Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD ~ Monday, January 14, 1974 EDITORIALS Senate role debated over privacy bill Fond farewell Today a new Governor-General, Jules Leger, takes office. He brings outstanding gifts and a distinguished record of service to the office and is warmly welcomed. Nevertheless, Canadians cannot help feeling some sadness over the departure of his predecessor, Roland Michener. For nearly seven years Mr. Michener has occupied the position of Governor-General >with a becoming mixture of dignity and zestfulness. He has become one of the most readily recognized persons in the country and easily one of the best liked. Despite all the jokes that have been made about Mr. Michener's penchant for keeping fit he is greatly admired, if not envied, for the remarkable condition he keeps himself in. His appearances in jogging togs have actually enhanced his reputation and done nothing to detract from the high office he filled. While Canadians may think first and warmly of Mr. Michener for his humanness they are not unaware of the wise and gracious way he served as Governor-General. Some of the respect that has been drawn to his person has transferred to the office to .its gain. . So a fond farewell is bid Mr.'Michener. It is hoped that he and',Mrs, Michener will enjoy a long and happy, retirement. Encourage bicycles i City council is proposing a new bicycle bylaw. Most of the clauses are of the "shall not" kind. Its general effect is to restrict and control the operation of bicycles. ; In the interests of the safety of the cyclists, most of the sections are probably desirable. However city council should be equally concerned about providing better oppbrtunifies and services for cyclists. The use of bicycles should be generally encouraged. They are healthier than automobiles, for both the public and the driver. They are cheaper. They are non-polluting. They are silent. They can be more fun. So the concern about bicycles should not stop with passage of this bylaw. Competition to co-operation f At first sight it does not appear that a price reduction in crude oil is possible. 0n the contrary alarm has been growing 4mong the industrial nations over skyrocketing uranium and copper prices and the withholding of other supplies of basic raw materials from world markets as a result of the economic oil warfare, the implications of the Arab oil strategy are almost inconceivable, especially since the latest price boosts threaten to lift revenues by tens of billions of dollars. . The rapid spiralling of the oil price makes the prospect of major interruptions in world production and trade and world-wide political disorder only too real. ' Yet certain announcements by Arab oil potentates of intention to increase oil production and to supply friendly. t'ountries like Britain, France, Japan and Spain with their full oil needs or Kuwait's partial lifting of the embargo and the oil price freeze until spring suggest that the Arabs haye become fearful of causing an ecortdnVic disaster in the industrial world. Furtherrndre;the Warning by the OPEC ministers to industrial countries not to raise their export prices shows recognition of an imminent danger of global inflation. If the world economy grinds down, chaos and political disorder could boomerang on the oil producing countries as well and threaten their own shaky thrones. Besides, money will have to be spent somewhere otherwise it will become nothing but printed paper and even gold is worthless if it cannot buy goods and services. It remains to be seen whether President Nixon's proposed meeting of foreign ministers will, effectively deal with global energy problems and achieve economic co-operation between the U.S., Europe, Japan and Canada. A united front should prove more successful than begging by individual countries to serve their self-interest. "The sharing of supplies, the exchange of knoiyledge and the drive for new (energy sources may not only, in the long run, prevent any further economic and political blackmail but would enable the western,,world to maintain its self-respecit'ahd;(|ignity. I A change frpfn tl^|i!tfiiiosoplyf, cutthroat competition" to a dynamic philosophy of co-operation should mark this New Year and set the stage for a better world. ART BUGHWALD They ripped off your gift WASHINGTON - For the first time in my life I am terribly embarrassed. At Christmas, a few weeks ago, I gave all my readers a present. It was the comet Kohoutek. I told you all that if you looked up in the sky from Christmas until January 31, you would see it. It was your comet, and it was given to you as a token of appreciation for how nice all of you had been to me in 1973. , You can imagine my consternation when I discovered the other day that Kohoutek had not been delivered, and I have received many letters of complaint asking where it was. I immediately called the Universal Star Co. to find out what went wrong. After a dozen calls I finally managed to get the sales manager in charge of comets on the phone. After I had explained the problem, he said rather tersely, "Kohoutek. Kohoutek? Oh yes, here it is. Your comet was recalled. It Had a faulty tail and a bad paint job. We're trying to make repairs on it now." "But," I protested, "I was promised a dazzling display of celestial brilliance which would fill the sky with a million moons. I don't want a used comet that's been recalled for a faulty tail." The sales manager replied, "If you look at your 90-day warranty you will see that the company is responsible for everything that goes wrong except if the comet fails to shine or light up the sky." "But what good is a comet if you can't see it?" I asked. "The Universal SUr Co. has the best quality control of anyone in this business. Occasionally a mistake is made and we try to rectify it. But we cannot be responsible if something goes wrong with a star that is 50 million miles long, particularly during the energy crisis." ^ "But you advertised Kohoutek as the greatest thing since Halley's Comet. You said that when it emerged from behind the sun it would be the most magnificent display of fireworks in the 20th century. You claimed it would be the most breathtaking galaxy of light in 2,000 years." "Yes," said the sales manager, "our advertising agency did go a little overboard on its copy. But there was no fraud intended. The comet Is out there - it's just that you can't see it." "Well, I think all of us should get our money back." "We can't do that," the sales manager replied. "If we refunded money to everyone who expected to see Kohoutek this January, the Universal Star Co. would go out of business." I became angry. "If you don't refund my money I shall write a column saying the Universal Star Co. is a fraud and that they sell cheap, unsafe comets;" "We're sorry you feel tbat'way. But if we exchanged Kohoutek for you, we'd have to do it for everybody. Every univme has a lemon or two. All we can do is fix the tail and hope for the best." I hung up in dis^s't. V So, dear reader,'thiit's'thiB story of your Christmas present. I wish I could give you something else in its place, but Kohoutek used up all my money .It was one lousy rip-off and I assure you it's going to be a long time before I buy a comei'for anybody again. The only thing I can do now to make up for the gift you never received is to promise in 1974 that,I will aevifer say in my column, "Things have to get worse before they get better." I know it's not much of a gift compared to Kohoutek, but I'm sure as time goes on you'll appreciate it more and more. Old habit By Doug Walker Elspeth occasionally goes on a baking binge. During the Christmas season she turned out a sizeable batch of shortbread cookies some of which looked as though they had been left too long in the oven. The discussion of the brownish color of the cookies led to an admission from Elspeth that she had mistakenly added maple flavoring to the dough. The kids viewed this - along with her penchant for tossing wire twisters into her casseroles - as but another sign of advancing age (failing eyesight, lapses of attention, and all.,that). In fact it'srjust anpld hatnt. Once when the girls were little and the b<^8 non-existent she made cookie^ with Castoria^a children's laxative) instead of with vanilla extract as intended. , : By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA - The New Democrats seem to be going out of their way to make the point that the quarrel over the protection of privacy bill is in reality a quarrel about the Senate's role in the parliamentary system. Bill Knight, member for Assiniboia, stated the party's position clearly in an interview last week. He told a Canadian Press reporter: "There's a question 6f principle involved. We can't bend to the Senate when we say it should be abolished." There are two widely held views about the Senate and both proceed from the premise that it is not, as presently constituted, an effective body. The first is that it should be reformed by an appropriate constitutional change. The second is that it should be abolished and that we should move to a unicameral system. This also would require constitutional amendment. A persuasive case can be made for reform. A respectable case can also be made for abolition. The NDP has always favored the latter course. No one has argued for it more fervently than Stanley Knowles. But the NDP is as well placed as any party to judge what is politically possib e. There is not the slightest evidence that abolition is presently attainable. The position in Parliament speaks for itself. Only the small New Democratic minority has shown any enthusiasm for this particular crusade and it could not hope to secure a majority for its proposal even with the help of scattered Liberal and Conservative private members who may share its opinion of second chambers. A party in such a position might draw one of two conclusions about what should be done until the situation has changed, if it is to change. Mr. Lewis has had a great deal to say about "making Parliament work." The Senate, whatever one thinks of it, is one of the two chambers of Parliament. Thus there might be a good argument, in the exploiting world uncertainties By Joseph Harsch, Christian Science Monitor commentator As 1974 (^ns, some long unfamiliar noises are arising from the political left all liicross Europe. Radicalism seems to be reviving, or at least thinks it sef s ne^ and iprc^iisiiig opportutiities opening up before it. Strains in the NATO alliance, rampant and almost universal inflation, economic uncertainty caused by oil shortages and anti-Americanism fueled by Washington's pro-Israel posture during the last Arab-Israel-war have combined to produce a situation which left-wing leaders seem to think is to their advantage. They are moving to try to exploit it. The stirrings are most vigorous and apparent in Britain, where least expected. Communist leaders there think, and have so claimed in public speeches, that they can actually shape the policies of the Labor Party. And they are calling openly now for puUtical strike action aimed at bringing down the present Conservative government . headed by Edijvard Heath. � Only in'Britain do the; radicals seriously seem to\ think that they might actually bring down both the present government and even the capitalist system. But almost everywhere the Communists are active in trying to improve their stratfegic positions. In France the Communists are seeking a closer association with the Socialists in an apparent effort to revive the od "popular front" against the GauUists. In Italy the Communists, under new and more effective leadership, are making subtle overtures to the ruling Christian Democrats with an apparent aim of getting back into a position of real political leverage. In Germany the trade un- ions, usually the most restrained and disciplined in all Europe, are now beginning to talk and even act like British tr�|de .piions. In Spain the'^govirnment, startl(^ by the assassination of Prime Minister Carrero Blanco, has been arresting known radicals at a rate unknown since the aftermath of the civil war and Generalissimo Franco's consolidation of power. Basque separatists are blamed for the assassination, but the left has been organizing illegal trade unions in a bold and aggressive manner. Everywhere, the left seems to sense fresh opportunities, producing an entirely new condition for the present generation of Europe's leaders. This sort of thing existed during the dislocations and turmoil following the Second World War. The left sought. So trial for Rome attackers By Joseph Fitchett, London Observer commentator BEIRUT - The odds have mounted heavily against Palestinian guerrilla leaders punishing the five Arab terrorists who threw phosphorous grenades into an American airliner in Rome last month and burned more than 30 passengers to death. Guerrilla chief Yasser Arafat's plan to hold a "revolutionary trial" for the commando group (and its hidden chief) is resented by Palestinian grass-roots opinion, opposed by Arab extremists like' Libya's Colonel Muammar Qadhafi and sniped at by rival guerrilla leaders. Anxious to maintain guerrilla unity, 'Arafat will gradually hush up the affair, well-informed Palestinian sources predict. Palestinian leaders are convinced Libya backed the Rome operation. The death of Moroccan government officials in the attack would hardly distress Colonel Qadhafi, who openly urges the overthrow of King Hassan, and the guerrilla leadership feels it can ill afford to risk antagonizing Qadhafi now. However different their aims from Qadhafi's extremism, Palestinian leaders are disturbed by signs of a rapprochement between Syria, their bastion, and Jordan, their direct antagonist. The Rome operation was actually carried out by members of a dissident guerrilla faction, according to the lawyer sent by the Palestine Liberation Organization to Kuwait, where the guerrillas are being held. The operational chief, it is Widely believed, was Wadi Haddad, former head of foreign operations for the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Although Qadhafi distrusts Marxist groups, Haddad is described as a pure activist who now enjoys Libyan support. Even if mainstream Palestinian guerrilla leaders want to tighten their control over "the undisciplined 10 per cent" they admit the move-mient contains, they can only hope to be effective by working quietly, not publicly. Any trial would inflame feeling among militants, already inclined to be suspicious of their own leaders. A Beirut paper which backs Libya has publicly challenged the PLO to put the Rome operation to a plebiscite in the refugee camps. Although the PLO has executed its own men for breaches of discipline, no guerrilla has ever been punished for a mission against non-Arab targets. Palestinian leaders are aware that if they put sanctions on the five men in Kuwait, the door would open for Arab governments to punish guerrillas, too. For instance, Sudan, which has procrastinated over the trial of the Palestinians who gunned down three Western diplomats in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum last March, could then shrug off the heavy Arab political pressure for leniency and press ahead with proceedings. Arafat is already in a crossfire. Fearing he intends to edge the PLO towards par- ticipation in the Geneva peace talks, extremists can be expected to uncork more terrorism. Whatever his ultimate intentions, Arafat cannot afford a showdown now. .Haunted by recollections of past betrayal by Arab regimes, Palestinian leaders are disturbed by the new intimacy between Syria and Jordan. Syria may only be seeking solidarity against any Egyptian bid for a separate settlement with Israel. But Palestinians are quick to suspect Syria has been offered American support on the Golan Heights issue, provided Damascus forces the PLO to compromise with Jordan over the question of who represents the Palestinian people and, eventually, controls the West Bank if the Israelis withdraw. It would have been out of character for King Hussein to abandon his ambitions meekly. Arafat remains strongly committed to Palestinian independence. Syria has recently been promoting its own guerrilla faction, Saiqa, as a rival to Fatah, Arafat's majority group. Saiqa is already sniping at Arafat for "covering up" in the Kuwait affair. Leaving it alone is Arafat's best hopp of avoiding further politicai jsion of his own prestige. With prospects peace so precarious, Arafat may secretly believe the ex--tremists still have a role. "No revolution eliminates its terrorists," comments a Palestinian intellectual here, "until victory is in sight." and expected, to make great gains at that time. The big push was on. But the coming of the Marshall Plan and the forging of the NATO alliance �changed the picture. .. How serious are the radical prospects of today? Communism is no longer monolithic. The left itself is fragmented. In Britain the official Communist party aligned with Moscow is bitterly op-' posed by a small but still vigorous Trotskyite movement. In most countries around the world there are splinter Communist groups loyal to Peking and concerned with anti-Soviet activities. It is questionable that the official (Moscow) Communists can ever again lead the whole of the political, left. But improving prospects might draw them together again. There is nothing like success to strengthen a political movement. And ah economic recession, if it happened, could vastly improve the prospects for all radicals - of left, and right as well. A notable feature of the present situation is that leftism is stirring in Europe while Soviet imperialism is relatively quiescent. The two do not go hand in hand. There is, in Europe, a native radicalism as well as Moscow radicalism, and the native variety, notable in Britain, is more radical than the Moscow variety. Much, perhaps everything, depends on the economic future. If the transatlantic partners of the NATO alliance can overcome their present dispersive tendencies as they' did after the Second World War then recession will be avoided, and the opportunities which the leftist radicals see before them today will turn into mere will-of-the-wisps. But the West is already a year behind in refurbishing that relationship. The revivial of leftist aggressiveness is a sure sign that the old Marshall Plan-NATO-transatlantic partnership system is in trouble and requires the most urgent and earnest refurbishing. public interest, for doing whatever is necessary for the present to make the Senate a more useful body. But this course would also involve, from the NDP's point of view, a certain risk. A more useful Senate might well be a more acceptable Senate. It might perform its functions well enough to save the government and the House of Commons from the sort of mistakes which are afterwards regretted. In that case the iargument for reform would probably gain greatly in public faVor, at the expense of the argument for abolition. Mr. Knight, speaking presumably for his colleagues, has drawn the alternative conclusion. This is that the Senate, said to be ineffective, should be made even more ineffective; indeed, utterly useless. The less reform the better. Let the Senate do nothing. Humiliate it whenever possible. Then, hopefully, the public will come to the view that its money is being wasted and back the NDP's demand for abolition. This may appear a bit irresponsible; essentially a wrecking strategy. But what other interpretation is to be placed on Mr. Knight's words? If any Senate amendment must be rejected out of hand in fidelity to abolitionist principles, what - apart from the rubber-stamping job - is left to the second chamber of Parliament? It is barely pdssible that Mr. Knight looks on the threatened filibuster as a means of forcing the government to take an abolitionist initiative now. But the NDP must surely be aware that a constitutional reform of this nature is not an item of the sort that Mr. Lewis periodically adds to his legislative shopping list. The government would simply not be in a position to yield to such a demand, even if it wanted to do so. There is no doubt whatever that the provinces have an interest in the Senate of Canada. In the original constitutional scheme it was supposed to afford some protection for provincial interests. It is, of course, arguable that it has not fulfilled the hopes of 1867 in this %ega,rd. Nevertheless no' 'ledef^i government would dream of ignoring the provinces in this matter and it is a fact of record that Mr. Trudeau did seek provincial approval for the measures of Senate reform which he sponsored. Nothing in the discussions of that time suggests that the provinces are zealous for abolition. Even if changes in the meantime' have improved matters from an NDP point of view, there are still seven governments (including those of the two most populous provinces) which are more likely than not to object strenuously to so drastic a change. The Stand-and-deliver argument is not persuasive when it is perfectly obvious that the federal government is in no position to deliver. In the circumstances it seems highly presumptuous for a small minority to seek de facto changes robbing the Senate of the role it is supposed to play according to the existing constitutions. Perhaps the best that can be said for the Knight proposition is that the Trudeau government has set a poor example by its own cavalier attitude toward the Upper House. It is not solely that the prime minister has not lately distinguished himself by his Senate appointments. For many, many months he made no appointments, leaving certain provinces with practically no representation.' Much worse, however, was the contemptuous treatment accorded the Senate when it was called upon to deal with the massive Benson tax bill. In effect, it was ordered to act as a rubber stamp despite the fact that some of its criticisms were valid, as has since been admitted. The NDP, it may be said, has simply taken the matter one step further. To build on a bad example, however, is surely no great achievement. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lathbrldge, Alberta LETHBRIDQE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON H PILLING DONALD R. CORAM Managing Editor 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"