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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 11, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THI tlTHMIDCt HUALD II, Paul Whitelmc How Quebec views trials of terrorists Saigon's self-sufficiency The Pentagon has been saying that the Soutli Vietnamese air force, equipped and trained by Americans is more than a match for anything the North Vietnamese can put in the skies. But critics of the American war effort believe that the U.S. air force may have to stay around until 1975 in order to prevent the North from winning the air battle. Ihey say that the South Vietnamese, in spite of the extensive training they have had, to say nothing of superior- ity in numbers and quality of air- craft, will not be "self sufficient" until then. It is axiomatic that whatever the South Vietnamese, with American help can achieve in the name of self-sufficiency, the North Vietna- mese, with Russian and Chinese as- sistance can also achieve. Both sides have been playing the same game for a very long time, and they could go on playing it for a lot longer. With the incursion into Laos, Americans must be asking them- selves what role the U.S. air force is expected to play after withdrawal of the ground troops. Will the South Vietnamese really be able to pro- vide the pilots, the maintenance crews and all the technological know how they must have to operate these modern aircraft, or will there con- tinue to be a great number of U.S. air force personnel required to assure that "self-sufficiency." There is a growing crisis of confi- dence in the U.S. concerning the re- alities of the progress of the war, and the Pentagon's talking out of both sides of its mouth is mainly responsible. No one in government circles wants to ask for public infor- mation that might produce Ameri- can casualties, but when the govern- ment is informed that the Cambodi- an invasion has been a spectacular success, but that the U.S. air force may be needed to prevent "ulti- mate" attacks on U.S. troops by North Vietnamese operating from Cambodia or Laos, it doesn't sound like a big success story. No wonder, as James Reston remarks, that Americans simply don't believe what they're told any more, especially if the news emanates from the Penta- gon. What the American people want to know, and have a right to know, is the truth about the whole situation. When is the U.S. really pulling out, and when will South Vietnamese vaunted self-sufficiency become a fact rather than a chimera? Both Quebec justice aixi accused ter- rorists are on trial in the cur- rent court proceedings arising from the FLQ crisis of last Oc- tober. This is a reality that has been emerging as the trials get un- dn- way, with a growing chorus of dlsseia aimed at the way legal proceedings against the accused terrorists and their al- leged supporters have been handled so far. Union statements, street demonstrations, and question- ing editorials in the Quebec press have pointed out the chal- lenge to the government and judicial authorities. They must show, beyond any doubt, that there is no truth to the allega- tions of the FLQ and some other groups that a fair trial is impossible.. "The trials of Paul Rose and others must be 500 per cent says Professor Edward McWhinney, the director of Mc- GiU University's Institute of Air and Space Law. The au- thorities, he said, are faced with the possibility that iliey might win certain trials but lose the cases in the court of public opinion in this province. "It is very difficult to trials of a political nature, re- gardless of the the constitutional adviser to the last three Quebec premiers said in a recent interview. He added that Canadians lawyers and judges have had very little experience in this regard. Referring to the Nuremberg Trials of German war crimi- nals after the Second World War and recent "political" trials in the United States, Pro- fessor McWhinney noted that there is a tendency for public opinion to crystallize behind the so-called "underdogs" facing the apparently greater forces of establishment lawyers, judges, and the court. There is still, he said, a rem- nant of trial-by-battle in our modern court process. Aside from opposition to the War Measures Act, and its suc- cessor, the Public Order Bill, the outcries began shortly after the end of the inquest into the murder of Quebec Labor Minis- ter Pierre Laporte. The target was the Coroner's Act, which allowed the admission of an un- signed confession said by po- lice to have been obtained from Francis Simard. He is one of the four men accused of kid- napping and murdering Mr. La- porte last October. They are also charged with violating a number of provisions of the federal legislation outlawing the FLQ. Another issue concerns the granting of bail to people held in connection with the kidnap- ping crisis, some of whom have been in custody since mid-Oc- tober. Now that the chief suspects in the Laporte murder case are behind bars, and the kidnap- pers of diplomat James Cross are in Cuba, it is difficult to keep suspects in jail awaiting trial. While the largest police manhunt in Canadian history was under way for suspected terrorists, the Crown could more easily justify its claim that the granting of bail was against the public interest. Critics say the suspects freed on bail could easily be rearrest- ed if they began to stir up trouble. Also, bail could be set Buy back Canada? Every time another Canadian busi- ness is sold to American interests there is a fresh outbreak of enthusi- asm to buy back Canada. The senti- ment has recently crystallized into something of a movement. Energy Minister J. J. Greene, in an interview on the excellent Sunday afternoon CTV show "Question put this whole matter into perspective. He. said he too would like to have Canada for Canadians but it is not a simple thing to achieve. The hard fact is that Can- ada needs foreign capital invest- ment. Without it the unemployment situation would become truly catas- trophic. Mr. Greene pleaded that for him Canadianism means being con- cerned about Canadians ahead of some philosophic principle. Even if Canadians were so slavish- ly devoted to nationalism that they would be willing to endure endemic unemployment, there is a suspicious- ly academic aura to the proposition. In reality it is impossible to expect Canadians to buy back their country in the foreseeable future because they do not have the capital to do it. Theoretically it would be possible to simply expropriate American- owned industry without compensa- tion but that is practically theft and is not something the government has a mandate to do and no government in Canada is very likely to be given such a mandate. Some of the people who are most vociferous about buying back Can- ada would be least likely to want to face the consequences in lowered standard of living. There are some, however, who may feel that a low- ered standard of living is inevitable if the world is to be saved from de- struction. If that is the case there might be more justification in being anti-industrial than anti American since the exploitive is more a fea- ture of one than a characteristic of the other. The last days A spokesman for a San Francis- co consortium of pot (marijuana) dealers has compared the way his product is being openly peddled to the last days of Prohibition when beer trucks drove around unmolested. To him and to many others it is a sign that marijuana will soon be legalized. There is a feeling that legaliza- tion is inevitable. The reasons have nothing to do with whether the sub- stance is or is not harmful. Re- search on that issue has become al- most irrelevant. Pressure to legalize marijuana is following the same path as was followed in the case of repeal of Prohibition. Widespread use is simply overwhelming the abil- ity of the police and the courts to cope and they appear to be capitulat- ing. The real issue now appears to be the question of who will sell the prod- uct on the open market. It is sus- pected that tobacco firms would like to move into the sale of this product and that plans are being made for tlu's in boardrooms. But some present pushers are laying counter-plans to hang on to the market. Taking into consideration the resources of the tobacco firms, the coming struggle appears to be grossly unequal. An alternative is for the govern- ment to assume a monopoly. But if legalization comes about through capitulation rather thavi as a result of conviction there will be an emo- tional block against the state becom- ing sullied by whatever residue if sin- ful association may remain. And the usual reason given for the govern- ment to be in the business it would discourage usage is only persua- sive if smoking pot is the result of pusher pressure rather than social suasion. One thing is certain in this pic- ture: the last days before the col- lapse of prohibition against pot will be taken as another "evidence" that these are "the last days" so dear to the prophets of doom. Community in the schools By Louis Burke rpHIS is altogether an excellent idea opening schools for full community participation and one that has been gathering momentum over the years. It is suggested that some schools be opened this summer for community use. This again is undeniably a step forward, but there are problems galore even if it is tried on an experimental basis. Because education has a factory-type management structure, it seems that only principals, superintendents and other spe- cial citizens are to be consulted about the experiment. This is natural, but wrong an apparent contradiction exists, then. Too often, too many people ignore the classroom teacher in such matters. It has become habitual. If teachers had been con- sulted in the past, perhaps school systems would not now be saddled with some of the sad school structures existing today. But they weren't; so the silly monstrosities stand. Indeed, it was hardly more than an afterthought that teachers were poled on semcstering and the new academic year. It looks as if more of the same is to take place with the community use of schools for this summer. No one, as yet, has approached the classroom teachers con- cerned, and many of them are quite wor- ried. An enormous pool of information and intelligence is being lefl untapped. Teachers wish to know such .simplicities as how and who are going to lisa class- rooms, workshops, laboratories, gymna- siums and other areas. Industrial arts teachers fear the loss of small tools. Home economics teachers know breakages will occur. Physical education teachers see problems of damaged equipment. Teachers wish to know where their responsibilities lie after regular classes end in June. Many teachers worry about being able to start classes again in the fall. Fortunately, only three schools are involved in the pro- posed experiment, but eventually, the oth- ers might be brought into it. So far, no one has asked the classroom teacher any- Ihing and this is not good. The community in the school is un- doubtedly sound, imaginative and highly commendable. There is absolutely no quar- rel with this idea or ideal. Furthermore, it is not possible to defend idle plant and dormant investments in times of costly money. However, more consultation in depth is needed. This means talking to the teachers who work in areas sensitive to this kind of project librarians, art-drama-music Icachers, industrial arts-home economics teachers, phys-cd teachers and others open to problems resulting from summertime use of schools. By all and every means get the com- munity into Ihe schools, but talk to the ter.rhcr.s, too. They can help enormously lo have the community machines, material and money. "Just a little card saying, 'Things will improve as time goes by' Pierre Trudeau suitably high to discourage leaving the country. The issue of bail was pointed up at the trial of Paul Rose, which began Jan. 25 in Rose's request to be represented by Robert Lemieux, a flamboyant young lawyer who has defend- ed a number of FLQ cases, was denied. Mr. Lemieux is in jail awating trial on a charge of seditious conspiracy and, so far, his reqests for bail have been turned down. He was ar- rested at the height of the crisis, while he was acting as an intermediary for the FLQ. Legal authorities point out that while the law guarantees the right to "competent counsel" and not necessarily the counsel of one's choice, the refusal to allow Mr. Lemiv-ix to represent Mr. Rose may have an effect on public sentiment. In addition, there is the ques- tion of contempt-of-court con- victions, hanied out several times so far during court ap- pearances by alleged terrorists and supporters. These included a one-year sentence against la- bor leader Michel Chartrand, who launched a harangue against a judge when he was briefly in court in connection with his upcoming trial on a seditious conspiracy charge. While admitting the abusive nature of his remarks, the in- fluent i a 1 Montreal newspaper Le leader of public opinion has questioned the sentencing. The newspaper sug- gested that the action of Mr. Justice Roger Ouimet of the Quebec Superior Court may have left .some people with the impression that contempt of court is designed primarily to avenge the ruffled honor -Of judges rather Ulan protect the judical process. Le Devoir said it would be better if recourse to contempt sentences were avoided entire- ly. La Presse of Montreal, the largest circulation French-lan- guage newspaper hi North America suggested that con- tempt sentences should be handed out by a judge other than the one directly involved in the offence. The potentially explosive na- ture of the trial is pointed out by the ring of police security around the Quebec Provincial Police headquarters in the east- end of the city, where the Paul Rose trial is taking place hi a special courtroom. The Crown must not only handle its prose- cution with precision and fair- ness; at the same time it must be aware that it is acting as the defence for the judicial pro- cess in Quebec. (Herald Quebec Bureau) Carl Roivan Indochina alternatives look grimmer and grimmer WASHINGTON There was a time when it appeared the United States could ease out of Vietnam, bruised and battered but still claiming suc- cess in preventing a Commu- nist takeover of the south. But events of the last 10 months seem to make it clear that the alternatives are now extremely narrow; ei t h e r we go for all-out military victory or we pull out under circum- stances so adverse that claims of "victory" will not be con- vincing anywhere. It is a stark political reality, although some of President Nixon's advisers seem too blind to see it, that the Ameri- can public simply will not sup- port an effort to achieve an all- out military victory. The leaks, rumors, and trial Letter To The Editor balloons of the recent "news blackout" were not.simply the product of administration bumbling. This was a calculat- ed effort to try to determine just how big an escalation on our part the American people would tolerate. The answer was clearly, "Not This backs Mr. Nixon hard up against his declaration last April, that he would rather be a one-term president than "see this nation accept the first de- feat in its proud 190-year his- tory." But defeat is now an agoniz- ing prospect, especially if "Vietnamization" is all the president has to fall back on. The Communits have shown that time and again they can make the Nixon plan to "get out and rely on South Vietna- Green -fields In mid 1970, revenue officials decided to enforce collection on a 1969 debit, already cover- ed by a 1970 credit. They made the curious decision that debit can be moved forward, but credit not moved back, until completion of 1970 and its in- come tax return. In private en- terprise, would this be an ac- ceptable proposition; in a tree democracy, is it a just deci- sion? May I follow up this ques- tion with four comments and a further question (1) Prime Minister Trudeau has stated as key Federal pol- icy, "Just Government." (2) Many revenues officials lend to be dismally arrogant in debate, and arbitrary in de- cision. (3) Ordinary persons in pri- vate enterprise tend to be more reasonable in debate and more just in decision. (4) Revenue officials, put rail to pasture for a few years, in the green fields of private enterprise could achieve in- valuable, interpersonal expe- rience and democratic orienta- tion, an experience and orien- tation, which might neutralize many arrogant, arbitrary and unjust tendencies. Consistent with key federal policy and democracy, would Finance Minister Benson do well to restrict highest promo- tion in the revenue department to those employees with at least a little experience in 'the green fields of private enter- prise? C. P. Lelhbridgc. 'Crazy Capers' Let me kiiow when you readi your point, Dad. mese forces" look like the wish- ful thinking that it is. Mr. Nixon's foreign policy successes in other areas have arisen because he offered some initiatives. He had a policy that he didn't have to abandon every few months. But the administration is in critical trouble in Indochina be- cause the Communists are able to make Mr. Nixon retreat, zig and zag, double back, and meet himself coming out of Southeast Asia. When the president thought he was withdrawing gracefully last spring, the Communists built up such menacing sanc- tuaries in Cambodia that they provoked an invasion by South Vietnamese and U.S. ground forces. Someone sold the president an old bill of goods about what a monumental success that op- eration was. The Communists supposedly would not be able to mount anything else remote- ly menacing for two years, or at least 18 months. But eight months later the Communists had moved with such military success that Cam- bodia was in grave danger of falling and South Vietnamese troops had to go in again under a massive U.S. air cover. Meanwhile, Laos was also in deeper danger of a Communist takeover, meaning that, where (here was only one big threat to the U.S. withdrawal time- table last spring, there are new two. There were abundant doubts a year ago about the ability of South Vietnam's million man army and its 600-plane air force to fight well enough to keep that country out of Communist clutches. What the Communists have done, cleverly or acci- dentally, is get the South Viet- namese spread out trying lo defend or police all of Indo- china. There is nothing in re- cent history to suggest Iho South Vietnamese arc up to that task. The air war in the Pentagon keep tolling the pres- ident, however, that all sorts