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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 29, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Tu.idoy, Fibruory 29, 1972 THf IETHBRIOGE HERALD _ 5 Eva Brewster Another look at srae: its farming gARID, ISRAEL Israeli farmers seldom complain. Yet, grumbling is common to farmers all over the world. Their universal complaints range from the weather too wet, too dry, too hot. or too cold to simple economics and from the perennial need for bank loans with high interest rates to government interfer- ence or non-interference, as the case may be. There is a very simple ex- planation for this unique phe- nomenon, the contented Israeli farmer: for centuries, Jews, in most parts of the world, were not permitted to farm. The very fact of such restrictions fanned the longing of each new genera- tion to return to the soil in which the people of Israel were so deeply rooted in biblical times. Thus, when their dream came true, students and trad- ers, doctors and lawyers, bank- ers and artists turned into farm- ers and learned by trial and error (at the same time, un- hindered by tradition) sharing what little knowledge they had RS well as ail their resources. The outcome of these early experiments is the unique pat- tern of modern Israeli agricul- ture consisting mainly of col- lective farms and co-operative villages. What probably helped most in the expansion of agriculture is the fact that all land is nation- ally owned, making possible comprehensive, overall plan- ning and thus avoiding over- production and surplus of many products such as we, in the Prairies, experienced recently with wheat. The Jewish National Fund and the state hold almost all land (nine-tenths of the total) in trust for the nation and let it on renewable 49-year leases, following principles laid down in the Bible. These principles take much of the hardship out of farming, both economically and socially. Not only did tho Jewish National Fund buy and prepare all land originally and lease it to the farming commu- nity, they also provide new farmers with the essential means and give them free vo- cational, economic and social training. Most villages in Israel are or- ganized in pioneering move- ments based on their individual method of settlement and their social and political orientation. These are affiliated to the His- tadrut (the General Workers' Union) which deals with econo- mic, social and educational problems and agricultural wages. Through these organiza- tions, the individual farmer has a powerful voice in over all planning. I have often looked with envy at Israel's agricultural policies when I see the small Prairie farmer struggle to keep his family farm going, trying to purchase and expand, for the sake of his growing chil- dren, just to be outbid, every time a piece of land became aval lable, by the wealthier neighbor or the big tion. Or, if he is lucky enough to secure a loan to buy tho land, have to ail-but kill him- self to pay it off. Why, if gov- ernments are serious in their pledges to halt the exodus into cities and to keep the family farm alive, cannot the govern- ment buy up and lease more available land on principles similar to those applied suc- cessfully in Israel? The Hutterites in Canada have proved that communal farming can be profitable and, while I would not recommend their life style to the majority of farmers, co-operative farm- ing methods of individually owned farms in Israel havo proved equally successful. While there has been, in other countries, an almost universal migration from the land into the cities, Israel's farm produc- tion has increased sixfold since the establishment of the state in 1948 and so have agricul- tural exports. The number o! villages and rural population has tripled with, and in spite of, mechanization. The Israeli farmer, like his Canadian counterpart, is ad- vised by agricultural experts, well in advance, which of his crops (he seldom puts all his eggs in one basket and, gener- ally, goes in for mixed farming) is likely to be in lesser demand and what new product could bo profitable during a n y given season. For example: It was found that the European mar- ket in winter was wide open to the import of flowers and fruit. Following this advice, many collective and individual farms set aside areas for the cultiva- tion of such crops and havo now, for some years, flown flowers, including roses and gladioli and many types of fruit to Europe throughout the hard- est of European winters. Jaffa oranges and grapefruit have, of course, been world famous for a long time but newer crops of fruit, ground- nuts, vegetables and flowers are coming up to the same high standard in both local and ex- port markets. Cotton, first sown in 1953, now supplies almost all domestic demands and so does sugar beet processed in local refineries. Beef cattle are fed, almost entirely, on pasture as there is barely enough land available to grow grain fodder for dairy cattle. Yet, the average milk yield is among the highest in the world. Beef cattle supple- mented by poultry and, lately, more lamb and mutton, meet most of the domestic demand for meat. Ample fish is provided from fishing in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Atlantic, the FROM SINGER STRETCH STITCH SEWING AT A LOW LOW PRICE! STRETCH FABRIC is the most eyeing thing to happen io fashion in years...snd now, from this low priced Sewing Machine made for Giivi i sewma INCLUDING SHERBROOKE CABINET j Handsome laminated walnut finish Sherbrooke cabinet Ilia! you Eimpfy can't mark! Sir-e1; modern lines blend with any decor. b qrr Center, i ask yourself how you ever got along without the fabulous Stylist Model 415 t.Sro c'i. A madvrta Inat F.ew both straight and sMohci on any tjom lace to lea'ner. And n hosl of features easy as well as fun lo use. Zigzag buttonholes, buttons, elastic, monograms with- out special attachments. Mond and darn ton! Ouiel vibration-tieo motor "Ihrpp-Needle Positions lor fMra versatility! Automatic Bobbin Winder lime and trouble. Beautiful ShcrDroi'-'kr Cabinr-r SINGER Wtutt's Mwjbr tomorrow is at 51N C E R today ASK ABOUT OUR EASY SINGER CREDIT PLAM. College Shopping Moll 20th Ave. and Mayor Magrath Drive Open Daily 9 a.m. lo 6 p.m.; Thuriday and Friday 9 a.m. In 9 p.m. Telephone 327-2243. Sea of Galilee and from lira ever increasing number of ar- tificial ponds. The latlcr serve, nol only for Ihe breeding of fish, bul also in Ihe over-all scheme of irrigation. Consider- ing this vilal dual role Iho artificial pond, it mighl well deserve a second look from our arid areas in Alberta. Since 1948, acres of new trees have been planled, now totalling an area of some acres including trees along 550 miles of roadside turning dusly highways into shaded avenues. Over and above thai Iherc are approxi- mately acres of nalural forests and forest reserves. Most of this immense number of trees have been donated by individuals honoring a Zionist custom of giving money in- stead of birthday or anniver- sary presents to the Jewish Na- tional Fund for the purpose of planting trees in Israel. Flying into Israel over Ihe Arabian desert over the years, I have watched this country turn, from its dusty beginnings, into a ver- itable Garden of Eden thanks mainly to afforestalion and ef- ficienl irrigation, an example we, in our semi-arid areas of Alberta, might do well lo fol- low. To bring about yet greater ecorjomy and efficiency, co-op- erative services and industries were installed in rural centres, each to serve several villages. A good example of comprehen- sive regional planning is the Lakhish district extending over an area of 386 miles, midway between Tel Aviv and Beer- sheba, in the centre of Israel. In Ihe norlh and west, along the sea coast, the terrain is low and flat, becoming hilly and rocky in the east in the Judean Mountains. The mean annual rainfall varies from IS inches in the north to less than .12 inches in the south, an amount limiting development unless other sources of waler are available and allowing only extensive, dry cultivation. Lacking all mineral re- sources, the area lends itself solely to agricultural use and less than half cf that was ar- able. The remainder was either entirely unfit for cultivalion or usable only for afforeslation and natural pasture. The vir- tual emptiness of the area made Ihe work of planners easier and, as the land was wholely state domain, no problems of ownership arose. The Yarkon Kegev pipeline, laid to bring water from the Rosh Ha'ayin springs lo the thirsty south furtlier favored de- velopmcnl with its supplemen- tary volume of water. Most of the Lakhish settlers were taken there straight from the ship which brought them to Israel. Temporarily housed in wooden huts, they were imme- diately employed on building their permanent houses in vil- lages and as agricultural labor- ers on "administered eslales" to ensure an adequate income until their own farms yielded a livelihood and, at the same lime, train them in farm work, in which only a few had pre- vious experience. Trained hy moslly Israeli born farmers, advised and in- structed by Israeli doctors, teachers and social immigrants from, al leasl, 45 differenl counlries are now well iniegrated. The most outstand- ing change and transformalion of an almost uninhabited zone, is a profusion of villages sur- rounded by well-kept fields and orchards. Some 70 to 80 families live in each of the vil- lages grouped round rural cen- tres, each centre giving ser- vices to four to six villages. Each village is ethnically homo- genous, but the whole group presents a true piclure of Ihe 'ingathering of the exiles." Regional I o w n s, originally planned for a population of 7.000. envisage and plan for an ultimate targcl of 80.000 inhabitants. Enterprises, first conceived to cope with the har- vests of Ihe region, now hava additional enterprises like cot- ton-spinning and weaving mills, wool pressing plants, knit-wear factories, diamond culling plants, plants for electronic equipment lo mention just a few. Wherever agricultural ex- ports could not be stepped up, Ihe government helped to build up essential industries which could be combined with farm- ing activities in both, the Kib- bul zim and individually farmed villages and rural centres. This provides added income as well as outside interests to Ihe rural community which might, else- where, have been forced into migralion to Ihe city. The gov- rrnnunt, hy Ibis measure saves imports previously neces- sary as well as costly subsidies to farmers. In our rural areas in Canada which, agriculturally, are less woll off, similar industries mighl prove an incentive to in- vestment in the fulure of Can- ada. The battle for Sunday (SUNDAY, the day of rest, is melting into the anonymous hustle bustle of weekdays, indistinguishable from a Tues- day or a Saturday to more Ontarians each year. The group of clergymen defending what's left of Sunday as a day apart are fighting uphill. Tiicre was no conscious effort, no organ- ized campaign to kill Sunday. It just hap- pened, piecemeal. People wanted recreation and conveni- ences sports, movies, parks, restaurants, gas stations. This is not an era of make- your-own entertainment; people now buy their recreation. That means those who sell it must work; so must those who sell the services Uiat go with the recreation. As more people demand packaged fun and convenience on Sunday, more are drawn into Sunday employment and de- prived of the chance to join in the pursuit of pleasure. To them and their numbers grow steadily there is no day set aside for family and fun. The logical conclusion of the deep-rooted trend is total obliteration of the Sunday, is the circle completes itself. Since ancient times, the wise men of suc- Tlie Hamilton Spectator cessful civilizations have known theolog- ical considerations apart that the human body and the human mind need a break in the routine, a pause to rest, restore and refresh, physically, mentally and spiritual- ly, before resuming everyday endeavors, ftociety as well as the individual is better for the break, for that haven of quiet and family warmth wailing at the end of each week's voyage. The defence of Sunday is not for church- men alone, though they have been pitifully short of allies in their struggle. Many others, including some devoid of religious belief, have suffered; for example, those who are forced to work Sundays in order to compete. Nearly a year ago, the Ontario Law He- form Commission recommended keeping Sunday as a "common pause but the go .ernment has not acted upon that advice. If Sunday is allowed to become "just an- other day of the every man, woman and child in this province ultimately will pay the price. Is it not time for the politi- cians to join with the embatlled clergy? Alone, the churchmen cannot win. Civil servants; proud loorkers By T. Broad, in The Edmonton Journal The writer is president of the Civil Ser- visc Association of Alberta. rpHIS last few months we have heard various Ministerial utterances lo the Effect that Alberta has a ratio of civil ser- vants larger than the other provinces, and further, that steps will be tsken to re- duce it numerically, or, alternatively to transfer these civil servants to Depart- ments where they can be used more ef- fectively. When heads are being counted in the enumeration of the civil servants in each of the provinces, in order to arrive at the ratio of civil servants per unit of popula- tion exactly which heads must be counted? The question is, what is a civil servant? To some people the answer to the ques- tion is easy. Its all those people with soft jobs in the many provincial buildings around Ihe province who shuffle papers and entangle themselves in red tape. To other people the counting of civil ser- vants is not such an easy mailer, and when comparing the civil service of one province to that of another, care should be taken to be sure that we are comparing similar things. Let us examine some of the groups who could be said, according to some classifi- cation systems to be in the civil service of Alberta. These could include the academic and non-academic staffs of our three universi- ties, the staff of the many boards, such as the Workmen's Compensation Board, Oil and Gas Conservation, University Hospital, Foothills General Hospital, and Liquor Board. The staffs of the commissions University, College, Health Care, to name a few. Alberta New Start staff along with the staff of Alberta Government T e 1 e- phones would be included, as well as those people in what is often called the general service of the province. That is the staff of Departments thai are the direcl responsi- bility of a minister rather than being in- sulated to snme degree or oilier, by a board or commission. With hasty judgment, it could be decided that it might be these who are employed in departments in direct line of ministerial surveilance who are under-worked rather than thoie who work under boards, agsn- cies, commissions, or other emanations of the crown. But, further reflection will indi- cate here again the answer is not at all 33 simple as it first appears. It should be sufficient to state that wheth- er they staff a mental hospital or a deaf school, a land titles office or a computer centre, the civil servants of this province are carrying out tasks thai Ihe public has demanded, and in a way that we should all be proud. There is another aspect lo this needling of the civil service man merely showing that civil servants in Alberta are not all just cogs in the bureaucratic machine and that the Alberta civil service probably con- tains elements that, because of structural difference, may nol be presenl in Hie civil service of other provinces. This aspect is the human one. The employees of Hie government are asking what the furore is all about They are worrying about their future working for the government. Heads of households as as others, have a righl lo know whal is behind all of this lalk. In times of high unemployment employee morale does not increase by talk of staff reduction. Tho strange thing about this lalk by the politicians is that talking to them in their offices derives differenl answers lhan read- ing their reported outpourings in the media. Following Dr. Warrack's remarks a few weeks ago that the civil service was too large, I discussed the question with Dr. Bert Hohol, the minister responsible for personnel. Dr. Hohol expressed annoyance that Dr. Warrack, rather than himself, who had the responsibility, was discussing the question of civil service reduction. Dr. Hohol also informed me that Premier Peter Lougheed, to the knowledge of Dr. Hohol, had not expressed any desire to re- duce the civil service. Now we have the premier making the same statement as Dr. Warrack. This now leaves the civil service of Alberta in the position of not knowing who to believe. An unfortunate position if good employee relations are to be main- tained. JIM FISHBOURNE Make jobs through retirement pOVERNMENTS too. move In mys- terious ways, and some of the won- ders they perform are a bit baffling to us unenlightened observers. If my local newspaper is to be believed and" who would dare to doubt it? we have an unemployment problem. Now the government claims it isn't realiy se- rious, and may even be a rather good tiling in some ways, but it still feels obliged to spend millions of dollars a week find- ing or making jobs, feeding people while they're teing retrained, or sirr.ply amusing them so they won't make annoying noises or claims. Now I'm not critical of the government, in these worthy endeavors. Not a bit. I realize it just won't do lo let people starve, and that it doesn't really mailer, lo Ihe taxpayer who foots the bills, whether hun- gry citizens are fed through unemployment insurance, social development twbat a term, eh opportunities for youth, local incentive programs, manpower retraining schemes, or whatever; they must be fed, and that's that. One approach may win or lose a few more voles than another, but it's up to the parly in power to figure thai which is as it should be. I note, too, that it is with youth, and jobs for youth, that the government seems most concerned. That also is good. As we are told very regularly hy the Economic Council of Canada, every year our schools turn out howevor-many-it-is thousands of eager young consraners, and there should bo jobs for thorn. It is joung- slors who need worst, as they havo tho young families, need those down-pay- ments for houses, cars, furniture and the rest. It is the ycur.g who are restless, who haunt the highways, the street-corners and us, when they can't find anything useful to do. They "should have work, even if some pain "is attached to getting it for them. And do j-ou know something? It wouldn't ba all that difficult. 1 mean, lo find the thousands of jobs those youngsters want. All that would need to be done would be to change the retirement age. to let us old crocks go a few years earlier, so as lo make way for young people who need those jobs economically and psycholog- cially a lot worse uian we do, and who'd do them just as well, and in snme cases a lot better. Just think about it for a bit. There's nothing wrong with the principle, which is simply a matter of starting work a few years younger. And it would work out all years younger. And it would work out all light financially, too. Right now some peo- ple are working and paying taxes, and oth- ers ore not; all ere getting ejiough to live on, but the first group is paying all the bills. If the people wcK to work earlier and retired earlier, the same thing would hap- pen: the only real difference would be that, the older people wouldn't be working and the bunch paying the bills would be fome- what younger. And if the budget didn'l balance at first, the government could shove in the millions they're spending on fill those fancy make-work programs. ft what's wrong wilh Personally, I like it. For one thing, it would mean .1 bit of leisure before I'm too damned old to appreciate it, ;