a wood-topped desk, a. clock-radio, a, rug: she can win promotion only if her boss is first promoted and so qual- ifies for a more senior secretary. "Rug-ranking" was attacked as far back as 1969 in a report to the Public Service Commission by Dr. Kathleen Archibald. She wrote: "The secretary (woman) of the office (household) plays a supportive role and her status is only peripherally related to her own achievements and instead depends on the status of her boss Nothing has been done since. Treasury Board Secretary Bud Drury has said that merit rating, "would be difficult to also, the treasury board last year surveyed departments and found senior civil servants overwhelmingly opposed to any change. Secretaries themselves are the hardest of all workers to mobilize: many are young girls for whom a typing job is a way-station to marriage; older women are often too shy to protest. The other reason why nothing has been done helps to explain what will happen on St. Valentine's Day: until now the organized women's movement in Ottawa, overwhelmingly middle-class in its membership, has given the secretaries no support. Class has proved more important than sisterhood. The commonest accusation against the women's movement is that its goals, values and self-interests are exclusively middle-class. This has been more true in Ottawa than elsewhere. In a city where causes are never crushed but, much more effectively, are co-opted, the process of absorption was painless: most of the movement's members were already bureaucrats. "A woman with the right background can now go as far as she wants in the civil service. There are no real obstacles any more, except perhaps in her one of the movement leaders told me. As the crutright discriminations, at least against professional women (who after all are the wives or friends of those changing the rules) disappeared, the committees and studies, inevitably so in government, have proliferated. There's an Advisory Council on the Status of Women; a Co-ordinator, Status of Women'in the Privy Council and an Inter- Departmental Committee on Equal Opportunity (A code- name for women's A fortnight ago this committee set up an ad-hoc, sub-committee, to study "the parameters of the problem" of rug-ranking. Of the 167 recommendations of the three-year-old Royal Commission on the Status of Women, only 47 have been fully implemented. Prodded by Dr. Hatie Cooke's advisory council, the government is putting together a package for the Throne Speech, plus a million fund to celebrate International Women's Year in 1975. "We can push the government only so far without pressure from Dr. Cooke told me. That pressure has eased. The prime minister's office received only 250 letters on women's issues last year compared to in 1971. As important, the women's movement in Ottawa, in an organized sense, has virtually collapsed. Early in 1972 an umbrella- organization, the Women's Resource Group was set up. It claimed 250 members, presented briefs to Parliament, and staged one headline-making demon- stration when two of its members, both government lawyers, were ejected from the unisexual Rideau Club where they had gone to take part in a government meeting. Wearing garden-party dresses and floppy hats, group members set up tables and chairs outside the club's front door and offered tea to the diplomats and mandarins walking hastily by while press photographers snapped the scene. (The Rideau Club is still By the end of 1972 the Women's Resource Group, effectively, had disbanded. "Most of us had jobs in the civil service and didn't have time for a one member explained. (A quite separate, and activist, Women's Centre still exists.) The Women's Resource Group is stirring back to life. One reason is that the new Association of Public Service Secretaries, which almost collapsed after its request for an end to "rug-ranking" was rejected flatly last summer, has lifted up its head again. The other reason, as one group member put it to me, is: "Guilt. We let the secretaries down." "Rug-ranking" is an indefensible outrage to human dignity that is perpetrated upon no other class of government workers. St. Valentine's Day will be a test for the secretaries; it will be a test also for Ottawa's, middle- class, women's movement. Small town survival possible with government planning By Brace Whitestone, syndicated commentator Ask almost anyone, particularly our provincial policy makers, what is happening to the small town in Canada, and the answer will likely be: It is dying, or is already dead. Like the five cent telephone call or the penny postcard, the small town, the nation's bedrock, is universally accounted among the late and much lamented. However, it is not true, or at least it need not be. The small town, while perhaps not universally alive and well, is holding on in a great number of cases, is thriving in others, and needs only a more intelligent public policy to make it again a viable place for Canadians who can abide neither city nor suburb. Most of the data pointing to this conclusion can be drawn from the census figures of the last 25 years which shows the pattern of the nation. The percentage of the population living in towns of less than people has, surprisingly, increased from the 1951 figure of 19 per cent to the 1986 percentage of 19.9, while the actual number of people living in these small towns rose from 2.3 million to 2.8 million over the same period of time. While some towns are n trouble, particularly on the prairies and in the Atlantic provinces, the problem is exaggerated and in fact worsened by government planners. Too, small town officials and businessmen may believe that their town is dying, and thus are afraid to take risks, or they may fail to realize that aid should be made available. With, or perhaps in spite of government programs, towns that try to survive generally do. By contrast government planners have tried to fight the desires of a significant part of the population. In the 1960s, the federal government's regional planners were clamoring for "growth centres" which could serve as the focal points for government grants. The ontports of Newfoundland were to be replaced by new population points that were, pei hups, more convenient for the bureaucratic mind, but tended to ignore human considerations. In the prairies, railroad lines were abandoned with government approval and grain elevators were then forced to close; consequently, the governments involved were able to proclaim, with defiant, self fullfillmg wisdom, that the small town was finished. In Ontario regional governments are even now replacing some of the functions of historic, small towns, all too frequently in clear opposition to the wishes of the population involved. In each case the rationalization is based on the "best interests" of the population involved. The crux of the small towns' dilemma is an economic one. How can they retain their essential character and at the same time generate sufficient funds? Economic resources are needed to provide a standard of living not only for their present population but for the young people who are flocking to the job market in uiipieiedeuted iiuuibeis. It is necessary to understand rural economics in order to help them. Rural production is literally the creation of city consumption. That is. city economies invent the things that lead to imports from the rural world and, in turn, reinforce the existence of rural areas. For example, long ago so called country weaving was developed in medieval cities, but as medieval cities became centres of trade and other commerce, country weaving became a cottage industry, which provided a livelihood in many small towns. The process by which city economies leads to rural survival goes on to- day. In Quebec, apple coolers stand at num- erous crossroads; apples are brought to- gether from many farms and stand in carbon dioxide atmosphere in local warehouses until it is marketing time. Also, the development of abrasives and sanding materials leads to sand and gravel mining hi non urban areas. Facilities to generate electricity are usually located hi rural areas so the city use of electricity again demonstrates the complementary relationship of city and country economies. Electric installation obviously requires rural based construction equipment, dealers to sell them, and crews to man them. What is needed is that small towns undertake development programs to save themselves as prosperous, small communities. New industry can be started by local people utilizing both their talents and investment capital. If development corporations were established, (perhaps with tax concessions or matching debt money provided by provincial authorities) new enterprises could be launched more easily. Too often, investment funds are channeled to urban areas because those with capital hi small towns lack adequate mechanism for reinvesting their savings locally. Provincial governments synonymous. should improve transportation facilities to and from rural areas, a vital ingredient in their continuing economic success. Also, retail distribution, particularly of farm products, has become absurdly expensive and wasteful. Co operatives and rationalization of distribution is necessary now. This is an activity that can be developed locally and governments can assist here in formation of co operatives to handle some of these middleman's functions. If the small towns were to show more initiative, they could compel provincial governments to sit up and take notice. It is interesting to note that an increasing proportion of the population of Canada seems to ignore the false, conventional wisdom that the small towns are "going, going, gone." Now if small towns can demonstrate i die wed economic vigor, an even larger segment of the Canadian population will find that the good life and life, hi the small town can be Nationalization theme It certainly must-be delightful to have the security of knowledge that allows one to discuss so summarily and completely all the arguments and contentions of the entire oil and gas industry. Without a doubt the writer of the editorial, Objections over- ruled (Feb. has invested heavily in this industry for many years, probably worked on the rigs to find gas for the crown. We may be somewhat cynical of the idea that governments are always right and beyond reproach, but there have been instances where the irrefutable positions of officialdom and the newspaper have failed to stand up to a close examination after a few years. We are to be asked to invest in a new political venture to assure the continuation of exploration. Quite evidently it has been recognized that further discovery is essential and that the traditional sources of money have been betrayed. Individual holdings are to be limited to one per cent. This may be the time to tell us why we should place our trust and confidence in a government for one per cent when their word was no good for 20 or 50 per cent. Lacking the remarkable assurance of editorial observers we fail to understand how any government could expect us to commit our savings in a highly speculative arena when said government would be foolish to commit itself to anything. Political climates are entities of some consequence, and we will remember the socialists who had answers for everything in Britain 25 years ago. Nationalization was their theme, and nationalization of our petroleum industry is the theme here today, whether it is shrouded in the flowery language of justification or the fuzzy notions of political expediency. Industry in the tight little isle was ordered to submit to the facts of political life, they were told that profits would not be tolerated, and they were to be subjugated and kept healthy and busy. Government was always right and that was all they needed to know. Today there is no viable industry, and work, no production, nothing. The socialists and the newspapers still have all the answers. The island fortress is perched on top of virtually endless energy resources, and there's a single flickering fire in each house. The political climate is still a good subject for learned discussion but the cold and bleak realities of fuel shortage and runaway inflation face the whole nation. The exhorbitant taxes that sapped the energy and the moral fibre of industry have long since been dissipated in waste. Profits have been eliminated, investment in British industries would in probability be welcome. One bitterly cold night a few weeks ago, on the way home from work, I came upon a dozen huge trucks moving a drilling rig. The boys had been working since before daylight with wrenches and cables and blocks and chains and parkas. I very much doubt that there was even one newspaperman or social worker or government official among the crew. Ten years from now who knows? Milk River L. K. WALKER Disappointing news It was with a great deal of disappointment I received the news that the city had rejected the idea of naming -the new swimming pool after Stan Siwik. It was through his efforts that Lethbridge became known provincially, nationally and internationally in the world of competitive swimming. He is a man who is internationally revered as a coach and judge. He regularly appears at the world's most prestigious athletic competitions as a Canadian and a Lethbridge resident. He has affected the lives of hundreds of Lethbridge young people, by providing a wholesome recreational outlet which allowed them a wonderful fellowship and a unique opportunity to develop a rigorous-mental and physical discipline. At a time when nobody else believed, Stan held firm to his dreams and in spite of pathetic facilities, trained champions. His own life has been a constant source of inspiration to hundreds of Lethbridge youth. It seems outrageous that he has received 'so little recognition from a community to which he gave so much. MARDA MITCHELL Saskatoon Wishes club success The Native Awareness Club of the University of Lethbridge show great progress in the ways of education. Their letter to The Herald contained unsupported statements and avoided direct confrontation with accurate statements that I made. The Indian could never have entered the industrial age without the help of the white man. The great cities of central and south America had reached their zenith before the coming of the white man and their destruction could have been the lack of transportation. They did not even nave the horse Perhaps those students know more history and can name some great Indian inventors of the motor car, electric light, telephone, etc. The Indian was granted some protection from the white man because it is a known fact that were the farms on the reserve open for sale to all, it would not be long before white ownership exceeded Indian ownership. The Native Awareness Club recognizes this fact and want to extend the reserve because they fear to compete. They may succeed in turning this area in to another Ireland bat I do hope that the time does come when they will no longer desire to be Indians but just men, who are self-reliant and do not need special racial privileges. It was over half a century ago that I was impressed with the capabilities of the Indian. We had some Indian friends to dinner. The beautiful way they handled the English language made a lifelong impression. What does bother me is that their grandchildren have not more professional people among them Development of native crafts is a fine pastime but that is not the potential of the tribe. Working together they can beat the white man at his own game. The Hutterites have shown how a few families working together are now expanding so that it is possible they can. in the not- too-distant future own the best of the farm land. When the Indians worked as a tribe they commanded respect for thousands of miles. Working a tribe they could own the business of Alberta. I think they have become too white: some have farms and others have nothing. I wish the Native Awareness Club every success in demonstrating that an Indian can use a university education to place himself at the top. M. E. SPENCER Cardston The Lethbridge Herald SW TfhStS. LMMMdge. A1b0rtt LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD and Second Mail RejWraflon Mo. CLEO MOWERS, Editor and DON M PILLOW DONALD R. OORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES ROBERT M. FENTON MverSStog Manager OtrouWion Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER KENNETH E. BARNETT Editorial Editor Bvafriess Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"