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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD Monday, February 25, 1974 United States must broaden foreign aid Scandal breeds cynicism A scandal to rival that of Watergate in the United States is unfolding in Italy. There the oil lobby appears to have made payments to political parties in exchange for favors. The mess began to come into the open after a school and a hospital in Genoa complained about not getting heating fuel despite long-standing contracts. The inquiry opened by a young judicial magistrate has spread to other centres and has grown into an affair of state. At first the suspicion was that oil companies were taking advantage of the world energy crisis to hoard fuel and force up prices. Proof was soon found that oil companies had given the government misleading data on fuel supplies. Then more damning things turned up. An arrest warrant has been issued against a leading Italian oilman, Vincenzo Cazzaniga. He is accused of criminal conspiracy and corruption. Specifically the charge is that on behalf of the oil lobby he paid out huge bribes to fix oil prices and defeat plans for production of more nuclear energy. Some heads are almost sure to roll among the politicians. There have been admissions of subsidies having been received from the oil lobby for political parties but denials that it influenced decisions. Skepticism is widespread. What this new scandal on the world scene does is to deepen the already endemic lack of confidence in political leaders. The effect this is having on young people is serious. It is destroying the idealism that attracts the best people into public life and is thus a monstrous threat to the future of democratic government. In the midst of all the pressing problems of incumbent governments, attention must be given to building better safeguards against corruption of the system. Appeals to integrity are not enough. Children's books Last summer in Toronto a group of artists and writers, with an OFY grant, started the Kids Can Do Press, to publish books for children who were growing up urban, and specifically, in Toronto. They had found that local publishers were uninterested in investing in children's books and they felt that a need existed for books with which children of the inner city could identify. They published five books, of copies each, and hoped to continue with a LIP grant to help solve their book- binding problem. At present, while the Toronto Library system has copies in all of its branches, the staple-binding isn't sturdy enough to allow the books to circulate. There is both encouraging and disappointing news in this project. The disappointing aspect is the indication that, in the search for a national identity which seems to be consuming most Canadian artists, attention is being paid, mainly to the adult world and to books and other works designed for adult consumption. Although identity begins at birth, children's literature seems to be overlooked. In spite of the' response of Toronto publishers, generally speaking children's books are a good investment. A good children's book, for instance, will be a steady seller year after year, while adult books, which may sell more copies over a brief span, soon disappear from the shelves because of lack of interest. Publishing children's books as a medium of national identity is considerably subordinate in purpose to publishing them as a source of enjoyment to, and a means of development of, individual children. The encouraging factor in the Toronto project is the success with which the group of artists met the problem of creating books for some of Canada's children. Presumably the books of the Kids Can Do Press are less expensive than children's books usually are and this is an added contribution. The selling price of children's books is prohibitively high and while it may be justified on the basis of costs, the expense is a part of the whole problem of why children do or do not read. Creativity, not a hard cover, is the main ingredient of a good children's book. The simplest of materials can be turned into delightful works of art. One of the best picture books ever produced for children used simple, geometric forms torn out of construction paper as the only illustration for a brief, imaginative story about two friends, little blue and little yellow. A successful book of this sort, using the simplest of materials, demands a creative imagination on the part of the writer, but it also produces a creative imagination in the reader. Surely Southern Alberta has enough talent and energy to establish a press for books for children growing up on the prairie, or children growing up Indian, or children growing up anywhere and everywhere. Nothing, in the long run, could be more rewarding. RUSSELL BAKER The sexorcist This column was originally going to be an assay on sex, but will instead deal with ghosts. In preparation for the sex essay, I was studying Dr. Alex B. Comfort's best seller on the mechanics of the thing "The joy of sex" is the title when a friend pointed out that I had missed the boat. Sex, he said, was done for with the public. The new thing was the supernatural. Movie lines that had once formed for Deep Throat now stood patiently for The Exorcist. Americans were lost in ecstasies of demons, gurus, poltergeists, Oriental mysticism and religious freakery. Pracing Tables, second sight and visitations from the Other Side this was the heady fantasy of America today. I was not too unhappy to learn this, for writing about sex in a newspaper is heavy going. Comfort's discussion of ropes and knots of which he could be said to approve in moderation could not really have been analysed properly in a newspaper. I doubt that I could even have raised the logical next question which Comfort conveniently ignores to wit, is there a role for tire chains in amorous play? In any case, this timely switch in public tastes makes it possible to tell a ghost story here A few years ago a group of us bad taken a summer bouse in Nantucket and there a ghost in my bedroom. This was no great problem, for boyhood in a southern rural community had conditioned me to life among ghosts. After sundown in those days the grown ops could scarcely go into the next room with the coal oil lamp without encountering two or three long dead relatives standing around in the shadows staring around at them. Electricity finally arrived and everybody moved to the city, probably because the ghosts refused to show op anymore with so much light around the house and their disappearance made country life seem humdrum and tedious. In that Nantucket bedroom the ghost made itself manifest as soon as the lights went out. There was the prickly sensation at the back of the neck and the usual sense of something incorporeal at the foot of the bed which yon invariably get with your standard bedroom ghost. Why they always stand at the foot of the bed, and never at the sides, or at the bead, or even in the air overhead, since they are incorporeal, nobody knows. Tne foot is wbtHv they stand, and this ghost did it just like all the others. In one respect, however, be was different. He wouldn't go away after several ounces of whisky. He just stood there rather sullenly. An odd thing was this: I happened to be reading a sex manual at the time and when, because the ghost refused to go and let me sleep, I turned the lights on again to read, the ghost's presence went away, and I was able to sleep at last. This routine recurred three or four nights. By the fifth, having finished the sex manual, I opened Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. This time, however, the ghost refused to leave me alone even with the reading light on, and I had to abandon the room. Nantucket is full of ghosts. They are mostly long-dead sea captains (never mates or able bodied seamen) or the frustrated wives of same who went mad due to overly long separation from long dead sea captain husbands. Somebody sent me to a man called Cap'n Coffin who was said to be "a good ghost man." The best way to get rid of a Nantucket ghost, Cap'n Coffin said, was to send it to the mainland on the Woods Hole Ferry Nantucket is an island cut off from America by rough seas but this was impossible in summer because the ferry was always booked solid and took pride in being unable to provide service when it was urgent. Instead, the Cap'n proposed to spend a night in the haunted bedroom, which he did. "Don't he said next morning. "We can move him." His story was sordid. The ghost, a long dead sea captain, was utterly fascinated with sex. As long as the light was on and the sex manual was opened so he could read, he was not disposed to make himself a nuisance. The ghost hated Proust and could not allow rest to anyone reading such a book. Nothing interested him but sex. "I told said Cap'n Coffin, "that most folks thought ghosts was a sight more interesting than sex, and the ghost gave off a lot of warm vibrations which i instantly recognized as meaning, 'that goes to show just how much dumber folks is than Thereafter, we left the sex manual open in the kitchen at night, with the light on, and had no more trouble, although one night we did hear the eerily sexual clanking of tire chains down there. By C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator AMSTERDAM Although the Arab oil embargo was deliberately aimed at Holland with the idea of punishing it for a policy seen as biased in favor of Israel, Dutch ingenuity managed to minimize boycott effects and Dutch generosity is concerned with the effects of the energy crisis in the world's poor, developing lands. These repercussions are seen as potentially disastrous. One concerned minister estimates that at least billion more capital must now flow annually to underdeveloped nations to help them maintain growth rate targets and make up for a distortion of their balance of payments gap. The benefits of aid they had already counted on receiving this year have been suddenly wiped out. Regarding the matter pragmatically, the Dutch see the need for reorientation among donors of such aid. Newly rich countries like Saudi Arabia, whose earnings have vastly swelled, should certainly help out. It is a good sign that Arab oil lands have pledged some half a billion in African aid, even though this derives more from politics than charity. Yet, while the burden should henceforth be more equably shared, the rich industrial nations of the West must show that their reaction to the Arab boycott is controlled rather than retaliatory. This will stimulate further Arab aid to poor lands and will also attract greater normal Arab investment in the West, allowing the latter to improve its position to help others. The Dutch feel there must be readjustment of the list of developing countries most urgently requiring help. For example, Algeria and Nigeria should get less but India, Pakistan and Bangladesh should get relatively more because vast sections of their populations are destitute. Likewise, recognition of the immense famine belt in Africa is urgently necessary. Holland has tended like some other European ex empires to favor former colonies in its aid program, for both sentimental and political reasons. Thus Indonesia, Surinam and "I don't want any 'fresh Disaster closes in on poor nations By Carl Rowan, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON Like characters in a Greek tragedy, unable to stem their fate, the poor nations of the world seem to be moving inexorably toward unparalleled disaster. A series of circumstances some natural, some man- made are closing in, and together they threaten the lives of as many as 20 million people, we are told. Item: A southward shift of monsoon rains threatens food supplies in widely scattered areas of the world. It is blamed for the five-year drought which has ravaged sub-Sahara Africa and for severe droughts in India and Latin America. Item: The energy shortage and rising petroleum prices are directly crippling the economies of developing nations. And the indirect effects could be even more devastating, since Japan, Letters which has been the chief exporter of nitrate fertilizer to India and several other nations, has had to cut production in half because of fuel shortages. Item: Grain reserves held by the grain-exporting countries, which were sufficient to feed the world for 95 days in 1961 and for 51 days in 1971, are now down to a 29- day supply. Item: The U.S. House of Representatives voted to deny a fresh billion American contribution to the World Bank's International Development Association This fund is the major source of development assistance to 21 countries mostly small African nations classified by the United Nations as the world's least .developed. Alone, any of these circumstances would be a cruel blow. Together, they add Letter insults student I am most insulted by the letter to The Herald written by Mr. M. E. Spencer of Cardston (Feb. The letter to which 1 refer states plainly that the studies now being undertaken by the universities are being presented with biased opinion. Mr. Spencer continues: "The subject should be presented in such a way that there is a choice of conclusions; the student must be educated so that he can make a choice." I dare say that such misinformed and narrow- sighted people are the sole cause of the problem pur university has in being accepted by the community. I hope to receive a degree from the university of Lethbridge soon, and I hope to get more credit for my work than Mr. Spencer would like me to have. I am not being taught with a biased opinion. If Mr. Spencer would take the time to become properly informed he would find that our university is one of the most flexible and innovative schools. The University of Lethbridge has taken great steps in order to provide an atmosphere far removed from the "Ivy League" ideals so students graduating from Lethbridge will foster their own ideas and not those of their educators. I am also insulted that Mr. Spencer thinks the universities have been taken over by apes. If he is referring to the university community then I have misinterpreted his statement. However, if he refers to the fact that there is one course listed in this year's calendar that looks at the concept of evolution, he might also have noticed there was a course on the philosophy of religion; a history course that included a religious survey of European history and a sociology course on religion. We do have a choice between accepting evolution or divine creation a choice that Mr. Spencer obviously was not given. May I quote from the statement of philosophy of The University of Lethbridge: "Its primary aims are to foster the spirit of free inquiry and the critical interpretation of ideas." I will conclude in saying I am glad I was educated in a system where the "truths" previously set down by wise men could be debated and I was not educated some years back when the only choice of ideas was theirs and theirs. BRUCE W. YOUNG Lethbridge up to impending tragedy. Dr. Normal E. Borlaug of the Rockefeller Foundation, who has been called the "father of the green told the New York Times that up to 20 million people may die because of crop shortages in the next year. Let that number sink in. Twenty million. That's equal to the populations of Switzerland, Israel, Senegal, Norway and Nicaragua combined. Or the state of New York. Borlaug cites the fertilizer cutbacks as the main cause, with climate changes also a factor. It is not surprising that the poor nations of the world are hit hardest by current conditions. Here at home, our own poor and disadvantaged always seem to suffer the most from inflation, crime, fuel shortages or whatever problem is rampant. The bitter irony today is that both nature and man are battering these helpless lands at the same time. Little can be done to fight the whims of nature. Great climate changes have had profound influences on nations and even civilizations in the past, including our own country in the 1930s. But must men be so pitiless, too. to kick those who are already groveling in the dust of barren fields? I've noted in an earlier column that oil-rich countries don't appear to be showing any special consideration for poor and developing nations. Now the U.S. House of Representatives has added its cruel blows. And cruel they are. Hubert S. McNamara, World Bank president, calls the House action "an unmitigated disaster for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest nations of the world." The House vote seems especially unwarranted because the World Bank and IDA are trying to overcome past complaints about foreign aid programs. They sponsor projects designed to help the poorest people in the recipient nations. The assistance is given multilate'-ally, with the U.S. share down to 33 per cent of the total, the smallest snare ever for this country. In relation to gross national product, the United States is 14th among 16 large donor countries and would be contributing only one-tenth of what it did 25 years One can understand the reluctance of some Congressmen who argue that recipient countries would use the money to buy high-priced Arab oil that the aid would just go to line the pockets of sheikhs. But that smacks too much of a chain-reaction fight within a family, when the oldest child annoys the middle child, who then seeks his revenge by turning on the youngest. And let there be no doubt. Though some may not relish or acknowledge the idea, we are all brothers and sisters in the family of man. If we're not willing to be our brother's keeper, at least we should not be his executioner. mm WORLD Curacao have been preferred here. It is felt that past historical ties must be considered less important now; nor is there any necessity tc institutionalize aid in a consortium, as has been done for Indonesia. What should be stressed is direct aid tc Asia's deserving lands, technical aid to Africa, and greater trade with Latin America. Moreover, it must be acknowledged that economic growth alone is not enough for developing nations; rather spurs to employment, agricultural output, and income distribution heed encouragement. An impetus can be given to such programs by aid to countries that can effectively handle it because of their social and economic, policies. These are ream tic approaches to a problem that has been bothering the world's conscience ever since the Second World War broke up the imperial system and spawned a large family of impoverished new nations. It is particularly noble of Holland, which has just been swatted by the Arabs in an effort to penalize it, to persist in a sense of moral and charitable obligations. But there is no doubt the Dutch are disturbed by negative forces in U.S. public and political opinion which, despite efforts by the government, are trying to shed the large aid burden accepted by the American people in the past. Recent actions by and statements in the Congress, slashing appropriations and even (in the case of Senator Fulbright's resolution) calling for "an end to foreign aid" have been received with astonishment and sadness in Europe, especially here. It would be disastrous for the whole western world, riven as it already is by dis- putes on how the energy crisis, allied defence and political unity should be approached, were the United States to relinquish its position as leader in the domain of international morality just as it has become engulfed in its own crisis of national morality. Apart from the philosophy in this respect the Dutch example is notable because these people have been menaced by the Arab fuel embargo more than other Europeans there is also a matter of grave political substance. At -a moment when its reputation is tarnished as perhaps never before and at a time when it is necessary to restore its image as a free world leader, America must move to toe front in assuming more responsibility for directing an aid program which it, after all, began. The United States cannot drop the whole thing into its own slough of despond, just as new waves of famine, poverty and despair sweep the earth. "Far out man.. .that's some philosophy. Have you ever considered starting a religious The Lethbridge Herald S04 7Ih SL S. UOHbridge. Wbwta IE7HBWDGE HERALD CO. LTO. PropfWori and Second Clan Man Regwtration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Prtrilfher DON H PHUNG OONAI.O R. DORAM Managing Editor General Manager BOYf Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKED Editorial Page Editor THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH" WOB6HT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH BARMEIT ;