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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 15, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta The Lethbridge Herald LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 1975 15 Cents LARRY PALETTA, MAYOR CHARLIE EDGAR CHAT TUESDAY. Reaction 'cautious' to Paletta statement Fort Macleod town officials were cautious when reacting Tuesday evening to the announcement at noon that Montreal meat packer Larry Paletta in- tends to pursue his plans to build a plant in the town. Mr. Paletta, president of Palmont Packers Ltd. of Montreal and other firms in the cattle business, told town officials at a luncheon that plans for the plant are proceeding and that he wants to make his home in Fort Macleod. He denied allegations contained in a December series of articles in The Herald which quoted RCMP files as calling the packer an organized crime figure. He also said he had instructed his lawyers to begin a libel suit against The Herald and reporter Terry McDonald. Town councillors Margaret Moses and Phil Hodnett both said they were impress- ed by Mr. Paletta's statement read at the meeting Tuesday. Coun. Moses said the packer "seemed sincere" and Coun. Hodnett called the statement "straight forward clean cut straight from the shoulder; the way we like it." Both said they hoped the plant would go ahead but that The Herald series had put the plans in jeopardy. "It was distorted quite a bit... and did not help the Coun. Hodnett said of The Herald six part series. He did not. elaborate on the "distortion." Mrs. Moses said the articles "did seem to be a lot of innuendo. I would like to know what avenue there was to the RCMP files." She said the series made her and many people in the town "wonder" about the deal, but today's statement settled that for her. "I'm not wondering after today. Things seem on the up and up." Mrs. Moses said some businessmen in Fort Macleod "wonder" if other district meat packing firms had anything to do with The Herald's investigation. She im- plied that perhaps meat packers who might become competitors with Mr. Paletta should his plant go ahead would have something to gain by discrediting the Montreal packer. Coun. John B. Viens says he's not sure what to believe. "He says it's not true and you say it is. I don't know what's true and what he told The Herald. The proposed million plant would be good for the town "but first we want to make sure it is a good he said. Coun. Viens was elected in this past fall's civic elections, and he says the coun- cil that ended its term this fall was wrong in finalizing the deal with Mr. Paletta. He would rather have seen the old coun- cil put off a decision until after the elec- tion. "After all, we have to handle the situation for the next three years." "Maybe it was all too.rushed. I want to take'a slap at the old council but that's how I Coun. Viens said.: Mayor Charlie Edgar and Coun. Ralph Webb were not available for comment. Coun. Jim Coutts declined comment when contacted. Coun. Ian Bennett said he would make no comment but that the town's Ron Jacobson of Lethbridge, "is doing our talking." Mr. Jacobson subsequently said he had had no authorization from the town to make any comment. Fort Macleod MLA Leighton Buckwell hadn't heard of Mr. Paletta's announce- ment but he hoped the packing plant would be built. He didn't read the entire Herald series in December but feels that more impor- tant than whether or not the plant would be built with "Mafia money" is whether or not it would be a good service for the town. He was convinced it would be, he said. Ken Hurlburt, MP for Lethbridge con- stituency, which includes Fort Macleod, was not available for comment. Mr. Paletta said Tuesday at the meeting with town officials that he had purchased a home in the town. Mel Fengstad, who lives at 602 30th St. S. in Fort Macleod, said he has been "dealing" on his home with Mr. Paletta for some months. He is asking He said the packer has made a down payment and the rest would be paid when Mr. Paletta moves in, tentatively in March. "But it's not actually finalized. Hell, he could forfeit that and the deal would be off, Mr. Fengstad told The Herald. Mr. Fengstad referred questions to his lawyer, Fred Pritchard of Lethbridge, who is handling the sale. But Mr. Pritchard would make no comment. Food main reason for increase Price hike worst since '48 Soviets dump emigrant-trade pact with U.S. OTTAWA (CP) Food continued to be the main reason for increases in the cost of living as price rises accelerated through 1974 at the fastest rate in 26 years to a 12.4-per- cent December-to-December rate, Statistics Canada reported today. The December report on the consumer price index showed food accounted for about two fifths of the one-per-cent-gain in the over-all index in that month. Prices rose less rapidly earlier in the year with the result that the average price in- dex increase from January to December was 10.9 per cent. This rate is computed by comparing the average of 12 monthly index figures from year to year. The rate last year was worse than the 10.5-per- cent increase in 1951, in the middle of the Korean War. The last time there was a worse year for prices was 1948, when post Second World War price controls were being taken off and prices allowed to rise. The over-all index was 175.8 in December and this was 12.4 per cent higher than the 156.4, the index level for December, 1973. Stated another way, the mix of consumer items that could be bought for in 1961 cost last month and in December, 1973. The figures for November was The consumer price index is based on a 1967 survey of fam- ily spending patterns and weights of major component indexes are: Food, 25 per cent; housing, 31 per cent; clothing, 11 per cent; tran- sportation, 15 per cent; and other items, 18 per cent. FOOD MAJOR ITEM The main contributors to the increase in the index in December were higher food and housing costs, accounting for about two-thirds of the increase in the index last month. Sugar and beef prices ac- counted for a major share of the gain in average food prices. Sugar prices were up 25 per cent from a month earlier, af- fecting prices of a variety of products. Average prices for beef rose 4.2 per cent after declining during the three previous months. Fresh fruit and vegetable prices declined in December while the average price for dairy products went up. SHELTER COSTS UP Higher rates for natural gas and increases in prices for many appliances and household maintenance items, such as light bulbs and floor wax, were the main reasons for the average rise in shelter costs. Increases in major com- ponents of the over-all index in December were: Food, 1.4 per cent; housing, eight- tenths of one per cent; clothing, six-tenths of one per cent; and transportation, four-tenths of one per cent. Higher costs for dry cleaning, laundry and shoe repairs were the main reasons for the increase in the clothing index. The rise in the transporta- tion index was due mainly to higher airplane and train fares and increases in tax rates in Montreal and Win- nipeg. MOSCOW (Reuter) The Soviet Union tacitly acknowledged today that it has renounced the 1972 U.S.- Soviet trade agreement. But at the same time the So- viet government expressed hope that normal commercial ties could still be established between the two countries. The acknowledgement came in a report by Tass news agency of U.S. State Secretary Henry Kissinger's disclosure in Washington Tuesday night of the Soviet decision. But. the Tass version left, open the possibility that the 1972 by former president Richard Nixon and Communist party chief Leonid still be enacted later. Earlier, a leading U.S. trade official in Moscow had expressed the hope that the Soviet' move would only be a temporary setback. John Connor, head of the Moscow office of the U.S.- U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council, said in an interview today he thought the Soviet move "fully justified." Kissinger announced that the Kremlin had turned down the accord because tariff and credit concessions in the recently-passed U.S. trade bill were tied to unacceptable demands that the Soviet Union allow more Jews to emigrate. There was no immediate confirmation from Soviet of- ficials of the reported Kremlin decision. More eggs said rotting in storage OTTAWA (CP) Reports of another whopping egg sur- plus that is growing by 15 million a week apparently prompted a meeting today of government and Canadian Egg Marketing Agency of- ficials. An agency spokesman said only that Bob Harrison, a CEMA adviser, was meeting with "senior government offi- cials" and that no details were immediately available. The meeting is believed to have been arranged after a published report that there is a 40-miliion-cgg surplus and that if it continues to increase at current rates, millions of eggs will be destroyed. India discovers major oilfield NEW DELHI (AP) India, one of the countries hardest hit by rising petroleum prices, has announced discovery of an undersea oilfield that jubilant officials predict will save millions in imports. The oil lies about 80 miles northwest of Bombay in a seabed called Bombay High. The Indian Oil and Natural Gas Commission expects the field will turn out 75 million barrels a year within four years. "For the first time we have started saying that this is no longer a gamble, that the presence of oil is established! that the oil is not confined to a small spot but is a fairly large a petroleum ministry spokesman says. "For a country like us, which finds itself facing a very difficult economic situation, it is already a the spokesman says. India spent about billion in 1974 to import more than 110 million barrels of petroleum, chiefly from Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The total represented about half the country's foreign-ex- change earnings, draining Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's coffers at a time when reserves were badly needed for food purchases to prevent starvation. British release 25 more IRA guerrillas Insurgents attack BELFAST (Reuter) The British government ordered today the release of a further 25 prisoners from detention without trial in Northern Ireland in a gesture to en- courage an extension of the present guerrilla ceasefire. An official announcement said 50 more of the 538 detainees will be offered three days home leave. The new moves came a day before the scheduled expira- tion of the truce observed since before Christmas by the gunmen and bombers of the Irish Republican Army A meeting of IRA heads in Dublin was reported to be con- sidering whether to stretch the truce past the deadline set for midnight Thursday night. If they decide against an im- mediate resumption of guerrilla warfare it will be the second time the truce had been extendedJBince it went into force lasWPec. 22. Today's gesture relieved some of the disappointment in Republican ranks at Tuesday's statement by Merlyn Rees, secretary of state for Northern Ireland. Rees offered long-term concessions for peace, but gave no sign of any immediate goodwill move. Last Dec. 31, just as the truce was about to expire, 20 prisoners were freed from detention. This was sufficient to persuade the IRA to agree to a two-week truce extension. The latest figure of 25 re- leases probably was as far as the government could go with- out, antagonizing Northern Ireland's Protestant majority Police seek motive, clues in schoolgirls9 shooting MONTREAL today sought a possible motive for the grisly deaths of two young girls shot in the face Tuesday afternoon short- ly after returning home from school. Sylvie Paquette, 10, and her sister Lyne, 7, died while waiting alone in the house for their parents' return. Quebec Provincial Police said the girls were shot at close range with either a 12 or 16-gauge shotgun. Their faces were disfigured beyond recognition, police said. Carl Paquette, their father, also was shot when he entered the house shortly afterwards but was reported in satisfac- tory condition today in hospital where he is being treated for neck and back wounds. Investigators have ruled out robbery as a motive since nothing was stolen from the home. A QPP spokesman said there was "no apparent reason" for the shootings. whose leaders have shown dis- favor at the step-by-step bar- gaining for truce extensions. The IRA still seeks the ending of detention-without- trial, withdrawal of British troops from the streets of Northern Ireland and freeing of prisoners convicted of politically-motivated crimes. Rees has promised a phas- ing-out of internment and reduction of the British military presence provided a permanent peace is assured. It is known that a strong faction within the Provisional IRA advocates the immediate and intensified resumption of the bombing campaign, preferably in England. British intelligence sources said the guerrillas had used the ceasefire to re-equip and reorganize, and that prepara- tions for a major campaign in England seem to have been completed. SAIGON (CP) Insurgent gunners poured more than 100 rounds of heavy mortar and cannon fire into besieged Neak Luong today and also raked a seven-ship Mekong River convoy with mortar and machine-gun fire, forcing it to turn back to South Viet- namese waters, a government army source reported.' Stin heard About town RCMP Cpl. Maurice Mirsh, Taber, answering the telephone "Marsh of the and adding he doesn't want to go on WS Lethbridge County CMH. Mlro TonuiU saying four of his cattle have suddenly died recently, "but it doesn't matter, they're not worth anything." NEVER TOO OLD TACOMA, Wash. (AP) At 102, Walter Jones has bought a 22-foot motor home and says he'll hit the road this spring to see the United States. "I roamed 40 states when I was Jonej said. "I've always wanted to see them all, and that's what I'm going to do." Jones, whose professional experience ranges from scissors sharpener to locomotive engineer, says he'll pay his expenses on the trip by giving magic shows at Masonic lodges along the way. "I've never done it before, but. I've been studying up. There are quite a few simple things that you can do that look just wonderful to an audience that doesn't know the trick to it." A widower, Jones said he's thinking about taking another retired man along for company. Or maybe, he said, he'll get a girl. "Some girl in her twenties would do nicely, I think." UN may recall Mideast troops UNITED NATIONS (Reuter) Secretary- General Kurt Waldheim, warning of an extremely serious Middle East sit- uation, said Tuesday UN peace keeping forces may have to be withdrawn from the area. He said it is doubtful there can be a new extension of their mandate. The current term of the UN force in the Egyptian-Israeli sector expires in April and that of the UN troops in the Golan Heights separating Syria and Israel a month later. Referring to his talks in Damascus last November with Syrian President Hafez Assad, which led to the renewal" of ;one mandate, Waldheim 'said the "Syrian leader made it clear that this did not mean he was ready to accept a, further extension after six months. The secretary-general, an- swering questions at his first news conference since last September, said that unless there is a breakthrough toward a Middle East settlement, either in step-by- step accords or a return to the Geneva conference table, "I believe the situation this year will be extremely serious." Asked about U.S. State Secretary Henry Kissinger's remark in a Business Week magazine interview about the possible use of force in the event of another oil embargo, Waldheim said the use of force would not solve the energy problem, but would create a dangerous situation not only for the Middle East but for the entire world. "I can only express the sin- cere hope that this problem will be solved not through con- frontation, but through co- he said. Ford unveils blueprint for relieving economy WASHINGTON (AP) De- claring "I've got bad news, and I don't expect any President Ford outlined for Congress today his blueprint for rescuing the slumping U.S. economy through tax cuts and higher fuel prices. Almost all Ford's specific proposals were disclosed in his national television-radio address Monday or by White House Press Secretary Ron Nessen at a briefing Tuesday. The major elements of the president's program include: one-time tax cut of 12 per cent in last year's taxes, to be accomplished through rebates to individual tax- payers of up to tax reduction starting this year, with the largest reductions going to the poorest taxpayers.. to cut cor- porate income taxes and increase tax credits for businesses that spend money on their plants and equipment. federal payments of to each adult American too poor to pay any income taxes. increase in revenue- sharing funds to state and local governments. proposal for a barrel tax on crude oil and higher excise taxes on oil. The result is' that retail gasoline prices are expected to increase about five cents a gallon. request for standby au- thority to ration gasoline if higher costs do not meet his objective of reducing oil im- ports by a million barrels a day this year and two million in 1976. Angolan freedom set for Nov. 11 PENINA, Portugal (Reuter) Portugal and three African nationalist movements will sign an agreement here today to make Angola independent on Nov. 11, President Francisco da Costa Gomes announced. Inside 52 Pages Classified........ 24-28' Comics 44 Comment.......... 4. 15-17 Family...... 5, 22, 23 Markets 19 Sports...........8-11 Theatres........... 7 TV................ 6 Weather 2 LOW TONIGHT II, HIGH THURS. X, SUNNY, WINDY ;