Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 15, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
EDITORIALS _^_ ..........>.......... ..........................................~ Anthony Westell Legitimate question Are the hearings being held by the parliamentary committee on the constitution illustrative of participatory democracy leading to reform or are they merely a facade for a fait accompli? This question posed at the hearing in Lethbridge brought objections from members of the committee. But it is a legitimate question and one that must be in the minds of many Canadians. Perhaps it was the use of the word "facade" which caused the thrust of the question to miss its mark. It was obvious that those who objected to the question thought there was an implication that deceit was involved. Although participation in the hearings may be limited and not fully representative of the people of the country few would doubt that genuine participatory experience is had. What is doubtful is whether anything will come out of the hearings that will bear on constitutional reform. This is not because good ideas are not forth coming from those presenting briefs but because there is no discernible link between the parliamentary committee and machinery for striking a new constitution. In view of the feeling that the constitu- tional conferences seem to be getting nowhere and that history-as Dr. James Penton, chairman of the Department of History at the University of Lethbridge, pointed out-shows that new constitutions only come after major upheavals, the prospects of something happening do not seem bright. The chairman of the parliamentary committee, Dr. Mark MacGuigan, stated that the hearings constituted a parallel exercise to the constiu-ional conferences and admitted that there was no guarantee anything would come of them. A hope exists that they will generate enough pressure to force action on reform of the constitution. An entirely new constitution may not be necessary but some changes obviously are and it is to be hoped that the hearings can be instrumental in getting action. Even the raising of the question of the value of the exercise has importance in this respect because it points up the need of initiating specific legislative machinery. And the committee is not very likely now to overlook that in its summation and recommendations. They know not President Nixon has added his voice of outrage to those of American Jewish leaders who have protested the bombing of the Soviet cultural centre in Washington and subsequent acts of insult directed at Soviet citizens resident in the U.S. The head of the Jewish Defence League, whose members are largely teenagers, has vowed acts of reprisal against Russian property and personnel in order to prevent the two powers from "building bridges over Jewish bodies." The reprisal in Moscow, where free public demonstrations are banned, is to present protest briefs to the U.S. Embassy there - a sensible and effective method of bringing attention to their views. The other form of retaliation, attributed to the Russian secret police (though this accusation cannot be confirmed) takes the form of vandalizing American property in Moscow, particularly that of news correspondents who have had their cars set on fire, the windows smashed and the tires ruined. There is promise of more before this stupid game comes to an end. Nothing could be guaranteed to destroy sympathy for the cause of captive Russian Jews than the violence and the insults their sympathizers have used against Russian citizens in the U.S. They have given the Russians a tailor-made excuse to engage in the same kind of tactics against their victims in the U.S.S.R. and done a great deal of harm to those they seek to protect. It's produced a mini-crisis in Soviet-U.S. relations sparked by the totally misguided shenanigans of irresponsible young people who__know not what they do. The Lion and the ELFs Emperor Haile Selassie has decreed that the northern province of Ethiopia, Eritrea, shall be put under military rule. This in itself doesn't mean too much, because military rule has prevailed in Eritrea for some time anyway. The trouble is caused by a guerrilla separatist organization called, somewhat inappropriately, ELF (Ethiopian Liberation Front). It is Arab-supported and in recent months it's had some modest successes in blowing up bridges and the like. One Ethiopian general has been killed by the guerrillas. The significance of the proclamation by the Emperor is in the refer- ence to foreign governments which he accuses of fostering subversion. These, although unspecified, are almost certainly Sudan, Egypt and Syria. Ethiopia has received considerable assistance from Israel for development and other purposes, and recently has accepted military aid in putting down the Eritrean rebels. Thus it is that the Lion of Judah, the 78-year-old Emperor Haile Selassie, has become inescapably involved in the Middle-East conflict - a bitter tragedy for a courageous ruler who has already suffered heavily from attempts by foreigners to take over his country. Back home to Saskatchewan By Fraser Hodgson JTS been said many many times, that if all those in Alberta and B.C. who came originally from Saskatchewan, were suddenly to leave and return home, the population of those two western provinces would be drastically depleted. So many you meet started out in Saskatchewan, or lived there for a while before moving farther west. It seemed to be sort of a stopping place to get one's bearings before deciding where finally to settle. The old badly-worn cliche comes out so frequently, "Saskatchewan is a good place to come from." My family came west from Ontario in 1909 when 1 was about 4, and homesteaded near Swift Current in good old Saskatchewan. Why Dad picked that particular spot ha was never too sure himself, unless it was because his railway station near Sar-' nia pushed Swift Current as being the western centre of rr.avelous opportunity. Colorful signs and posters decorated the walls, and pointed out the numerous ways of making a million in the far west. Free land was the main drawing card, and if a person couldn't c'o anything else, he could take a homestead and become a farmer. Now Saskatchewan wants to put on a homecoming celebration, and have all its old residents back to stage sort of a nostalgic party. "Come visit old friends you once knew and ran around with, and see all the sights and some of the sounds you grew up with." Many things will be gone or changed because of progress, and you probably won't be able to find your old school desk with your initals carved in the top, or you may not even be able to find the school, but there will be somthing left somewhere that will bring back cheerful memories. The main thing is Saskatchewan want.s vou to come hack and pay it a vi.sit in '71. Take your yearly vacation aiid your family to the district you came from away back a long time ago, and make the time correspond with that particular time the local celebration is to be held. Thousands of invitations are to be sent from each of the twelve zones of the province, and if anyone that ever knew you still lives there, you will likely get one. To make sure about getting one, just send your name and present address to, "Saskatchewan Homecoming '71," Regina, Sask., and you will be certain of getting an invite. I suppose there is some commercial aspects to this deal - sort of promoting the tourist industry - but at the same time I'm sure you will get full value for your dollars spent in travelling. They may be inviting money into the province, but a party of any kind has to be paid for by somebody. Do you remember an old song we were taught in school about 1919, about coming back to Saskatchewan? It was to the tune of a down south song. I'm sure if you ever heard it you'll remember. "Carry me back to old Saskatchewan, back, take me back to my old prairie home. That's where the air is the rarest and best, I wanta' go back to my home in the west . . , Believe me I wanta be where my friends wait for me, 1 wanta' see all my own family. I wanta' go away . . . back ... to my Saskatchewan . . . my own Saskatchewan home ..." Probably when you left Saskatchewan travelling was somewhat different than you will find it now. The roads have improved and been straightened beyond anything you could imagine, and bypass all the small towns along the way. But you can turn off and visit any of these places. I had better quit before being accused of working for the Saskatchewan tourist bureau. 1 sincerely hope to see you when I attend the, "Saskatchewan Homecoming '71." Controls urged on collective bargaining QTTAWA-Through the mail " and on to the desks of MPs last week came a flood of anonymous white envelopes containing copies of a slim grey pamphlet: Collective Bargaining and the Economy. A Time to Face Facts. The 'facts as seen by Alfred Powis, boss of the Noranda group of companies with 25,000 workers, is that unions have grown too powerful and must be curbed by tough new laws. His pamphlet is the latest in a series which has arrived on Parliament Hill in recent months from leaders of Canada's top corporations. They carry no identification except the name of the author, but they stem in fact from an informal but powerful lobby pressing governments to strengthen labor legislation. Executives of such blue-rib-bon empires as the Steel Company of Canada, Gulf Oil, Du-pont, Algoma Steel and Kimberly-Clark apparently decided in private contacts that management's view of industrial relations was not receiving proper attention. They agreed to step up speaking activities on the lunch club circuit and to reprint and distribute their texts. A Toronto PR firm, Ontario E d i torial Services, packages their words of wisdom into pocket - sized, easy - to - read pamphlets, and mails out 5,000 or more copies to MPs, media people, Chambers of Commerce and others who may be interested and influential. The business leaders make no formal attempt to co-ordinate their opinions in detail and even disagree on some matters. But they share the same general view of the problem: The balance of power in industrial bargaining has tipped to favor unions and must be redressed. They are aware that not only the federal government but also a number of provinces are revising labor legislation and they hope to influence the politicians to take a harder line against powerful unions. There is of course nothing wrong about identifiable business leaders joining in a lobby, formal or informal, to press their views on government. Labor organizations have their own pressure groups and employ their own PR men for much the same purpose, and the politicians even rely on lobbies to a considerable extent to keep them informed on the wishes of various interest groups. What makes the current business lobby particularly interesting is that it is hotting up an issue which already promises to be one of the most important and difficult political questions of the '70s. How can free collective bargaining between giant corporations and powerful unions be reconciled with the responsibility of government to plan and guide the national economy in the interests of all its citizens? Federal politicians began to sense several years ago that public opinion was rapidly losing patience with labor-management warfare and inconvenient strikes. Following the railway strike in 1966, Prime Minister Lester Pearson announced a special enquiry into ". . . this whole question of labor disputes, and the procedures and provisions of current laws that we have to deal with them." The task force under Dean H. D. Woods of McGill University later noted: "In Canada, as well as in many other Western countries, the attack on collective bargaining has been mounting in recent years. The result verges on a crisis of confidence in t h e present industrial relations system." The 1968 report was nevertheless a disappointment to those who had hoped for some radically new approach to resolving industrial disputes. "Collective bargaining is the mechanism through which labor and management seek to accommodate their differences, frequently without strife, sometimes through it, and occasionally with success," concluded the task force. "As imperfect an instrument as it may be, there is no viable substitute in a free society." The report therefore recommended in essence tidying up and improving the present system of industrial relations, rather than replacing it with a new system. The federal labor department, meanwhile, has been conducting its own internal review, and the government has promised a major bill to modernize labor law in this session of Parliament. The responsible minister, Bryce Mackasey, has been relaxing in Mexico before facing the Commons again next week with a heavy budget of legislation. His bill is expected to deal with such familiar problems as management-u n i o n consultation on work changes arising from technological development, adequate notice to employees before a plant is closed down, reform of the national Labor Relations Board to give it broader power and a more judicial approach, safeguarding union democracy and expanding mediation services. But another aspect of industrial relations has been growing in importance over the past year and attracting hostile attention. 'I guess it would be okay if you weren't too fussy about who you travelled with . . ." Prime Minister Pierre Tro-deau, for one, blames unions for encouraging inflation by demanding wages which increase faster than production of wealth. He says that greedy workers are forcing up prices and lining their own pockets by robbing the poor, the old and the unorganized. The government first tried to get labor-management agreement on voluntary restraint, but the unions declined to accept a proposed six - per - cent wage ceiling. To discourage workers from striking for higher wages, the government next tried to maks them fearful for their jobs by deliberately creating unemployment. And to force employers to resist union demands, it has slowed the economy to squeeze company earnings. Apart from being unjust to the unemployed, wasteful in lost production, and politically unpopular, these methods of control may not even work in the modern economy. Many experts believe that major unions and corporations are now so powerful that they can resist government measures and arrange matters to suit their own interests, rather than the public interest. The only effective measure, it is argued, will be mandatory wage and price controls decreed by law, across the w h o 1 e economy or on key industries. All these ideas on controlling the economy-laws, guidelines, unemployment,-are of course attempts to regulate labor-management negotiaitons. They acknowledge that free collective bargaining between employer and employee does not always serve the public interest. The Woods task force took a long look at this problem, seeking some way of ensuring that private decisions do not undermine the public welfare, so that the best balance can be achieved between employment and prices. But it found no real solution and called instead for more and better statistics on which to base new studies. The business executives, in their pamphlets, are now insisting that this is one of the major labor problems requiring urgent solutions in new legislation. As Noranda's Alfred Powis put it: "Labor has grown so powerful that it can impose its will on the economy irrespective of economic conditions. Bargaining as it is being practiced is unresponsive to the present needs of our society. The process is simply not working in the public interest." Mr. Trudeau has acknowledged in private conversations that if he had the problem of inflation to tackle again, he would want to be far more sophisticated, probably using precise controls rather than blunt fiscal and monetary policies. But the government's main concern in future will be to damp inflation before it becomes a problem, and that probably means some form of interference in the process of labor-management bargaining. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Who should be held responsible for war crimes? J^EW YORK-After the pub-lie outcry, the U.S. army did proceed with criminal actions against men who were at My Lai. The trials are bogging down though (as the Green Beret murder trial was dismissed) because the military is obviously of two minds about blame for battlefield crimes. It isn't an easy question. In testimony to the depth of the quandary comes Gen. Telford Taylor (ret.), one-time U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, now professor of law at Columbia University and outspoken critic of the Vietnam war. If anybody knows the law about war cumes and how responsibility should be apportioned, it ought to be Gen. Taylor. He has written a book about it, Nuremberg and Vietnam. Here, I thought, is at last an authoritative guide to the painful issue of who should be held to legal account for American atrocities at war. The soldiers who shoot, though anyone who has been at war knows how carefully soldiers are trained to reject the notion that tbey have a personal choice? The junior officers who lead them? The senior officers who set the tactics? The civilians who define the goals of war and command the military means? The country which supports the Gen. Taylor sets forth with confidence the burden of law pet by the long series of trials By Flora Lewis, from T he Winnipeg Free Press which condemned' German and Japanese leaders after the Second World War. There is such a thing as a war crime, apart from the question of whether war itself is immoral, he concludes. The wanton murder of civilians at My Lai was clearly an example. The U.S. is bound, by international obligation and by its role in the Second World War trials, to judge itself as it judged others, Gen. Taylor continues. Then who should be punished? The learned jurist backs a way at this point. The soldier has to obey "legal" orders, he points out, and how is a soldier to get a battlefield ruling on the propriety of his superior's command? The junior officer is a cog in the chain. The senior officer is seldom even there. Then who? The military courts are not really equipped to give a fair answer, says Gen. Tayloi, though they have as much vested interest in trying to appear just as in trying to avoid the issue. But what is the answer? In his book, Gen. Taylor cites at some iength the conviction of Gen. Yamashita, Japanese commander in the Pnilippines, for crimes committed by his troops. An international tribunal which included several high - ranking American officers proclaimed Gen. Yamashita responsible even though he didn't knew bow bis troops behaved. The tribunal ruled that it is the general's job to know, and to prevent illegal behavior. Gen. Yamashita was executed. What does that mean about Americans in Vietnam? Gen. Taylor's book is silent. Does it mean that Gen. Westmoreland, U.S. commander in Vietnam at the time of My Lai and now army chief of staff, should replace Lieut. Calley in tha dock? Pressed in person, Gen. Taylor replied that Gen. Westmoreland "ought to be held to the same standard the U.S. imposed on Yamashita." Does that mean the U.S. should hang its own generals? The important thing, says Gen. Taylor, grimacing at the question, is to do something about the Vietnamese who have been maimed and orphaned and dispossessed by U.S. action. So even the legal expert on war crimes flees the issue in the end. It is understandable. It is one tiling to draw the abstract logic of Nuremberg and Vietnam, another to translate the conclusion into punishment of Americans by American courts. The central revelation of Gen. Taylor's study in the end is that we really cannot bring ourselves to judge ourselves in pure legality, for we know too well the political and human failings which brought us to the bar. Whatever the outcome of the trial of Lieut. Calley and others charged with t h e crimes of My Lai, it will not he justice. The human dilemma fogs and eventually obliterates the austere rule of law, leaving no way to find national solace in the thought that we have practised what we preached. After all, the trials must be seen as a ritual, not the enforcement of law but a gesture representing the wish of America as a nation to live within its own sense of law. But the wish cannot really be fulfilled in a courtroom. There is no way to settle the shameful issue of My Lai. Only the end of the war can keep the question from renewing itself again and again. It still won't give the answer. But how is it possible that a country which can acknowledge the question in its own courts can go on permitting the circumstances which provoked it? Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - Two hundred and thirty-five buffalo, which now run wild on Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake, will be exterminated and hunters will pay $200 for each buffalo they kill. 1931 - The first mail plane will arrive in Lethbridge today at 2:45 p.m. and depart for Calgary at 3:05. 1941-Britain's war effort is now costing approximately $45,000,000 daily. 1951 - Use Koch was sentenced to life imprisonment for causing the murder of Buchen-wald concentration camp prisoners. 1961-A second Dale Bartlett concert has been scheduled for Jan. 24 as tickets for the first one were sold out quickly and left a large unsatisfied demand. The lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisheri Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"