Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 27, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Harbor scandal drives Munro to brink of resignation OTTAWA (CP) Labor Minister John Munro was driven to the brink of resignation Wednes- day by a harbor dredging scandal in his hometown of Hamilton. Pale and apparently exhausted after three days of tense Commons questioning, Mr. Munro offered to quit the cabinet but was advised by Prime Minister Trudeau to see a doctor, take a rest and think it over. The scandal figures in a nationwide RCMP investigation into dredging company activities. A senior RCMP spokesman said during the day that new charges will be laid soon as a result of the investigation. But they would not be related directly to the Hamilton case. Activities by dredging companies have em- barrassed the federal, Quebec and Ontario governments, and caused the resignation of On- tario Solicitor-General George Kerr. Mr. Kerr.quit Friday to fight allegations of wrongdoing in the Hamilton scandal which already has produced three convictions and resulted in charges against two other men, one a former Hamilton harbor commissioner. Mr. Munro denied criminal or political mis- conduct but said he may be forced to resign and devote full energies to clearing his name. The minister was mentioned in the transcript of a preliminary hearing into charges connected with the scandal. "With the kind of inferences and accusations that have been made, it's very difficult to carry he said. But he agreed to follow Mr. Trudeau's advice and think the matter over before deciding on his future. He did not indicate how long a rest he will take to make up his mind. The meeting between the two men took place at Mr. Munro's Commons desk and in the gov- ernment lobby off the Commons chamber. Members of his staff crowded into the Com- mons galleries while the talks were held, ap- parently waiting to see if his resignation would result. Mr. Trudeau, who left Wednesday night for a two-week European tour, said he knows of no wrongdoing by the minister and will not accept a resignation because a man is tired. He left open the possibility that circumstances might change but said there are no adverse police reports and Mr. Munro has nothing to be ashamed of. "He seemed rather tired and distraught. I ask- ed him to take a few days rest and think it the prime minister said before boarding a government jet for Europe. Mr. Munro waved off reporters as he left the Commons but answered questions later in his Parliament Hill office. The nine-year cabinet veteran said in a halting voice the last few days have been the most tur- bulent since he was first elected to the Commons in 1962. He did not object to media coverage of the scandalbut said political opponents should stop insinuating that he has done wrong unless they are prepared to make specific allegations. The news that Mr. Munro was close to quitting came as a surprise to many. It followed the an- nouncement earlier in the day that Transport Minister Jean Marchand had resigned as Quebec Liberal Leader. The post, which he has held for 10 years, will be taken over by Health Minister Marc Lalonde. The Herald LXVIII-65 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1975 15 Cents CCH ft -m 1 T 1 federal Liberals CANDIDA TE KIDNAPPED BERLIN (AP) The Christian Democratic party's candidate for mayor of West Berlin in an election next Sunday was kidnapped today, police reported. Police said Peter Lorenz, 52, West Berlin chairman of the conservative opposition party, was intercepted on a quiet suburban street, his chauffeur was dragged from the car and slugged and Lorenz was driven away in his official black limousine. First reports said two men and a woman did the kid- 0 O 1 fl Q fl I I I tyrf.II. L y -_, I fll I liui OTTAWA (CP) The Liberal government's change of Quebec Minister Marc Lalonde for Transport Minister Jean at a time of rising tension between federal and Quebec Liberals. The tension involves root disputes about federalism ver- sus Quebec separatism, the issue that first brought federalist Marchand into national politics 10 years ago along with friends Pierre Trudeau, now prime minister, and Gerard Pelletier, current- ly communications minister. The change of Quebec leaders was announced Wednesday at a meeting of the Quebec caucus of MPs in Ottawa. Mr. Marchand's growing responsibilities in the troubled transport ministry Mr. Lalonde, 45, a cooler, more bureaucratic politician than the emotional Mr. Marchand, is not expected to have as wide responsibilities in organizing and fund-raising as has Mr. Marchand. It was 10 years ago, amid rising separatist ferment on Quebec and following a series of scandals-involving Quebec Liberals in Ottawa, that the government of the late Lester Pearson recruited March- and, a former labor leader and associate of radical federalists Trudeau and Pelletier. They won election to Parlia- a seat in the Pearson a year after the Quebec Liberal par- ty and the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal party had decided to separate. Now, some of the old ten- sions have been revived, although federal Quebecers say the differences between the Trudeau government and Premier Robert Bourassa of Quebec have been ex- aggerated. Seen and heard About town City employees Randy Holfeld and Oli Erdns wasting no time shaving off their Winter Games beards Separate School Trustee John Boras commenting on funding of outdoor education: "It's ironic that it costs us money to go back to nature." PHNOM PENH (AP) The United States added rice today to the ammunition it is airlifting to besieged Phnom Penh. But diplomats say no amount of American aid can prevent the collapse of President Lon Nol's government. (As the first DC-8 cargo jets landed with Vietnamese rice, Cambodian rebel gunners fired 13 rockets into a market half a mile from the airport, killing seven persons and wounding 17. The airlift was not affected. Two U.S. charter airlines began a 30-day lift to bring tons of rice from Saigon. Normal consump- tion by the two million per- sons in Phnom Penh is about tons a month. The airlift also is bringing gallons of gasoline and other petroleum products daily. The rice lift will cost million, paid from aid funds previously appropriated, and is not dependent on the million in supplementary military aid sought by the gas price two cents Alberta, Ottawa launch oil sands ecology study BILL GROENEN photo Old veteran That ol1 barn has seen a lot of winters. The good old days were really rough old days and times have changed. The street where you grew up probably doesn't look the same anymore but this scene, 10 miles north of Lundbreck, remains the same a little older perhaps, but just as quiet and just as beautiful. TORONTO (CP) Imperial Oil Ltd., Toronto, has announced an increase of 2.2 cents a gallon on its wholesale prices of gasoline, heating oils and diesel fuels, effective today. In a news release Wednesday, the company said the move follows recent removal of federal govern- ment restrictions on the recovery of petroleum costs and reflects higher manufac- turing, distribution 'and marketing costs. An Imperial spokesman said the increase would be -basically country-wide. He said the company would have to apply for permission for the increase to the board of com- missioners of public utilities in Nova Scotia and to the British Columbia energy com- mission in B.C. EDMONTON (CP) Agreement has been reached by Ottawa and Alberta on es- tablishing a 10-year, (40 million program of en- vironmental research into the Alberta oil sands. Alberta Environment Minister Bill Yurkb and En- vironment Canada Minister Jeanne Sauve, in a joint news release, said the to cost each government million a No moves made to open Phillips contract talks COLEMAN No contract talks were scheduled today following a walkout at mid- night Wednesday by workers at the Phillips Cables Ltd. plant at Sentinal, two miles west of here. The strike, by 188 members of Local 2 Canadian Associa- tion of Industrial Mechanical and Allied Workers, follows a breakdown Tuesday in contract talks between union and company negotiators. Union negotiating officials said today the company is not making any moves to re open talks. Company officials declined to comment. Local president Frank Houda said Wednesday the company is offering an 18 month contract, effective to Feb. 13, in which workers would receive an hourly wage hike of for five years with a further five-year renewable period. The program by the Oil Sands Environmental Study Group (OSESG) will.survey the natural renewable resources in the oil sands and assess the impact of develop- ment on these resources. It also will research methods to protect the environment as development proceeds. "The. primary purpose .of the studies is to make infor- mation available which will help ensure an acceptable quality of the environment during and after operations for the recovery, transport and processing of oil sands products." The ministers said publica- tion of research information "will ensure that it is available." Specific research will cover aquatic fauna, hydrogeology, hydrology. Settlement outlook gloomy for gov't workers' strike CANADIAN PRESS Prospects for a speedy fed- eral settlement with Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) blue-collar workers appear gloomy today as workers enter their llth day of strikes, clogging mail ser- vice and some air travel and strengthening an already severe impact on grain shipments. capital works approved for university A capital program of 000 was approved .Wednesday for 1975-76 by the 'University of Lethbridge board of gover- Egyptians confident of Sinai agreement By HENRY TANNER New York Times Service CAIRO Egyptian officials say they are confident that Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger will be able to bring about an Israeli withdrawal from the Strategic mountain passes and oil fields in the Sinai when he returns to the Middle East next month. However, tough bargaining continues in almost daily meetings between Egyptian foreign minister Ismail Fahmy and U.S. Ambassador Hermann F. Eilts, who is acting as Kissinger's emissary. Kissinger is scheduled to arrive in Egypt March 7 to meet with President Anwar El Sadat for two days before flying to Israel for the first of several trips. "Barring a 10 per cent chance of a last minute Israeli balk, there will be an an Egyptian of- ficial said. Official Egyptian optimism is based largely on the. belief that the United States has decided to buy Israeli concessions with further economic and military assistance. Informed diplomatic sources said Wednesday that the Ford administration had agreed, among other steps, to buy Iranian oil for Israel at a cost of nearly million for the current year. The money will be paid directly to Iran but will in fact be in the form of financial assistance to Israel, the source said. The Abu Rodeis field in the Sinai currently produces about barrels a day, ac- cording to Israeli figures. At current prices, .the prospec- tive American payment would roughly cover the loss suf- fered by Israel during one year if the field were given back to Egypt. Eilts is believed to have in- formed the Egyptians during the last few days' of Washington's willingness to spend such a large amount on the purchase of Iranian oil for Israel. The matter was dis- cussed by Kissinger and the Shah of Iran at their meeting in Zurich Feb. 18. nors at the first open meeting it has held. The capital budget includes for furnishings and equipment, for minor renovations, for ma- jor renovations and for site work. A request for for the.theatre pro- ject was not approved by the government. Physical plant co-ordinator Bob Comstock said the funding amounts were ad- justed by discussions in January with other Alberta universities and the advanced education department. The for furnishings is for repair and replacement of old or worn equipment and furniture, he said. Money to furnish and equip new programs is requested on an individual program basis. Tension escalated Wednes- day following a one-day par- tial truce to allow sorting and delivery of government pen- sion and welfare cheques as more than federal labor and trades employees massed on Parliament Hill, protesting failure of contract talks and what union representatives term the inflexibility of treasury board. Picket lines quickly were resumed outside Toronto and Winnipeg post office entrances and later in the day at the Edmonton post office. 'Of course It's been stolen. Isn't itr Ford administration. Another American charter line is fly- ing more than tons of ammunition a day from Thailand to Phnom Penh. But diplomatic sources said this would not prevent a vic- tory by the Khmer Rouge in- surgents because the govern- ment does not have the men to win with. One diplomat said that of the troops the Cambo- dian army is supposed to have, or more are "ghost soldiers" who exist only on. the payroll so that their commanders can pocket their pay. And the soldiers who do exist "are taking heavy casualties." Meanwhile, the Khmer Rouge are using only about half of their estimated men in their current offen- sive, the source continued. "They don't need to launch such big attacks right he said. "It is enough to shell the city and the airfield and keep the Mekong River closed." Official U.S. spokesmen also were less optimistic than in the past. Defence Secretary James Schlesinger said in Washington that the probabili- ty of the government's sur- vival was "extremely high" if it got the extra (222 million aid. But "there is no such thing as a he added. President Ford said the situation was "extremely critical." Inside ;ft 32 Pages Classified....... Comics............24 Comment.........4, 5 17-19, 21 3 Family.........22, 23'B Markets...........25 S Sports..........14, 15 S Theatres............7 Weather............3 Youth..............8 g Low tonight 20 highFri. 40 mostly sunny.