Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 2, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, January 2, 1975 Demand for strong leadership predicted Launching new year with hope A special edition of Saturday Review World has appeared devoted to the restoration of confidence. The editor, Norman Cousins, argues that it is desirable to cut into the gloom that has settled over much of the world and take a more optimistic view. Others, among them Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, have recently been say- ing something similar to Mr. Cousin's warning that despair is self fulfilling. The energetic tackling of the problems confronting mankind will not occur if defeatism becomes too pervasive because "hopelessness leads to helplessness." Only a fool would deny that life is not seriously threatened on planet earth today. Some of the predictions of the Club of Rome of a world overrun with people, short of food and fouled by pollu- tion already seem to be coming true. But computer projections do not need to be accepted as inevitable. They can be upset by the appearance of great' minds and great spirits capable of conceiving solutions and generating the energy to achieve them. Keeping in mind Mr. Cousin's state- ment that "what gives hope its power is not the accumulation of demonstrable fact, but the release of human energies generated by the longing for something it is instructive to read the ar- ticles making up the special issue of the magazine. Maurice Strong, former president of the Canadian International Development ERIC NICOL Consider the matter logically Put down that rock, madam. Let's consider the matter rationally, in the cool light of logic. Then and only then should you feel free to maim your MP. The reason given for the now-infamous 50- per cent increase in salary for members of Parliament was that it is needed to attract bright people (mostly lawyers) into federal politics. Without the competitive salary, the Commons will be overrun by low-wage earners taxi drivers, barmaids, clerics, journalists, sheep herders. The government yoked this explanation with that for raising judges' pay by 72 per cent: necessary because lawyers are making more money than the Beak. The root cause of all this stipendiary out- rage is seen clear: lawyers are being paid to excess. Lower the lawyer's wage bracket, and everything else falls into place. Both Parliament and the administration of in- justice cease to cost an arm and a leg when the amputation is referred to McGouge, Fleecer, Soakum and Ripoph. It would be a nice public gesture, I think, if the legal fraternity volunteered to limit ear- nings to, say, a year. That will make the House of Commons look reasonably attractive to lawyers, at plus bus fare to and from Ottawa airport. Appointment to the bench, too, will be less of a hit on the head with the gavel. The judge will be able to look down on the lawyer financially as well as in relation to sea level. The tradition that lawyers big lawyers, that is, not little lawyers, who don't count get the fat wedge of the wage pie goes back to the days when society had enormous respect for anyone who could read writing, let alone a: book of law. A lawyer could ask almost any fee, confident that his client would pay rather than chance the application of justice. But now. that most of us can read, and 'would if we didn't watch television, it seems reasonable that the wage restraint that the federal government is pleading for should begin with the profession whose pay most directly affects the standard of efficiency of both the Commons and the courts. Would it not be a rather splendid gesture, one altogether in keeping with the spirit of new beginnings for Year 1975, if the members of the bar set an example of moderation in earnings, a guideline for physicians, plumbers and other professionals who sometimes profit to extreme from the fallibility of mankind? No lawyer, surely, wishes to have it on his conscience that he has been responsible for judges' and MP's having to accept a wage boost to a year. His finely tuned sense of the Tightness of things must urge the solicitor to accept the principle that in our society no one is worth more than a year unless he risks having his jaw broken in two places by Keith Magnuson. Because they ignored the pervasiveness of this principle, MPs .have been sucked into a veritable tornado of wrath. In their posture against inflation they stand revealed all but the NDP, which contains relatively few ex lawyers as impassioned advocates of "Do as I say, not as I do." Maybe they're more to be pitied than cen- sured. But the fact is that they have been cast into the hoosegow of public opinion. Come on, you legal fellows bail the poor devils out. Unkind cut By Doug Walker Early one Saturday morning Lynne Van Luven came out to the composing room look ing for someone to put the.finishing touches on her family living pages. Spying George Goldie momentarily unoc- leaving? cupied she brightly remarked that his day was about to be made. Looking up from the editorial page on which he was working, John McKenna glanc- ed over at Lynne and asked, "When are you By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator Agency and now the head of the United Nations new environmental agency, sets out 10 major steps that if taken could change the human prospect. They are: developing a new approach to societal decision making that takes into con- sideration the consequences of decisions before they are acted upon; stabilizing world population; reducing the demand oh natural resources and environment; increasing world food supply without destroying the ecological basis for sustained production; redirecting the urban revolution; shifting some of the large expenditures now being made on armaments to other technologies; designing new models for economic and social progress; bringing the oceans out of national jurisdiction into international rule and management; creation of a new international economic order; changing the present system of values and patterns of behavior. The way in which reality contrasts with these visionary proposals could serve to deepen despair rather than alleviate it, but the very fact that alter- natives exist to a rendezvous with" destruction is a basis for hope. And it may be, as Richard Gwyn contends elsewhere on this page, that people are more ready to make the sacrifices necessary for a new kind of society than their leaders realize. The pressure of the longings of people for change' may yet get through to those who can do something about it. "There go my the late Indian leader Mahatma Ghandi commented as a crowd streamed past his house, "I must hurry to catch up with them." Frequently, the public is ahead of its political leaders. Governments today are so ele- phantine and so much effort is needed just to keep the machinery running that those In charge have no time or energy left to stand back and think about where they should be going. This is the case in Canada. Nation and society are on the turn. The public, I believe recognizes this_ by instinct and common sense." The politicians still are tinkering with their machinery. Two bits of evidence to sup- port, or to explain at least, my thesis: First, when you talk to peo- ple about the economic dangers ahead their com- ments are quite schizophrenic. They are wor- ried, yet, also they seem half- pleased at the prospect that endless economic growth may cease. Only half-articulated there is a strong under-ground sentiment against too much affluence, too much technology, too much com- plexity and a strong hankering for a more disciplined, simpler and more human social order. Call it puri- tanistn re-iorn if you will, but many people I am convinced are ready to accept greater sacrifices than the politicians' yet have dared think of asking from them. Second, and again in casual conversations, people are far more optimistic than are the experts. Time and again they refer to the fact that Canada, for all our problems of infla- tion and of recession, is in better health than almost any other country. Time and again you realize that Canada's traditional inferiority- complex has vanished totally and indeed is close to being replaced by an unattractive, self congratulatory chauvanism. If the politicians just would iiurry up they would find that Canadians are ready to do something utterly un- Canadian: to debate fun- damental questions about the kind of country we want to live in, its size, shape and tex- where it should be going and what it should be doing in the world. That's my main New Year's Day forecast: a swelling de- Thinking unthinkable thoughts of war By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator BOSTON The gravest development of the year 1974, it would now be generally agreed, was the exercise of monopoly power by the oil exporting countries. As the year ends, many weighty voices warn that the quadrupling of oil prices threatens a world economic collapse. Some speak of western civilization being at risk. If the possibilities are so grim, why is there no meaningful threat to change the situation by force? This disturbingly simple question is posed in a paper that seems likely to have wide reverberations. It is by Robert W. Tucker, professor of international relations at John Hopkins University; it will' be published in the January. issue of Commentary. Tucker puts forward the idea of an American military operation in the Persian Gulf, and coolly discusses its pros and- cons. His paper is the more interesting because he is known as an advocate of reduced U.S. commitments abroad. Traditionally, Tucker says, the very meaning of a "crisis" in relations between countries has been a conflict over vital interests in which the use of force was "an ever present possibility." Yet here the'most vital interests are at stake, and there is no meaningful threat of force. Is that.because of tactical obstacles, or-has there been a "revolutionary change" in international society? In practical terms Tucker sees no great difficulty with military action. The best target area for seizure, he says, would be the coastal strip from Kuwait to Qatar, which accounts for 40 per cent of OPEC production. The states there are now militari- ly feeble. Since they have lit- tle population and few trees, "effective control does not bear even remote comparison with the experience of Viet- nam." In the same brisk way Tucker dismisses as unlikely a Soviet counter-inter- vention. He assumes .that oil facilities in the seized area would be destroyed but es- timates that they could be functioning again in, at worst, three to four months. Then, he says, the United States could use the oil production to break the cartel. It should demonstrate that this was a "disinterested" intervention by arranging an "equitable allocation of the oil on a cost plus basis." The big oil companies .should not be allowed to continue their "exorbitant profits." The producing countries would be treated fairly by assuring them a reasonable price (apparently around or a barrel, though Tucker does not tied in future to changes in international price levels. For practitioners of real politik, those who think in terms of power, there is an undeniable logic in the Tucker thesis. If the United States could wage war for a decade in Vietnam, where we had no measurable political or economic interest, it is lunatic inconsistency to do nothing when the survival of the western system is said to, be at stake. The real politicians kept us fighting in Vietnam for years in order, they said, -to demonstrate our deter- mination and credibility. The irony is, of course, that their obsessive pursuit of that irrational and immoral adventure sapped American will the will not only to fight but to undertake strong action short of war in defence of real interests. For the "astonishing" thing about U.S. reaction to the oil price crisis, to use Professor Tucker's adjective, is that we have done almost nothing serioqs of a political or economic nature. At home, two presidents have wasted a year refusing to inconvenience the voters; in the face of overwhelming evidence of the need to cut back hard on energy use, we go on with the habit of gluttony. Abroad, we compete to sell billions in the newest weapons to the Persian Gulf states, arming those who we say are on the way to destroying us. To the extent that the Tucker paper enlarges understanding of what is at stake, it will have served a valuable purpose. To the extent that it paints American military intervention as a clean, quick way out of the oil crisis, 1 think it will have been unfortunate. Experience makes it wise to be more doubtful than Tucker about U.S. military effectiveness, more cautious about the Soviet response, more concerned about nationalist reprisals. One must, be especially "skeptical at the vision of the United States nobly administering oil sales to the -world's benefit. Beyond those practical considerations there is the question of morality or, rather, of reason. Is it rational to undertake .war and all its possible consequences in order to bring the price of oil down from to That can be argued only if the di'fference means disaster. But we know now that- the supply of oil is limited and that growing" demand would probably push prices up before long in any event. The cartel has put us under extreme short ran pressures that must be met by diplomatic and economic action. But in the long run, and not very long, we are going to have to adjust to the reality of scarcer and more expensive energy. Far from encouraging that adjustment, dreams of gunboat diplomacy will foster the dangerous illusion that the post war phenomenon of linear growth based on cheap energy can go on forever. mand for leadership and for challenge from a Canada sud- denly turned' cocky. I don't predict that the politicans will recognize this. My guesses for 1974, made a year ago, didn't turn out too badly. My forecasts for 1975, some general, some par- ticular enough that I can be charged as guilty if they don't happen, are: Foreign policy will become a subject of public debate for the first time in years. We cannot evade the moral responsibilities forced upon us by the world food crisis nor, equally, from the political consequences of our strength as an one of only four or five in the world. The debate about Canada's future size and shape will be touched off by the "Green Paper" on im- migration to be published next month. The immediate political issue is the colour of immigrants. The basic issue involves a debate between "perpetual growth" vs "a stable society" and it affects almost every aspect of our lives: resource consumption, land use and rationing, urban congestion, population growth and distribution, conservation and pollution. chief economic chal- lenge will be incomes policy- how to decide how much each group in society, from pen- sioners to unions to cor- porations, should get from an economic pie that almost has ceased to grow. Our present system simply has ceased to work. It produces endless strikes on the one hand and pay raises p.s unjustifiable as the 70 per cent for judges on the other hand. Finance Minister Turner's attempt to jawbone "restraint" already is dead. The only solution left, though we are still psychologically a long way from it, is a national incomes policy implemented by government. prime social issue will be native rights. The financial. consequences of native land claims haven't yet sunk in; once they do a white back-lash is likely. The basic issue will be conscience vs pocket-book. Some specific forecasts. A cabinet shuffle in May or June. Watch for Transport Minister Marchand and Secretary of State Faulkner to lose their posts, for Herb Gray who was dropped last summer to come back in and for British Colum- bia MP lona Campagnolo to become the second woman minister The Conservative leadership convention this fall. Watch for a strong, dark horse performance by Toronto MP Sinclair Stevens, just named the party's financial critic Lastly, watch for Al Johnson, the Saskatchewan born federal deputy minister of welfare to be named executive vice president, and later president, of the CBC. Berry's World THE CASSEROLE (974 by NEA, Inc "Are you up to another one of your crazy get- rich-quick schemes, The LethbruUje Herald 504 7lh St. S. Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher We're giving your husband shock therapy we let him watch ,the newscasts." A month or so ago there was so much concern about Alberta's air transport needs that the government went out and bought itself an airline. Now, Wardair Canada Ltd., is finding things so good here that its presi- dent has cancelled a deal to sell a one-third interest to Air Canada, and has changed his mind about moving the company head- quarters to Toronto. There are some worrisome aspects to the age-old search for ways to increase the human lifespan. Assuming science can find the means to postpone senility there'd be no point to prolonging life if they couldn't do that what'wbuld-millions of 80-, 90- and 100- year-olds do with their time for another 20 or 30 years? DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E. BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"