Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 19, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 We LfTMSWDGl HfHAlD Friday, Ftbiuaty Maurice Western The hug of friendship The Polish dock workers and the Warsaw textile workers have had their way. They've been demanding a return to the old price schedule for food and other goods; they went on strike to emphasize they meant what they said and now sausage costs the same per pound as it did before Christmas when the new price sched- ule came in. It is understood that the Soviets, who have been squeezing what they could out of the Polish economy for years, with little thought, for the ef- fect on the Poles, will now have to subsidize Mr. Gierek's attempts to prevent further domestic turmoil. Perhaps the Soviets will put more money into the modernization of Pol- ish industry, possibly they will assist in bringing modern methods to Polish agriculture. No one yet knows. But it is going to cost the Soviets plenty to keep the peace in Poland where the standard of living, of goods avail- able, is as low as it is anywhere in Europe. Some reports say that it will be at least two years before any noticeable improvement in the Polish economy will become evident. and that im- provement won't come without help from Russia, which is itself hard pressed to maintain, let alone in- crease, the quality and quantity of its consumer goods. But the Soviets are well aware that without their finan- cial help, agitation in Poland could become violent, and force a show- down, akin to the 1968 debacle in Czechoslovakia. The Soviets could hardly afford such a show of brutal- ity within such a short time. This time the squeeze is on the Kremlin. It isn't a stranglehold merely the hug of friendship based on necessity, certainly not on genuine affection. About Information Canada If readers have been somewhat in the dark over the new government agency known as Information Can- ada, they can be excused, for it has been extremely hard to find out ex- actly what it is, who is going to do the informing and on what. Recently the eight million dollar program shyly came out from behind wraps to introduce to the public, via "pop posters, just what it is all about. One poster snowed a nude Adam and Eve, covered discreetly in the proper spots, with gaudy maple leaves. An- other promotes bilingualism with the aphorism, "if one knows a neigh- bor's tongue, he possesses the key to his house." The poster shows a young man calling on a girl in her home with a posy of flowers; a quite nat- ural proceeding except the lad is walking across the ceiling. Having opened one Informal ion Canada office in the nation's capi- tal, the agency is almost ready to open its doors on its second venture, this time in Winnipeg. A total of nine persons will staff this new agency. In an effort to dis- pense information on a friendly basis, the atmosphere of the office will be informal. There will not be any coun- ters, as information officers have been advised to establish face-to-face contact with the public. The idea is based on the premise that if people want information about government activities, they should, be able to get it with the least possible difficulty. And that's what Information Can- ada will be all about. It's to be a vehicle for helping citizens to find out whatever they want to know about federal actions and programs. Call- ers will be given immediate answers or else they will be put in direct touch with bureaucrats who can respond to their questions. In the past, informants of Informa- tion Canada say, inquirers have some times found it necessary to place four or five phone calls to contact the right person in a federal department. The object of the new agency is to cut through the bureaucratic jungle and assist the public in finding out what they want to know about their government. Another function of Information Canada will be to act as a listening post, to find out what citizens are thinking. They will pass on to the proper authorities, comments and op- inions of the public but will t h e m- selves, keep quite clear of political affiliation. They will not attempt to interpret cabinet policy, but will sim- ply provide information about govern- ment programs already in operation. Eventually, offices similar to those in Ottawa and Winnipeg will be open- ed in all major cities in Canada. When this happens there will no longer be any reason for the public to be in the dark about any department or pro- gram the government institutes. That Information Canada itself took long enough to inform the citizens is be- side the point. Its aims and objects have now been spelled out and we have no excuse to plead ignorance about our country any more. Unscientific man Nobody, not even the scientists in- timately involved in space flight, knows what will eventually be learned from the lunar missions. Most of us are lost in awe at the ac- complishment itself, but even our -sense of wonder has been a little dulled because the latest flight so completely resembled the last, that it appeared almost repetitive. There has been criticism from all quarters as to the folly of spending so much on space research when the human condition on earth could have bene- fitted if the vast sums of money had been spent on anti poverty pro- grams. Some scientists say there is a pos- sibility that the Apollo flights will produce superior materials of tre- mendous strategic and industrial im- portance, and that developing and de- bugging a way to make them is quite impractical without men on the spot to check them. There has been a sug- gestion that one of the spin-off re- sults of manned space travel might be further understanding of the struc- ture of the earth which could re- sult in greater reliability in the fore- casting of the time, severity, and fre- quency of earthquakes. If this were so, there would be much less critic- ism of the expenditure. Generally speaking, the man-in- the-street cannot be expected to com- prehend the scientific advantages of putting men in space, or the impli- cations of the discoveries for his, and his children's future. It is for these reasons that, unless some earth- shaking result comes from the flight of Apollo 14, something that will ad- vance man's condition on earth, there will be continuing protest about the enormous cost of continuing the pro- gram. Valuable reminder By Bichard J. jS'cedham, in The Globe and Mail, Toronto I SPENT some 10 years of my life writ- such as it may be, to keep them warm, ing editorials for The Globe and Mail, The objects of our concern should be the among them the following editorial which appeared on February 14, 1952. "Governments offer people this and that kind of security. But no government offers them the best kind of security, which is to be loved. Planners guarantee people a ba- sic minimum of rood, of housing, of health and education. Why does no planner guar- antee them a basic minimum of romance? That is what Canadians should be asking on St. Valentine's Day. During the next few hours, millions of people will get more cr less affectionate missives, more or less extravagant presents, more or less heart- ening assurances thai somebody somewhere is thinking about them. But other millions will get nothing at all. For them, the post- man will not knock even once. This is un- fair, unkind, undemocratic and bad for busi- ness. In a truly well ordered society, ev- erybody would have somebody. Everybody would get up on February 14 with a feeling of blissful expectation. People in such a society might lack a great many things, hut nobody would lack the most impor- tant thing of nil. NVme would perish, as mil- lions iire perishing today, for want of a kind word, a lender glance, a gaudy valen- tine willi hcails and Neither tire attached, nor tlici .semi attached, de.sene our attention today. They have iheir love, unattached, the solitaries, to whom this day means no more than any other. On the Feast of St. Valentine, we should light a red candle, tic a blue ribbon, play a small, sad tune on a penny whistle, for those who walk alone through the streets of the city." When I had lunch with Marjorie Lowry of Toronto recently, she reminded me about this editorial and produced a copy of it for me. She reminded me also that she had written a letter at that time telling how much she liked it. and that I had sent a reply. She produced Ihe reply, and here it i.s: "Dear Mrs. I.oury: Thank you for your kind letter. I spend most of my lime writ- ing about trivial and transitory subjects such as tariffs, treaties and the Commu- nist menace. It is a pleasant change when an opportunity comes along to write on a subject of lasting importance. Love and loneliness, death and disappointment, will he Ihe objects of human concern long after the issues which now agitate editorial writ- ers have been forgotten. Our civilization has failed to recognize the true needs of human nature; which arc not material, but spiritual. People today, as always, want the Ill-end nf life certainly includes '.iilcnlines. But instead, we offer them tlie .stones of .science. No wonder they throw I hem back." Parliament to legislate our weather? The federal gov- eminent is moving tenta- tively to take cognizance of Ca- nadian weather or, more pre- cisely, of its modification. This obviously is a daring, perhaps even a .reckless move, which could have incalculable conse- quences. It is perhaps no acci- dent that the bill has been in- troduced first in the Senate where it stands in the name of Paul Martin, one of the na- tion's most experienced sam- plers of political weather. For some years the activities of weather modifiers in Ontario have bsen observed with pro- found suspicion (and sometimes cold fury) by rural citizens of neighboring Quebec. Among the followers of Real Caouette, rain making ranks next to or- thodox central banking on the list of recognizably anti so- cial activities. On occasion they have almost forgotten the Bank of Canada in their obsession with malign tamperers west of the Ottawa River. There is, accordingly, a pleas- ant prospect that Senator Mar- tin's bill will, at worst, be damn- ed with faint praise. Enthusi- asm is bound to be limited be- cause the bill does not suggest that the government intends to do anything about weather modification; let alone about the weather. On the other hand, it does provide for an adminis- trator who will be designated from time to time to keep track of actions, of a physical or chemical character, intend- ed to increase, decrease or re- distribute precipitation, hail, lightning, cloud or fog. This means, or appears to mean, that the government re- mains prudently neutral on the subject of weather modification. Rain makers will be free to carry on although henceforth they will have to do so in the uneasy knowledge that an ad- ministrator is glancing suspi- ciously over their shoulders, collecting data which, in the natural course, will doubtless end up in the offices of Infor- mation Canada where it will be irretrievably lost. On its face, therefore, Bill S-ll looks politically innocuous. It may not be the most con- spicuous laurel in the govern- ment's crown, but at least it is not provocative legislation at all likely to move citizens to sedition, tumults and other un- seemly activities. But the longer view is more unsettling although the dan- gers in this case do not arise from the usual craving for pow- er that characterizes govern- ments. No one can fairly con- tend that, in the matter of weather management, Cana- dian governments of any politi- cal stripe have demonstrated the slightest tendency to grasp for increased authority. They have, on the contrary, been res- olute in doing nothing whatever about it. This very inactivity has been the subject of much "Alvin has a BA, Orville a PhD, and Ervine a JOB adverse comment, especially at bus stops in February. Has Senator Martin given ad- equate thought to the excessive expectations which this bill, limited as it is. may arouse in the minds of long enduring citizens? It has been the com- plaint of many experienced pol- iticians that fine distinctions are lost on the country. With the passage of S-ll, the gov- ernment will, in effect, have es- tablished an official presence in the weather modifying busi- ness, although there is not the trace of a suggestion in the bill as to what the presence is sup- posed to do. But disclosure for disclosure's sake is not very satisfying. Will the government be permitted to go on contemplating weather modification with out sanction- ing or regulating it? And once into weather modification, how the brooding sense, of injustice in most of Canada can it stop short of weather? Mr. Martin must realize that disaffected persons would wel- come nothing so much as the involvement of government in weather management. The sup- ply of weather in this country is inexhaustible; demand is also strong but almost always for the weather we don't get. Any minister of state who may, on some careless morning, be designated with the responsibil- ity of satisfying us on this score, will be in heavy weath- er before he has drawn his first additional indemnity and prob- ably before he has made it home. There exists a strong belief among politicians from the Prairies that nothing is more dangerous than tinkering with the clock. This almost certain- ly is wrong. The risks of weath- er manaeement are vastly p-eater. Mr. Martin has heard the outraged protests of Que- bec Creditistes; has even sought to appease them with his phantom bill. What he is doing, however, is to draw the government perilously close to a weather entanglement, which any Canadian politician should fear as he would the embrace of a boa-constrictor. Even when official thinking has been spelled out in a white or multi colored paper, what government does is normally unaccountable. In this case, however, there is much to be said politically for the tradi- tional policy of laissez faire, reinforced on occasion by fer- vent prayer. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) Joseph Kraft FBI tactics disputed in peace workers trial TTARRISBURG, Pa. The government may have a strong case -against the Catho- lic radicals arraigned here the other day on charges of con- spiracy to kidnap a White House aide and disrupt Wash- ington's heating system. But leading officials involved are Letter to the editor behaving as though they were far more concerned .with high-' ly symbolic political issues. Take the behavior of the Fed- eral Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies. .1. Edgar Hoover tat- tled about the government's case to a Congressional com- Why wait for tragedy? I see that the noblest of your editorial writers has rushed to the defence of Lethbridge's chil- dren once again: "What do the Children (about the ban- ning of The best comment I have heard from any child is the one made by my seven year old son after he had spent five weeks in hospital last fall, fol- lowing his firecracker accident. He had a lot of time for reflec- tion, and his final judgment was' "You know something? for just a minute's fun, it wasn't worth it." You persist, in the line of rea- soning that you followed in an earlier editorial. You main- tain that the banning of fire- crackers represents "the stran- gling of childhood, the stifling of its and thai somehow the lives of children will be "duller." But as another letter writer commented, what you fail to comprehend is that firecrackers are nothing less than explosives. These "child- hood delights." as you refer to them, are designed to explode. They may be small (the type that injured my son arc of the very smallest type each less than half an ine long) hut they are explosives nonetheless. Th2 noise aspect is trivial: children can make more noise in a thousand other ways. But the dea that explosives on any scale are a fit plaything for children is not trivial. Since you carry your bleeding heart de- fence of a child's rights to the point of absurdity, why not carry it even further and sug- gest that children be allowed to play with dynamite or hand- grenades? Firework displays will not lie prohibited under the provi- sions of Ihe proposed (ire by- law now being considered by city council. As long as a per- mit is required for such dis- plays and proper supervision and safeguards are provided, then there need be no problem. Such firework displays are in- deed a delight to young and old. But firecrackers are use- less as well as dangerous, and nothing will be lost through their prohibition. Surely our children can. find other, safer "delights" than firecrackers. They are now ban- ned in countless enlightened communities in this and other countries, and in most cases the bans have been the out- come of some sort of tragedy. Why wait for that to happen here? M. R. HANNA. Lethbridge. 'Crazy Capers' She hasn't spoken to tne for three days. Will you nclvise her to keep il up? mittee long before indictments were handed down, 'and his foot- prints are all over the ease. The original bail and travel restrictions seem to have been arranged to make it easy for the authorities to keep a con- tinuing eye on the defendants. Security at the arraignment was so stiff even defendants and their lawyers had a tough time, getting into the hearing. A telephone repairman called in to fix the line at the local office of the American Civil Liberties Union casually report- ed that it was out because of tapping. Newsmen covering the case repeatedly found un newsmen- looking characters in their midst, going through the mo- tions of the basic course in eavesdropping. I asked one who was bending an assiduous ear to my conversation with Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times what paper he worked for. "I work in the he said and moved on. Then there is the example of the Federal prosecutor, Guy Goodwin, a confident, well-tail- ored man with prematurely- grey good looks. The other day a reporter for a local paper (and it has to be understood that Harrisburg is a folksy kind of place where the daughter of the judge in the case turns out to work for local TV Sta- tion) asked Mr. Goodwin how he should be addressed. "Your Eminence will do." Goodwin said. Another nice example is the supposed victim of the kidnap- ping plot. Dr. Henry Kissinger. This is the selfsame Dr. Henry Kissinger who walks up and down the world moaning about the tragedy of history and the poignancy of power in wavs well calc u 1 a t c d to generate compassion for h i m s e 1 f and President Nixon. But he thought it was a riotous joke lo say of stjme of the co defendants and co consnir a t o r s that he'd heard "three sex starved nuns" were after him. What makes this crude be- havior disturbing is that the trial of the Harrisburg Six has a deep symbolic meaning for luo important public organiza- tions. One is the Catholic Peace movement led by Father Philip Berrigan, a co defendant in the trial, and his brother, Fath- er Daniel Berrigan, an alleged co conspirator. That movement is not, in any obvious way, the work of spoil- ed kids, or Communists, or the radical chic, or anybody else with self serving purposes. It seems to be a pure moral pro- test hence a supreme em- barrassment to an administra- tion that regularly wraps it- self in piety. The nasty cracks made by Mr. Goodwin and Dr. Kissinger suggest that the ad- ministration is using the Har- risburg trial to discredit the Catholic peace workers as a bunch of violent nuts some- thing like the Weathermen. Then there is the FBI itself. Blabbing the story of the kid- nap plot to the Congress did not exactly improve Mr. Hoov- er's reputation with serious peo- ple. The bureau itself was made to look ridiculous when agents were unable to find Father Daniel Berrigan for months, though he was in touch with newsmen and friends in universities. Not a few cases of draft card record destruc- tion, which is the specialty oJ the Berrigans, remain unsolved. So it is plausible to see the FBI using the trial as a come- back vehicle an occasion to accumulate a mountain of evi- dence that will make the bu- reau look just great. Perhaps these suspicions are unfair. The government does have an informant prepared to testify about the kidnap plot. It apparently has documentary evidence in the form of letters between Father Philip Berri- gan and another co defen- dant. Sister Elizabeth McAllis- ter. But if the case is so good, then all the more reason for government officials to behave with some regard for the de- cencies. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Looking backward Through the Herald 1821 Fifth street was en- short', after four one afternoon recently, in which a chair, a cuspidor and a knife figured. One of the parties, known as the "Russian Kid" had his throat gashed. One man was charged with biting another and all appeared in court. The wholt affair was pretty well mixed and will be untangled at the hearings. 1931 Plans for the new rtockyards, which the CPR plans to construct east of the city, have been reproved and work will begin as soon as weather permits. 1941 A giant 20-ton bomb- er, one of 3G ordered for the RAF underwent tests at La Guardia airport, leading to be- lief it would soon be flown to "-itain. 1951 Canada will reopen a number of former airfields in the prairie provinces as one step in training fa- cilities for Canadian and Atlan- tic-Pact countries. Macleod and Claresholn- are two likely cen- tres in Alberta. Details of the pro- jected Shell Oil gas processing plant :n the Waterton-Pincher Creek area reveal the mil- lion industry will be located some 15 miles south of Pincher Creek. The Lethkidge Herald 5M 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor nnd Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Edilor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial page Editor "THE HERAtD SERVES THE SOUTH"