Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, February IJMIOIUALS Nixon the pragmatist ROBERT STANFIELD WOULD MAKE A The budget which President Nixon has submitted to the U.S. Congress is more revealing than budgets usually are. It is a milestone document and projects expenditures of billion three times greater than the budget submitted to Congress a decade ago. The message accompanying it was also in stark contrast with last year's presidential call for austerity and a threat to impound appropriated funds if Congress didn't mind the budget. This year's message was very conciliatory in tone and accompanied by implications that if it is necessary to keep the economy healthy and the wolf from American doors the federal government will spend even more. The revelatory aspect of the budget is that it emphasizes once more that expediency and pragmatism are the chief Nixon virtues, regardless of his public posturing of being firmly rooted in moral certitude. Power acquiring it and holding on to it has been his guiding principle. And some say his only one. The Heikal ouster Plotting the course of Egypt's Anwar Sadat is a task that few commentators have been willing to tackle. Their lack of confidence is understandable in the light of the many shifts he has made in his position since assuming office after the death of Gamel Abdel Nasser. But it is an intriguing possibility that over-all he has been moving away from Nasserism. Nothing has given this possibility quite so much credence as the recent abrupt removal of Egypt's best-known political commentator, Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, from bis post as director of Cairo's Al Ahram publishing house In that position Heikal, in the days of Nasser and until now, helped make Egyptian policy. The policy reflected in the columns written by Heikal was unrelentingly anti- Israel and opposed to a peace settlement. On the surface, then, the ouster of Heikal seems to give credence to Sadat's statements on seeking peace and ending the oil embargo. There is no denying that Heikal had enormous influence in the Middle East and might continue to exert that influence from some other place, in open opposition to Sadat. That might lead to the downfall of Sadat or induce him to make another swing in position. Much will depend on how Heikal plays his cards. His strong friendship with Libya's strongman, Moammar Khadafy, might lead him to throw in his lot there. But while Khadafy's militancy seems to appeal to a certain element in the Arab world he has never been able to stir the people the way Nasser did. An alliance with Khadafy might not do much for Heikal in Egypt where lack of enthusiasm for Khadafy caused the proposed union of Egypt and Lybia to be shelved. It would be nice to believe that moderation is the predominant mood in the Middle East and that Sadat sensing this has tried to consolidate it by eliminating a spokesman for intransigence. Comforting as such a thought might be it would be a mistake to put too much confidence in it. The situation in the Middle East is still tense and uncertain and peace negotiations will have to be nursed with the greatest sensitivity. Tighter airline security U.S. officials are instituting requirements that foreign airlines operating within the United States tighten security measures. This Really long overdue. The Americans seem to have an effective anti-hijacking system. Since tough security precautions were instituted more than a year ago by Gen. Benjamin 0. Davis, who was given the job by the U.S. department of transportation, there have been no successful hijacking attempts in the U.S. Davis, incidentally, is an airman from the Second World War and is the first black officer to reach the rank of general. Passengers may be restive at having to go through security checkups at airports, opening hand-carried luggage, purses and parcels and being screened by an electronic eye, but this is a small price to pay for the assurance of a safe trip. In dramatic contrast, terrorists have continued to prey on airlines abroad with horrifying success because many countries have been reluctant to impose stringent security measures. The proposal by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration requires security screening measures by foreign airlines when they are flying to, from, or within the U.S. At the present time many of them do not search passengers and baggage in the U.S. and this is considered a threat to ''American airports, particularly after the fire- bombing in Rome late last year. The measures are scheduled to go into effect within 60 days and airlines which do not comply could lose their right to land. In announcing the proposals, the FAA also urged all foreign carriers to institute screening procedures as a defence against terrorists. It's hard to understand why this has not already been done, in view of the American success. It's hard to derogate pragmatism, considering that it led Nixon to change from a policy of considering Russia and China as enemies to one of establishing a detente if not outright friendship with them, a switch in policy from which the whole world benefitted. If, now, he sees it as expedient to change from a policy of considering Congress as an enemy to a policy of detente if not friendship with that opposition controlled body, a great many programs which were starved for money may be the beneficiaries. How effective this will be in keeping him in power and stemming the tide at Watergate is questionable. Nixon probably read the American mood correctly when he said that one year of Watergate is enough. Legally, however, even one minute was too much and legal machinery does not usually stop until legal conclusions are reached. The president can dissuade the public, he can disarm political opponents, but he cannot defuse the courts. 1 WONDERFUL PRIME MINISTER. v Stanfield's timing improves By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Success in politics is about three-quarters timing. Most of the rest is luck. Stanfield in recent months has been guilty of poor timing, and has been cursed by bad luck. Events are now changing for him. "The next the Conservative leader said recently "will be fought over and in saying that he has hit the right issue at the right time. The most tempting of the comparisons that can be made between Trudeau and Stanfield is that between hare and tortoise. The point being not that the tortoise, in the fable anyway, won but that it kept on moving even when overtaken. Trudeau is ahead in the polls, 45-35, but Stanfield has been moving, to Halifax, to Montreal, to Edmonton and to Vancouver and at each stop he talked inflation. Inflation is the policy that most sharply divides the Conservative opposition from the Trudeau government. The government's policy is essentially, to accept inflation as inevitable because world- wide, but to cushion Canadians against its worst effects. Income taxes will be "indexed" this year; cost of- living escalators have been added to family allowances and the Canada Pension Plan. In contrast, the Conservatives insist that inflation, even if it can't be beaten, must be fought. Stanfield has proposed a three month wage and price freeze to be used as a breathing space in which to implement long-term measures, including a wages and prices review board. Many of Stanfield's anti- inflation ideas corne from his finance critic, James Gillies, former dean of business administration at York University. Normally a gregarious and ebullient man, Gillies becomes quite engaged each time he talks of the government's inflation non- policy. "It's an absolute scandal to say we can do nothing about inflation. If true we might as well stop pretending to have any sovereignty as a country at all. Firstly, it exaggerates the extent to which our inflation is imported; the fact is that the prices of the goods we import increased less in 1973 than those of our own exports. Second, it constitutes a complete abdication of responsibility for those who have no way to protect themselves against inflation. Third, it creates an inflation psychology which is far more serious than the actual fact of inflation itself." In December the consumer price index was 9.1 per cent higher than a year ago. This means that a Canada Savings Bond, despite a healthy interest rate of 7.3 per cent, was worth less at the end of the year than at the time it was bought. That rate of inflation, sustained without let-up, wouUrmean that a man of 50 who counted on retiring at age 65 with a pension of would find that the actual buying power of his pension was worth about Inflation psychology can be found in the sudden increase in the number of people buying gold, or buying those land and antiques. Those are, fairly, special cases. Canadians are hedging their own futures. Many cannot do this: non-union workers; independent businessmen, and those on welfare. This is where Stanfield comes in. The energy crisis, which had dominated the headlines for the past six months, is finally ebbing. It was during this period that Trudeau jumped ahead in the polls. Stanfield though can draw comfort from another poll. Last fall the Canadian Institute of Public Opinion found that 53 per cent of Canadians rated inflation as "the most important problem facing Canada." That was the first time in 20 years of surveys that more than half the public chose a single issue. And that issue is Stanfield's. Retirement plans vary in results By Dian Cohen, syndicated columnist MONTREAL It's that time of year again. For the past few weeks, and most certainly for the next few, trust companies, mutual funds and Me insurance firms will compete for your money. They all want you to buy a Registered Retirement Savings Plan from them. Registered retirement savings plans are one of the greatest legal tax dodges irr recent memory. The government has said that if you start saving now for your old age, they will allow you to use tax dollars to put into your own private pension fund. In 'Are we to stand back and allow subversive elements of the working class to rale our land? No! It mnsi Business, as other words, if you were to put, say, into a registered plan, you can deduct from your taxable income. It sounds terrific. And in fact, it is terrific. The government is happy because it believes that if the scheme catches on sufficiently, it will not have to worry so much about supporting so many of us in our old age. We're happy, because we can invest money that would otherwise go into Ottawa's tax pot. There is, however, a catch. Putting your money into something that is approved by the government is no guarantee that your money is well-invested. Until recently, there was no easy way for the average Canadian to evaluate the performance of his or her particular retirement savings plan. Now there is. Pirbeck Investment Measurement Ltd., on Montreal, has come up with a performance survey of every RRSP in the country. The results are both illuminating and shocking. For example, if you bad invested ten years ago in the best performing equity fund, Canadian Anaesthists, it would be worth today. If yon had invested in the worst performing, Mutual Accumulating, your would be worth only today. The annual rate of return in the first case is in excess of 9 per cent In the second case, it is about 3% per cent less than you would get if you put your money in a bank account with chequing privileges. The difference between these performances obviously will make a tremendous difference in the amount of money you will have to live on when yon retire. That is not the worst example in the Pirbeck Survey. In one case, if yon bad invested your in Harvard Growth five years ago, it would today be worm the grand sum of Yon would have saved a thousand dollars in taxable income, but would have invested your money at a loss of 12 per cent a year. The idea of registered retirement savings plans has been catching on fast. Two years ago, some million went into such plans. Last year, more than million was subscribed. To put that number into perspective, the last issue of Canada Savings Bonds, usually one of the most popular investments among Canadians, raised million. It is estimated that at least half a million Canadians have registered retirement savings plans. Every year at this time they must decide where to put their money. There is very little available to help them decide. Obviously, no insurance company or mutual fund goes out of its way to lose money. Just as clearly, past performance, either good or bad. is no guarantee of future results. But past performance is all we have to go on when making our own investment decisions. It is now legally required that companies which lend you money tell you what the effective rate of interest is on the loan. It should be compulsory that companies wbicb want to invest your money tell you what effective rate of interest they nave earned in the past UNBREAKABLE TOYS Letters Taylor dead, serious The article by Al Scarth, (Jan. 18) which implied that I was only going to have fun leading the Liberal party, of course was written to get the type of response that Mr. Roger Rickwood made in his letter to the editor. (Jan. I am afraid that my reaction would have been the same as Mr. Rickwood's, if I had read a similar article about a man purporting to be leader of a party to which I belonged. The headline entitled "Fun" apparently was prompted by one answer to a question during a one-hour-long interview, in which the comment was made that the leadership of the Lib- eral Party entailed many hours of hard work and apparently little hope of success, if one was to look at the past. The question was how could I hope to survive the disappointments that may come my way. My answer was that I knew that I was asking for a tough job and intended giving it all I had, but I was not the type who committed suicide if I failed, and I did believe that I could work hard and still have fun. The quotation about forcing the federal people to nationalize or move in the troops is also inserted out of context. I was talking about the federal government nationalizing! Alberta's- oil rights, not the oil companies, and moving in the troops is admittedly an offhand remark, but it came as a result of questions concerning how far a federal government would go if a provincial government refused ,to co- operate. I realize that if is difficult to put a coherent article together in a short space carrying so many quotations. I do hope that the people of Lethbridge will consider me a serious alternative to the Lougheed party, if I become the provincial leader. I was just as deadly serious when I left my farm home at Bow Island to acquire an education and some able training in the middle 40's, and I was deadly serious when I started my own Canadian oil company in the early 60's Those two challenges were no greater than the one I am seeking today. Although I cannot do anything about being called a millionaire oilman, I can point out that I didn't inherit it and my qualifications for being an oilman were earned through long experience here in Alberta. NICK TAYLOR Calgary. Unselfish supporters Over the years, Lethbridge has been unusually lucky in having certain citizens who give unselfishly and unceasingly of their time to further certain sports activities in this community. Frequently, teams coached by these people have brought not only national, but international recognition to Lethbridge. Men such as Stan Siwik, in the field of swimming, and Yosh Senda, in judo, are outstanding examples of many such public-spirited citizens. Why then, the hesitancy on the part of city council, to accept the recommendation .that the new northside pool be named after a man who donated 25 years of his time, talents and ability to help the Lethbridge Swim Club become as well-known and respected as it is? CONCERNED Lethbridge. Strike with fervor The school strapping debate oozes on and on. By now we've heard from the pedagogues, the demagogues, the gobbly- googs and the parents. But somehow, all this jazz about fighting sloppiness and laziness and misconduct with benevolent kindness and patience leaves me unimpressed. We'll not raise a healthy generation by the example of culprit coddling. So, let us with a vengeance attack the rotters, the idlers, the bigots, the truants and the phonies. I mean, really whip 'eni! If we are to elevate the cultural level of society, if we are to strike at greed and materialism, if we want to obliterate prejudice and ignorance, we must strike with militancy and fervor. I urge you all to join the students and me in our appeal to the school board to reactivate the strap. For as I've often said, spare the rod, and spoil the teacher! S. H. LEM1EL Lethbridge Exodus date irrelevant I read with interest the controversy between Dr. Parry and Mr. Walker concerning Velikovsky's book "The Worlds in Collision' and its relevance to the date of Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea. It seems to me that this theory bears no relevance to the date of Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites. May I point out that it appears that the Exodus was not a single event, bat a series of events extending over centuries. Semitic tribes have entered and left Egypt since time immemorial. The story of the Exodus is a combination of traditions of various Hebrew tribes who entered into a covenant relationship in Palestine. To ancient oriental writers exact chronological details were not of primary importance. The purpose of the narratives in the Old Testament was to become a moral and religious guide for the people of their respective generations. It is believed by rnany scholars that the crossing of the Red Sea took place in a locality which became news again in the recent Israeli Arab war north of modern Suez. The sandy beach between Suez and the South end of the Bitter Lakes is raised only a few feet above sea level and was probably covered with water in ancient times. Shallow water of this kind may easily be driven back by a strong wind leaving the sand bare. With the dropping of the wind the water would return forming a quicksand into which the wheels of the chariots would sink. When the dry place filled with water, the infantry would be caught and drowned. This is a natural explanation of this happening. The real point to be noted in the Exodus is God's deliverance in a desperate situation, which made a great impact on world history. REV. GEORGE TELCS Lethbridge Kidding? Somebody's got to be kidding! Is the same city council who can't decide on a name for a swimming pool because it might be "controversial" really going to decide the entire future of electrical power supply to Lethbridge! Heaven help us all! GREGORY L. HALES Lethbridge The lethbrtdge Herald SO4 Trusts LETHBR1DGE HERALD CO LTD and Prtrttyhers Second dm Malt Registration No 0012 CLEG MOWERS. Editor OONH PILLING Managing Editor DONALD S DORAM General Manager ROYF MILES MvwtlWng Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page EdUor ROBERTm OirctfWBon Manager KENNETH E. BARMETT Business Manager Want to bet? THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"