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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 27, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Thutlday, February 27, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 25 Gov't speeds up audit on books of oil firms By JEFF CARRUTHERS Herald Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA The federal government will be stepping up its audits of domestic oil company books during the next two months, now that the federal voluntary oil price restraint has been lifted. Federal energy officials said Tuesday that the special three-man audit team which has spent almost 5 months checking and double checking oil company books in eastern Canada, in an attempt to keep tabs on the oil import compen- sation program, will be mov- ing into western Canada in March and April to start large-scale monitoring of domestic oil prices. The audit team consists of a member each from the federal energy department, the Energy Supplies Alloca- tion Board staff, and the Auditor-General's Office. Government officials said that the audit team has helped in the establishment of a set of special oil price records Mining industry faces tough road for two years OTTAWA (CP) The min- ing industry is in for at least two years of tough times, the new president of the industry association said Wendesday. Alfred Powis, president of Noranda Mines Ltd., said even if a recovery from the economic slump affecting in- dustrial countries begins later this year, as some economists predict, it will take longer for the mining companies to share in an increase in economic activity. The industry is dependent on export markets for about three-fifths of its sales and the recession has been severe in the United States, which takes a major share of exports. Mr. Powis said most buyers have large inventories of min- eral products, built up as sales of finished goods, such as cars, began to decline. Last year was a good one for the industry and he estimated its return on investment was between 11 and 12 per cent. "We'll do awfully bloody well to earn three (per cent in he said in an inter- view. Mr. Powis, of Toronto, elected president of the Min- ing Association of Canada at its annual meeting here Wednesday succeeds Charles Elliott, also of Toronto and chairman of Conwest Ex- ploration Co. Ltd. Mr. Powis said he is pessi- mistic about the future of the industry because of a squeeze between federal and provin- cial tax systems. The economic slump is affecting profitability now but he said the tax problems are making the situation worse. "If you find anything, you couldn't justify developing it, there's no use going out and looking." Mr. Powis and his industry colleagues contend that mines are treated top much like oil companies for tax proposes. He says rates of federal and provincial taxes combined now range between about 60 per cent and 130 per cent of profit. Tax proposals now in the final stages of obtaining parliamentary approval raise the federal tax take from mines and oil companies. The mining executives blame the provincial governments for leaving what they say is too little profit for the industry. U.S. dollar falls to record low LONDON (AP) The U.S. dollar fell to record lows in West Germany, Sweden and Switzerland today despite sup- port buying by the countries' central banks. In Frankfurt the dollar fell to 2.2800 West German marks from 2.29 marks Wednesday. The previous low was 2.2835 marks July 9, 1973. In Zurich it fell to 2.3935 Swiss francs, down from 2.4105 francs Wednesday and from the previous record low of 2.3975 .on Jan. 27. In Stockholm the dollar brought 3.9150 kroner, five points un- der its previous low in July, 1973. In London the dollar was quoted at 2.4263 to the pound compared with 2.4250 Wednes- day, and in Paris it bought 4.1650 French francs com- pared with 4.1850 francs. The dollar's troubles were attributed .to political problems developing between the United States presidency and Congress and the possibility of further falls in U.S. interest rates. The price of gold also fell amid slack demand for the metal. In London it was quoted at an ounce at the morning fixing compared with Wednesday. In Zurich, Europe's main bullion market, gold was quoted at an ounce, down from Wednesday. The dollar declined in Zurich in slow trading despite limited support buying by the Swiss National Bank. The drop today came after a policy speech Wednesday by the president of the Swiss National Bank, Fritz Leutwiler. He ruled out a two- tier franc to aid the country's hard-pressed exporters but said that joining the Eu- ropean currency "block float" of West Germany and several other countries was under study. Leutwiler also made plain that the government has no plans for a further increase of restrictions on the influx of foreign capital' which has already reached record proportions. Mining industry able to face revenue drop OTTAWA (CP) The min- ing industry faces a tougher year in 1975 but is in relatively good shape to face a drop in revenue and profits, Energy Minister Donald Macdonald said Wednesday. The industry had healthy profits in 1974, with value of minerals increasing 30 per Rebate extended DETROIT Corp. said Wednesday it will expand its rebate program in the final three days to Satur- day to include a bonus for any owners of Oldsmobile, Pontiac or Buick automobiles who trade them in for an in- stock Plymouth Valiant or Dodge Dart. There were no indications from the auto industry that the rebate program would be extended or modified when it runs out Saturday. cent even though volume of sales dropped, the minister told the annual meeting of the Mining Association of Canada. "I would submit that the in- dustry is in relatively good shape to weather the cyclical downtrend in 1974-75." Mr. Macdonald said many economists believe the economy will improve by mid- year, offering the industry hope of better profit levels in the last six months of 1975. Turning to the issue of re- source taxation, the minister reiterated his stand that any easing of the tax burden will have lo come from the provinces. Ottawa decided to levy a tax on royalties paid by the com- panies to the provinces in order to protect its share of resource revenue. That revenue had been threatened by increasing provincial royalty rates. within the allocation board, for use in future monitoring of oil price increases and for possible use in the event an allocation or even rationing program for fuels is required in Canada. And once the audit team fin- ishes its first round of audits of domestic oil company books in western Canacja, then it will return to eastern Canada to start the monitor- ing process all over again. The auditting in effect will be done continuously, officials explained. Meanwhile, federal officials won't say whether the audit in Eastern Canada uncovered any attempts by oil companies to shortchange the public treasury under the federal im- ported oil compensation program. The compensation program, which is estimated to 'cost during 1975-76 compared to about this fiscal year, covers im- ported crude oil and imported refined products such as gas- oline, heating oil and fuel oils. The-auditors' report on the imported oil compensation program should be completed for government examination late in March. The Allocation Board said a survey of oil wholesalers across Canada did not reveal any major problems or violations of the federal oil price which has been in effect since Sept., 1973 and which involves fuels made from domestic crude oil. Distillery closes operation NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. (CP) -BritishColumbia Distillery Co. Ltd. announced Wednesday that it is stopping bottling operations 'at the plant here, resulting in the layoff of about 80 of the firm's 232 employees. R. W. Johnson, plant manager, said the closure was due to economic reasons. The company will assist the laid-off employees in severance arrangements, induing possible relocation to other plants or to other com- panies, Mr. Johnson said. He added the plant's dis- tillery and maturing departments will continue to operate at present levels. Merger approved CALGARY (CP) Share- holders of Canadian Industrial Gas and Oil Ltd. (CIGOL) ap- proved Wednesday a merger with Northern and Central Gas Corporation Ltd. of Toronto to form Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. Northern and Central share- holders were to meet in Toronto to discuss the propos- ed merger. CIGOL shareholders will hold 37 per cent of the out- standing Norcen shares if provincial and federal regulatory authorities en- dorse the move. Sources said Northern and Central shareholders would get a one-for-one switch of shares while CIGOL shareholders would receive seven Norcen shares for every 10. CIGOL shares held. The new Norcen company would continue to be involved in oil and gas exploration, production and distribution. Brink's hired lo carry mail TORONTO (CP) The To- ronto Stock Exchange has turned to Brink's, an ar- mored-car firm, to deliver its mail during the disruption in postal service. If the. arrangement works, the exchange says it might continue to use Brink's and ig- nore the post office. Under the system which be- gins Thursday, members of the exchange will be able to send stock certificates and other securities by Brink's trucks and airplane. Brink's will charge a min- imum for a round trip which includes stops at Mon- treal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. The Hcrald- Trade active Business Stocks Miscellaneous Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal Midland Doherty Limited WESTERN OILS Alton Albany Alta Eastern Grp Ashland A BP Brenda Cda Gas Cdn Export Gas Cdn Nat Cdn Ind Cdn Long Island Cdn Superior Chieltan 32.37VS Metro A Pfd Inland Nat Gas N C 8.25 10.75 Dome C B Nutort Rss A Giant Mascot Tr-Cda B Gibraltar Pipe Grt Cdn Trans Lochiel Lytton North Cdn Numac PanCdn Pan Place Ranger Scurry Total Ulster United West West MISCELLANEOUS Acres BC Sugar C Block Canbra Int'l Cdn Pa A Cdn Pac Cdn. Carling A Cdn. Carling B Cdn. Com Growth Crest Crowsnest Investment Falcon F Int'l Home 01! Home Oil Investors Stock Hudson Fund Hud Bay Income Hud Bay A Hugh Russell C Growth Husky Husky Oil B Husky Oil E Inter Pipe Inter S S Kaiser Kaiser Res Loblaw C Pac Pe-Ben Toronto mines, industrials (Supplied by Richardson Securities of Canada) Tel Advocate Valley Can. NW Canada Central Sas Cons: Coin Dickenson Denison Mines Dome Discovery East East Falconbrldge First Giant Cdn Hollinger Lakes Hudson Bay MSS Hydra Iron 5.12VS Walker' Joliet Kerr Oil Key Lake Langis Grp Madsen Malartic Martin Douglas Intern NuWest New New Pine Placer Pax Quebec Rio Roman Sherritt Steep Can Tek Corp. United Grp Western Mtn WH Copper Can 14 Wright Oil Yellowknile Algoma Atco Agra Bell Scotia TSE market prices up New York (Supplied by Richardson Securities of Canada) TORONTO (CP) Prices on the Toronto stock market continued their upward trend in active trading Thursday. The industrial index rose .37 to 184.10, base metals .37 to 66.50 and western oils 1.15 to 163.33. The gold index was off ,77 at 431.64. The market was down early in the week as a round of profit-taking followed recent gains but it rebounded Wednesday. 'Volume at 11 a.m. was 1 million, up from at the same time Wednesday. Advances outnumbered de- clines 139 to 78 with 170 issues unchanged. Slater Walker gained to Aquitaine of Canada Vz to Hudson's Bay Yz to Dome Petroleum Vz to 27 and Gulf Oil Canada to Canadian Imperial dropped to Poples Depart- ment Store to Huron Erie Mortgage to and Cadillac Fairview to Rio Algom was ahead at Pine Point Vz at and Advocate 17 cents at Hudson Bay Mining A dropped to and Pamour Por- cupine Vs to Ranger rose to Sie- bens IVs to and Pan Ocean to Chicago markets CHICAGO (AP) Most of the so- called farm commodity futures declin- ed again on major U.S. exchanges Wednesday. Metal futures, including the precious kinds, were higher. Selling of farm commodity futures produced new contract lows in corn, soybeans, soybean oil and meal. Prices dipped 10 to 12 cents on the opening in wheat and soybeans. Oats futures opened and closed at the allowable limit, lower 6 cents. All of the major pits were sharply lower at the Board of Trade at the opening, continuation of the weakness from the previous session. Thereafter, while trade continued rather mixed, the pace slowed. Public participation was virtually nonexistent. Live hog futures fell up to per hundredweight on the Mercantile change as marketings at the major livestock yards turned down. Live cat- tle futures lost up to 70 points in a kind of selling linked to the-weakness in hogs and grain futures. Gold futures rose in the closing minutes to about their best level of the session, gaining roughly an average of an ounce. Silver futures worked a wide range on the New York and Chicago markets. The eastern silver market gained about 9 cents an ounce, while Chicago rose by 12 cents. The improvement was influenced by better gold and copper prices. The latter gained some 50 points. World sugar rose about 1 cent a pound: cocoa gained about 75 points; cotton 100; and orange juice 50 points. At the close of grain trade, wheat futures were 2 to 6 cents lower, March 3.70: corn unchanged to3 lower, March 2.72: oats 1 to 6 lower, March l.53Vz; and soybeans 4 lower to Vz.higher, March Grain quotations Wednesday: Wheat: Mar3.70; May Sep3.67, 3.61: Dec 3.74. Corn: Mar 2.72; May Jul2.77tt; Sep2.68; Mar 2.62. Oals: Mar 1.53V5s; May 1.44; Jul 1.40; Sep 1.3714; Dec Winnipeg grain WINNIPEG (CP) Hapeseed and flax prices continued to drop in light. activity through mid-session Thursday on the Winnipeg Commodity Ex-. change. However, their losses were small compared with drops. Rye and the feed grains made small gains. Wednesday's volume of trade was bushels of feed wheat, of oats, of barley, of rye, of flax and of rapeseed. There was no trading in- corn. Thunder Bay rapeseed: May two lower 5.72A; July four lower 5.75A; Ocl four 'lower 5.75A; Nov. 'unchanged 5.60A. Vancouver Rapeseed: Mar. ZVt lower 5.84A; June 4% lower 5.79A; Sept. three lower 5.70A; Nov. three lower 5.59A. Flax: May unchanged 7.40A; July two lower 7.18A; Oct. nine lower 6.63A; Nov. five lower 6.55A. Feed Wheat: May higher July and Oct. Corn: Mar., May and July not open. Barley: May one higher 2.35; July 'A Oct. not open. Oats; May three higher 1.63; Amr. T S Beth General Int Kenn Montgomery 18.12'A 77.37VS Texas Texas Wix Woolworth 13.12VS Westinghouse Eiec 11.62V, US Steel Gen Tel Elec 20.87W TORONTO AVERAGES 20 Industrials 184.10 up .37 20 Golds 431.64 down .77 10 Base Metals 66.50 up .37 15 Western Oils 163.33 up 1.15 Volume NEW YORK AVERAGES 20 Industrials 732.08 up 3.98 20 Rails 160.89 up 1.23 Utilities UN 65 Slocks 232.85 up 1.20 Volume Livestock Calgary CALGARY (CP) Receipts to 11 a.m.'Thursday from the Calgary public stockyards totalled about 950 head, mostly slaughter steers and cows. Trade was active on steers and moderately active on cows. Slaughter steers sold fully steady while heifers were in short supply and lacking in condition. Cows were unevenly steady with good cows scarce. The odd bull sold steady at weeks decline. Steers Al, 2 36 to 37.90, A3 34 to 38.80. Heifers Al, 2 32.50 to 33.90, A3 30.50 to 32. Cows Dl, 2 19 to 21.25. D3 to 19, LH to 16. Bulls 18 to 20. Feeder cattle were mostly short keep steers and heifers meeting a good demand at steady to strong prices. Few stocks calves sold steady while good feeder steers under 750 pounds sold 30 to 37.75. Over 750 pounds 32 to 35.50 and good feeder heifers over 550 pounds 25 to 30. Good stock steer calves over 400 pounds 28 to 32.25. Good Iambs 40. Hog prices EDMONTON