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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 24, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta F.fc.uory J4, THE IETHMIDOI HMAIO 5 Anthony Westell Four strategies open to Canadians OTTAWA Canadian voters are approaching one of the most difficult and impor- tant national issues since their country grew from colony to independence. They are being asked to choose between the comfort and efficiency of giant multi- national corporations which multiply wealth by breaking down national sovereignty, and the risks and hardships wlu'ch may be entailed in struggling to preserve Canadian control over major national decisions. Or is Uiere a middle way, as the Economic Council implied in t recent report discussing the astonishing rise of interna- tional business organizations? "Two important problems are posed. How to foster more ef- fective Canadian-based partici- pation hi the rapid growth and development of multinational corporations, and how to make the capabilities and potentials of such firms best serve Cana- dian economic goals when their future development and even then- present activities can perhaps be readily shifted else- where." In blunter terms: How do we get a piece of the rich in- ternational action and still force the giants to be good Ca- nadian citizens when it is quite possible for them, if they don't like our rules, to move their operation to another country? Having asked the questions, the Economic Council unfor- tunately failed to suggest the answers. But there are basical- ly only four strategies open to us. We can relax and enjoy all the benefits of foreign exploita- tion of our resources, accepting that the price is some loss of national sovereignty. This is the policy we have been fol- lowing for years, and it has brought us, after all, a very high standard of living with a reasonable degree of auton- omy. The counter-argument is not one of logic or even of econ- omics but of morale and spirit, and it is well-stated by the French writer and politician J. J. Servan-Schreilwr in his book 'The American Chal- lenge." He says that self-determina- tion is not a matter which Eu- ropeans (or Canadians) can accept-or reject, but the main- spring of our society. "This desire for self-deter- mination for freedom first from physical oppression, then from social restraints, is a hallmark of our civilization. "The day this drive weakens to the point that Europeans let 'somebody bigger' do their work for them, the spirit of our civilization will have broken, as did that of the Arab and In- d i a n civilizations centuries ago. We would be tainted by the knowledge of our own fail- ure. "Without suffering from pov- erty, we would nevertheless soon submit lo a fatalism and a depression that would end in in impotence and abdication." Canadian experience in re- cent years bears him out. We have certainly not suffered poverty, but as our resources have passed into foreign hands and we have felt our sover- eignty slipping away, we have edged toward fatalism and de- pression. Lament for a nation, wrote George Grant, one of the great- Author's Acceptance From The St. Louis Post Dispatch TF THE news is grim and disturbing too much of the time thest days, it is not with- out wondrous flashes of humor that remind us somewhere someone has retained a sense of proportion. Consider, for instance, the delightfully cryptic wit of au- thor Isaac Bashevis Stager as he accepted the Mational Book award in children's literature for his book, "A Day of Plea- sure." Mr. Singer's acceptance speech is something of a jewel. Said he: "There are 500 reasons why I began to write for children but to save time I will mention only ten of them. Number I: Children read books, not reviews: They don't give a hoot about the critics. 2: They don't read to find their identity. 3: They don't read to free themselves of guilt, to quench the thirst for rebellion or to get rid of alienation. 4: They have no use for psy- chology. 5: They detest sociology. 6: They don't try to under- stand Kafka or 'Firmegan's Wake.' 7: They still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation and other such ob- solete stuff. 8: They love interesting storie's, not commentary, guides or footnotes. 9: When a book is boring, they yawn openly without any shame or fear of authority. 10: They don't expect their beloved writer to redeem hu- manity. Young as they are, they know that it is not in his power. Only the adults have such childish1 illusions. Thank you very much for be- stowing this honor upon me, a mere beginner in. juvenile liter- ature." Mr. Singer may be caustic but he has reached through to the beautiful honesty, that ap- pears to be lost in the process of age. _____ est of Canadian philosophers. The first century, suggested historian Donald Creighton, is also Canada's last. The new nationalism sweep- ing across Canada is in fact a rejection of the policy of pas- sive submission to foreign economic control. The second possible strategy, at the other extreme, is re- ject not only American capital, but also American values and policies, and to seek to build a quite different sort of society. The most vigorous exponents of this course are the Waffle group within the NDP. These left-wingers argue that capital- ists are all of the same stripe and driven by the same im- peratives, so there is no point in rescuing the Canadian econ- omy from U.S. businessmen if we are simply going to turn it over to Canadian businessmen. Nothing will change. The solution they suggest is to nationalize foreign-owned in- dustry where necessary, and to develop in Canada a decen- tralized and democratic style of socialism. Socialism is an honest option to put before Canadians, and the Waffle program is perhaps more acceptable than that of the official NDP which hides the same objectives and meth- ods in less forthright language. But we are entitled to ask if the Wafflers and New Demo- crats are at heart more inter- ested in socialism than na- tionalism; if they have not sud- denly emerged as apostles of nationalism because it appears to be a good way in which to persuade Canadians to accept socialism. We must also question the value of nationalization when the most dynamic business corporations are rapidly inter- nationalizing their operations. In a previous column (on page four today) we argued that the strength of giant, multinational corporations, and the reason they can establish so successfully in Canada, is Get together with the easy-going flavour of Molson Golden. It's the great get-together beer for good company and good times. Molson Golden .the great get-together beer.' that they combine skilled man- agement with technology, ac- cess to world markets, and capital. What would be the re- sult of nationalizing the Cana- dian branch of one of these giants? We should have some small part of then- capital in the plant and the inventory, but none of the qualities which made them successful man- agement, technology, their marketing system? If we have Canadian man- agers, technology and sales ability, available to take over, why not start our own corpora- tion to compete, instead of seiz- ing the foreign owned plant? To socialize our economv on any great scale, in short, would probably mean serious- ly weakening our ties to the main world sources of indus- trial development and growth. A third strategy would be to compel foreign owners to make shares in their Canadian enter- prises available to Canadian investors. When Walter Gordon was fi- nance minister, he offered tax concessions to persuade for- eign corporations to sell 25 per cent of then- Canadian opera- tions to Canadians. This would certainly permit Canadians to share the profits of business in their own country, but it would do little or nothing to establish Canadian control over the for- eign corporations. A House of Commons com- mittee has now gone further and urged that foreign cor- porations should be compelled to make 51 per cent of shares available. On the face of it, this would establish Canadian con- trol, if we could somehow find the or to take up the shares. But we have argued hi a previous column (in yester- day's Herald) that control of the modern corporation does not lie with the shareholders. It lies with the technostructure of managers and other special- ists who make the policy deci- sions. We should note also that when Canadians bought up 51 per cent of the shares of the Canadian subsidiary of a ior- .eign corporation, it would promptly become a national, rather than a multinational op- eration, losing all the advant- ages of international manage- ment, marketing and technol- ogy. In this sense, it would be much the same as nationaliza- tion by socialists. The fourth and most work- able strategy for Canadians is to learn to live in the world of multinational business and to strive to turn it to our advant- age. This means welcoming for- eign enterprise in some indus- tries but not in others: To manufacture cars, for exam- ple, but not to control broad- casting or book publishing. It means encouraging our pres- ent multinational corporations and establishing new ones so that we can develop techno- structures with Canadian input and output, and have some na- tional chips in the international poker game. It means, prob- ably, nationalizing some for- eign companies, or compelling them to take Canadian part- ners, where they blanket a ma- jor resource industry and it is important to establish a na- tional presence. It means be- ing confident enough to resist foreign political pressure and tough enough to write 'and en- force laws which ensure that foreign enterprises act as good corporate citizens of Canada. It may very well mean oper- ating different policies in dif- ferent economic regions of Canada, encouraging foreign investment in the underdevel- oped provinces and being more restrictive in the areas already highly developed. This is not of course an ori- ginal strategy. It is pretty much what the government is expected to propose in its long- awaited policy statement, and it is not too far removed from I h e famous Watkins report published in 1968. Many people now seem to have forgotten it, but that re- port was not hostile to multi- national corporations, and it actually proposed to facilitate the entry of new ones into the Canadian economy, under scru- tiny and control. There is however one addi- otinal tactic which Canada should pursue, within the gen- eral strategy, because it may in the end prove the only real way to control multinational business', and because it could help to give U5 Uie spirit of national purpose we shall need to survive as a country, We should crusade for inter- national control of interna- tional business some multi- national forum to make com- mon law for all countries in which the giant corporations operate in full knowledge that we should be moving closer toward the old dream of or.c world. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Indian affairs policy Two vi'ws of what is hsppening regarding fodian allairs policy will bf in articles below. The first, written by Ron Hose, appeared in the Vancouver Sim on February 13: the second appeared on the front page of Kainai News on February 15. TTAWA The federal government's 0'-... white psper on Indian affairs dirty joke among Indians because of the suggestion that the whites were still dictat- ing to them is dead. But many proposals contained in the policy statement issued in June, 1969, will be implemented in one way or another with the aid of the Indians themselves. It's beginning now, although nobody wants to admit it. This paradox which calls for a lot of face-saving on both sides is what the continuing debate on Indian affairs is all about. A lot of people in the Indian affairs de- partment career civil sen-ants who were prepared to work themselves out of their jobs were rocked by the instant and complete rejection by the Indians of the proposals to transfer Indian services to the provincial governments. If the Indians had bought it, the Indian Act would have been repealed and the In- dian affairs department, which employs about people, would have been phased out in five years. The planners who came up with the deal should have anticipated the reaction. And maybe some of them did. Because they were trying to do two things at once. They honestly tried to lay down the ground rules for a social development that has been a long time coming. But Uiey were also preparing a blue- print for bailing the government out of a predicament created through generations of paternalism. Because they could not deal with some long-standing grievances like aboriginal claims and treaty rights, Indian leaders claimed the government was going to abandon its responsibility to Canada's na- tive people. This is the explanation for the double talk and the double think. What's really happening is that the In- dians are beginning to move into many areas of self-government while the loud debate continues. Which is great, but it's also fraught with all sorts of political wrangling. The Indians are going to have to do it their own way and this means more and more government money for Indian organ- izations to get into the planning process. There's nothing wrong with that provided the organizations themselves don't become another level of bureaucracy. They require a sophisticated new breed of employees known in today's jargon as resource people researchers, social planners and other professionals. That's a lot of salaries. So a big part of ilic fight is the power struggle within the organizations. Should the National Indian Brotherhood become in effect the Indian affairs depart- ment? Should the various provincial brother- hoods some of them already strongly entrenched take over in such fields as education, of Indians and welfare adminis- tration? Or should the Indian bands themselves operate these programs on the local level? It could go any way. Or most likely a mixture of all. Things are changing in the Indian affairs department. People are bailing out but new people are coming in too. And this is a significant development because the new people are specialists, not generalists, as they say in Ottawa. The Ottawa mandarin, who made a very comfortable living by preserving the status quo and all his own privileges, is going out of style. And so is the Indian agent who was a retired colonel and made the Indian wait cap-in-hand for an audience. They really did that. The new people are pros who are pre- pared to work on problems in their field and move elsewhere when the problem is solved. And they could be working for the Indian organizations as well as the government if that's the way it goes. But they're not likely to change jobs for a while. The men at the top are busy now projecting expenditures for the next five years as part of the government's budget programming system. Increasing amounts of the money will be funnelled through the Indian leaders, everybody agrees. However the department will remain In existence in one form or another for a long time and one of the reasons is that tile In- dians themselves want it to. Indian self-development will come on a piecemeal basis and essential services to them must be continued as the argument rages about how the services can be im- proved. At least the process has begun. r'AKDSTON In June, 1969, the Federal Government White Paper on the af- fairs of Indians was presented to Canada by the oft-referred-to "Great White Fath- Jean Chretien who is our Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. One year later the Indians of Canada presented a counter-proposal to the govern- ment policy, better known as the Red Paper, to our federal leaders. At the sitting the Indian delegates, representing some natives in Canada, asked that the government assure the Indians that the In- dian Policy would not be implemented. The government, upon agreement, assured that our demands would be met. But time and time again, the Minister publicly de- clared to the Canadian people that the White Paper proposals were to be dis- cussed with the Indian people; however, Indian Affairs officials have been recruited for implementation teams to go ahead with the implementation of the White Paper. The double-headed approach, contradic. tory to the wants of the Canadian Indian, sets a glaring example of the underhanded measures in which the government slyly counterattacks the proposal set forlli by the Indians. A few of their green light attacks against the desires of the Indians includes the ap- pointment of a Claims Commission and the public relations program conducted to im- pose the White Paper on the Canadian pub- lic thus incompatible with the Just So- ciety. Discussions between the Federal De- partment of Indian Affairs and provincial govemnrents have also been initiated. All major Indian organizations, who have pledged themselves to continue earnest ef- forts to preserve the hereditary and legal privileges of Indian peoples, will work as a common band to ensure the Indians' stability. Indian organizations requested to the Prime Minister that no further pro- cess of implementation take place and that action already taken be reviewed to mini- mize suspicions and to make possible a positive and constructive dialogue between the Federal, Provincial Governments and the Indian people. We, the Indians In Canada, have strug- gled through some very hard, tiring bat- tles over the last one hundred years, and by the governmental actions it means we have one more very grave battle to con- tend with. It is the most important one in our lifetime. What our destiny might be, no one really knows, but by the government's actions in regard to the Indian Policy over the past year, it clearly indicates who win be left holding the bag. Reading holds Us own The Christian Science Monitor ONE of the sweepingnest prophecies of With the constantly rising proportion of the past few decades that television youths going to college, the percentage the past few decades would quash the reading habit now seems to be proving itself false. Two surveys point to reading's resurgent vitality. A Gallup Poll finds that a fourth of the adult public now reads at least a bock a month more than at any time since such samplings began in 1958, when only a fifth of the American public were reading books each month. A study of reading habits conducted by the Gilbert Youth Research organization showed that 73 per cent of all young per- sons between 14 and 25 years of age read one or more newspapers daily. And among adults, 78 per cent read one or more news- papers on an average day. Reading is even more on tlw upgrade Uian Uie above figures show. According lo the Gallup Poll, half of all college edu- cated adults read at least a book a month. book-reading. adults will further increase. The newspaper reading survey showed a similar effect of education on reading habits: Although readership drops during college years against the competition of so- cial life and studies, it leaps ahead to 82 per cent after graduation. And readership among young married couples is an even higher 86 per cent. The trend among the oncoming genera- tion then is toward more reading and somewhat less TV. Among high-school youngsters, 65 per cent claim they are watching television less. None of this denies TV's strong on-going impact. But it does suggest that TV's rela- tive influence among the media has likely peaked, and that Uie public is striking something nearer a balance between watching and reading. Late again CPORTS Illustrated recently carried a conservation piece hy the English writer John Fowles. In it he supplied a splendid rationale for backyard laziness. Tlie British, he says, are ahead of Americans in their concept of gardening. Americans tend to opt for a synthetic gar- den in which nature is warred upon with pesticides and herbicides. But the English1 garden is a first cousin to a hedge and a meadow. Nature is allowed lo have its way with weeds and insects. By Doug Walker Mr. Fowlcj urges the banning of ail in- secticides and weed killers. Then lie says, "the next thing to curtail is the. area given up to lawn. Well-kept grass gives a very poor ecological return." I wish I had known that before I went lo all the work of planting lawns at our place! What hurts even more is Uie suspi- cion that this is probably another of thosi things thai everyone but me in ilie English- speaking world knew long ago. ;