Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
24 LETHBRIDOE HERALD Monday, February 19, 1874 Watergate may be climactic battle for man who regards life as war ,j it..____u_-t anrar and frustration" about DCODlC WASHINGTON (AP) He once said that the memory of his parents' ability "not to break down" under great strain "has certainly held me together at times when I have been under pressure." he added, "it always will." In his book, recalling the day he was spat upon in Caracas in 1958, he noted: "Standing there for those few seconds was, from the standpoint of temper control, one of my most difficult experiences Yet while we may show this veneer on the outside, inside the turmoil becomes almost unbearable." How long, both loyalists and dethroners now wonder, is how durable the single thin word, Despite bumper crops, shortages plague India By BERNARD WEINRAUB New York Times Service NEW DELHI Two months ago the prospects of a bumper grain crop this winter after a series of disastrous droughts buoyed Indian officials and economists here. Today mood of the officials has turned sour because of unexpected hoarding among farmers, black marketing and flawed planning and distribution. The gap between the initial optimism about food production a cornerstone of India's stability and the current official gloom is a measure of the nation's vulnerability and fragile policies. "There is now a declining sense of social discipline this is the cause of the food problem we're facing here said one western economist. Balraj Mehta, an economist and writer, taking note of the recent riots over food scarcities and blatant corruption in the state of Gujarat, in West India, said recently: "Situations similar to Gujarat threaten to erupt in many other parts of the country. The public distribution system is on the verge of collapse in Kerala and Bihar. Open market prices for food grains are soaring to dizzy heights all over the country. The food situation has never been so critical since independence." The riots in Gujarat led to the resignation Saturday of the state's Chief Minister, Chimanbhai Patel, and the imposition of "president's or federal control in the state. The resignation of Patel, who was a target of corruption charges, was a setback to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who had sought to maintain his dominance in the state. Elections are now scheduled to take place in the state within a few months. What especially worries officials is that while the nation's major crop of rice and wheat, harvested in fall and winter, has been bountiful, government efforts to procure and distribute the grains have proved dismal. The impact of the faulty procurement effort aimed mostly at stocking government shops in major cities means food shortages in these stores, an urban black market and rising prices. At this point the government has procured 2.8 million tons of rice against a target of 5 million tons. Similarly, only tons of wheat have been collected, against a target of 1.6 million tons. Although government purchase or procurement prices have increased as much as 30 per cent, the effort, now winding up, has clearly foundered. Essentially, critics as well as some officials blame the lagging farmers who hope to sell their rice and wheat for higher prices on the open market or smuggle the food to nearby states. Prices are as much as 40 per cent higher on the open or black market than in government shops. Chou stops Communist BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) Defence Minister Dawee Chullasap said at the weekend Premier Chou En-lai told him China has stopped supporting Communist insurgents in Thailand, Laos and other Southeast Asian countries. Dawee, returning from a seven-day visit to Peking, told reporters Chou also warned him about Soviet influence in the region. Counter-insurgency experts in Bangkok have said that the armed Communist insurgents in Thailand are Maoist-oriented but receive most of their supplies and support from North Vietnam, which appears to be more under Russia's influence than China's. Dawee, who was invited to Peking in his capacity as head of the Thai National Olympic Committee, said the Chinese admitted having supported Thai insurgents and the Pathet Lao in Laos. Chou maintained that the unfriendly attitude of Thai military governments dating to 1958 forced China to support rebel activities inside Thailand and that Peking supported the Pathet Lao because of Thai mercenaries fighting for the Vientiane government side in Laos, the defence minister said. But Dawee said China wants to let bygones be bygones and to build up its own country. He quoted Chou as saying "China now will not interfere with countries in your region." FORD A 'PUPPET' BOSTON (AP) House Majority Leader Thomas P. O'Neill says Vice-President Gerald R. Ford was acting as a "puppet" in his defence of President Nixon. The Mas- sachusetts Democrat said Ford "hasn't been as independent as I had hoped." They ask this about Richard Nixon, a man who has made control of his emotions an article of faith and a way of life. "Of course, I am said his own doctor, Walter Tkach, while saying that his patient shows no medical signs of tension. "It must be taking a heavy said a member of the cabinet while saying that his chief shows few marks of the strain. WORSE THAN SPIT of course, is Watergate, where the spit is worse than in Caracas, far more profound and personal, where every move and motive are questioned, the core of a man's character is prodded and probed under a national microscope, and the stakes are of the highest. The overwhelming "New Majority" of one triumphant autumn lies buried in numbed, dispirited fragments under the dirty snow of a second winter. "The Year of Europe" is replaced by the unending "Year of Watergate." Even foreign crisis is suspect. And the fuel crisis complicates the relief of a man besieged. Less than 200 yards away, in a handsome Federalist building, Spiro Agnew works on his papers, in solitary disgrace. "I am not a the President of the United States exclaims and explains, but nothing seems to turn away the pointing finger. He spreads out his tax returns before the world in the hope of putting out one fire, and three others start smoking. He suddenly gives up one fight and yields tapes, and, just as suddenly, -two prove non- existent and a third has a long ALWAYS WATCHED No slip of the tongue by this most private of presidents, no droop of the shoulders or momentary fatigue or pallor goes unnoticed in what must seem to him a world of Nixon psyche watchers. When he takes questions on television, can he escape the feeling there are millions out there waiting for the first crack? Could he miss, even in his pre- digested news, the interview with his friend, Billy Graham, who sharply questioned his judgment? Or the one with Barry Goldwater, who said people around the country are asking, yet again, "would you buy a used car from Dick Or the whisper of impeachment grown to a sustained clamor? In war, they say, every man has his breaking point, and Richard Nixon has tended to regard much of life as war. He has said, of his sense of battle: "I, perhaps, carry it more than others because that's my way." CLIMACTIC BATTLE Watergate, clearly, is the climactic battle of his life, the fiercest, longest, most pervasive. But the armor plate he wears around his emotions, while dented and bent, has apparently cracked only twice during the long siege. The first was the worst and occurred before the fuller dimensions of Watergate had surfaced and encircled him. It now develops that three days before, according to an aide, he got the first word that Spiro Agnew was in trouble. Then, on April 30, he walked to the Oval Office to announce, on television, the departure of his two closest assistants, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. On the way, he asked a speech writer to walk with him and then, spotting some reporters, added bitterly, "unless you think it'll hurt you." After the TV speech, technicians saw the president weep briefly. The next morning he saw a young FBI agent already stationed outside of Haldeman's office. Infuriated, the president grabbed the agent and literally shoved him out of the corridor. The incident was later described by a man who saw it and another who read a long memo from the shaken young FBI man. PUSHED SECRETARY On Aug. 20 hi New Orleans, there was the famous presidential push of Ron Ziegler, his press secretary. Ziegler sought to explain it as a "gesture of a phrase which soon turned inoperative when film of the incident became available. "I blew my the president admitted later at a news conference, without explanation. There have been lesser signs of the wear and tear of recent months. On the night of Dec. 31 an aide presented the president with the debt ceiling bill, which Congress finally passed after defeating a rider that would have provided for public financing of campaigns. The aide reminded Nixon the bill had to be signed before midnight. Otherwise, government payrolls could not be met. The president signed quick- ly and then'Slammed the pen down, leaving two ink spots-on the bill. "His said another aide, "has definitely deteriorated since Watergate." USES PROFANITY Others, including staff members and visitors, have found him at times somewhat more nervous, testy, taut, tired, withdrawn and more inclined to profanity. At other times, some of these same sources have found him apparently relaxed, affable and confident. Almost invariably, he is said to be "lucid1' and "in control." None of the men interviewed by this reporter they are all people who see or- have seen Nixon off-stage in recent months cites Orlando, Fla., as an example of a low point in his morale since Watergate. It was there, at a news conference with Associated Press Managing Editors, that the President of the United States felt obliged to say "I am not a crook." Ron Zieglcr was asked if the president had ever felt a need for psychiatric attention because of the long ordeal of Watergate. "Absolutely said the press secretary. He added: "He is very much in charge, he very much has the reins on the functions of government.. He has all the elements of Watergate very much in perspective in his mind." KEEPS COOL The president, himself, has said little about the inner ordeal of Watergate. He has said: "Even when many thought the president was shell-shocked the president acted decisively in the interest of peace The tougher it gets, the cooler I get -It isn't pleasant to have your honesty questioned Those are things which..'. do tend to get under the skin." In an interview, his younger daughter, Julie, made passing reference to his "agony, anger and frustration" about Watergate, without further explanation. How or whether he vents these feelings remains a mystery to most of those who see him. His daughter did say that she has beared the president playing the piano "all alone at night" in the dark. Others assume he "must blow off steam" or otherwise vent his tensions within the innermost circle of his very private life, with his friends Charles (Bebe) Rebozo and Robert Abplanalp. For example, he is said to enjoy relaxing with Rebozo over margueritas occasionally. Few outsiders see such moments. One did. "One night a few months ago, they were having margueritas at the president's home in Key Biscayne. About midnight, they got into swimming trunks and went into the pool, where they played 'King of the Raft' just like kids." DOES NOT RELAX He does not believe in relaxation for long. It bores him. Worries him. This, he has made clear, was true long before he became President. In 'Six published in 1962, he wrote: It may be necessary to take the machine out of gear once in a while, but it is never wise to turn the engine off and let the motor get completely cold." In an interview with this writer early last year, before the scandal had encircled him, the president said: "The worst thing you can do in this job is to relax, to let up I never allow myself to get emotional I have the reputation for being the coolest person in the room. I have trained myself to be probably do better in the next four years, having gone through a few crises... I probably am more objective I don't mean this to be self- serving than most leaders. You must be up for the great events. Up but not uptight. DISTRUSTS PEOPLE His distrust of people en masse extends to people as individuals, said a man who had worked for him for five years on the highest levels, adding: "He tends to attribute selfish political purposes to people too readily. He is too quick to see a conspiratorial motive." Another former high official came away from his bitter- sweet years in the Nixon administration with this impression: "He is very shy, very introverted, very secretive. Essentially, he doesn't like people. I've never met a major politician before who was less attracted to people. Most politicians like to be around them, like to touch them. "But the president seems to be comfortable only with Rebozo and Abplanalp because they don't challenge him as human beings. They don't have lively minds. "Even if he -were totally innocent in Watergate, his personality would make it difficult for people to believe him because he's so secretive. And he really divides up the world between the good guys and bad guys, and that whole attitude still pervades the White House." Loyalists and critics agree that Watergate has made Richard Nixon more wary of people than ever and increased his self-isolation. He does not, it is said, seek the advice of his natural allies in Congress and the Republican party on his Watergate troubles. He seeks their support, not their counsel. PRESIDENT NIXON "Peter Jackson" Ask for them either way. They're the same satisfying cigarette. Warning: The Department of National Health and Welfare advises that danger to health increases with amount smoked.