Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 16, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, January 16, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 Multi-million dollar 'Banana Republic9 By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator KITE Almost to its close the office party had gone well. In-group clinking. The vice-president leaving for an- other job wound-down his farewell speech. "If you want to gel ahead here, speak your mind frankly." He paused. "Then shut up and do as you're told." The president, a few feet away, turned beet- red. Not a major incident by it- self: Up in the executive suite, ambitions often collide. Except that scores of other of- ficers already had left the company, are continuing to leave it, and their comments come without vice- presidential polish: "Banana "Administrative Chaos" "A Sick Joke." The company is the Cana- dian International Develop- .ment Agency Its budget this year will be about million. Among federal departments, only Defence and Health and Welfare are larger. Proportionately, only Sweden and Norway spend more on foreign aid in ab- solute amounts. Canada ranks fifth, behind 'the United States, France, West Ger- many and Japan. Conceived in 1950 when the world was a simpler, more predictable place, Canada's aid program continues to operate a quarter-century later in the radically-changed world of the '70s as if nothing had happened. Outside CIDA hardly anyone knows how its vast budget is what-or whether well or badly. CIDA, complained one MP not an opposition critic but a Liberal a state within a state." CIDA's troubles have by no means been created by the president, Gerin Lajoie, alone. "Canadians have a moral itch about foreign said one deputy minister. "They like to know the money is being given but they don't want to know anything about how it's being spent." MPs complain that "Parliament has less and less control over this as one did last year, and then give 100 times more attention to the CBC, which has less than one third the budget. To sketch first the broad picture: Aid is being pumped out in a policy or plan. For two years a senior inter-departmental com- external af- fairs, finance, trade and com- merce, Bank of Canada, treasury wrangled through meetings that several times broke into table- thumping, shquting matches, to try to draft an "aid strategy for 1975-80." The half-decade has begun. The report is unfinished. Cabi- net has yet to debate the issue. The CIDA vice-president originally in charge of the study has quit in disgust. While the officials fight for their empires, the world, and the place of foreign aid in it, has altered beyond recall. "Aid has fallen from its said former CIDA vice-president, now am- bassador to Morocco, Marc Beaudoin, in a recent speech. "Recipients welcome im- provements in aid nonetheless they are shifting their attention to other fields, such as trade, investments and monetary af- fairs." Once seen as a panacea for poverty, aid today is recogniz- ed as still valuable, but marginal. "The present economic order constitutes the major obstacle standing in the way of any hope of development and progress for all the countries of the third said Algerian Presi- dent Louari Boumediene last year in a speech of historic importance to the United Nations. Today's weapon to produce a new international economic balance is oil. Tomorrow's cartels may be sugar, bauxite, copper, coffee. The Third World's goal immediately after the war was political it is economic liberation. Canada's aid goals, even in simpler times, never were clear-cut. A genuine impulse to world food crisis, for example, provoked more letters to Prime Minister Trudeau in 1974 than any subject except abor- was tempered by the need to influence politi- cal friends and to win export markets. Today's contradic- tions are more glaring. million in aid com- mitted to Brazil, a country now wealthy enough that it operates its own foreign aid program. Brazil in fact proposed that Canada simply transfer the sums we spend in Brazil to Brazil's own exter- nal program. million committed to oil-rich Nigeria, Indonesia and Algeria and million in 50 no interest loans (Canadian loans are the "softest" in the world) to Cuba, just after that country's sugar windfall. production, home- grown not imported as relief, is the greatest need of under- developed countries. Despite Canada's agricultural exper- tise only a trivial three per cent million out of million) of Canadian bi- lateral aid in 1973 was for project assistance in agriculture. Even refinements in aid technique such as. a concentration on areas of Canadian expertise rather than the present policy of allocating lump sums to each not solve some of the basic issues. Without population control, land reform and an end to political corruption, the best- intentioned aid programs just keep the starving alive to continue says one official. Bangladesh is everyone's horror story. Despite widespread and appalling hunger, upwards of two million tons of relief grain is believed to have been smuggl- ed to India for higher prices. The government operates in a dream world: family planning "seems to have collapsed" reports a confidential World Bank study while universities are to be expanded by 63 per cent although today's grad- uates cannot find jobs. Other examples, as dis- heartening but not on the same scale, are easy to'find. "We're caught in a Catch one aid official explains. "Spend the money, that's the ultimate test. The host government know this. If we ask too many questions that causes diplomatic dif- man's interference. The money doesn't get spent, and we're to blame. After a while you get cynical, and look the other way." Much that Canada is doing, and the credit goes equally to host governments, is ex- cellent. At the copper mine at khetri, India, Canadian hardrock miners are transferring their skills to those they work alongside- Sudanese blacksmiths are be- ing trained at home and Kenyan beekeepers in fisheries experts are advising Peruvian fishery co-operatives. Some volunteers, from teenagers to retired exec- utives, work abroad for Cana- dian University Service Overseas. But among aid officials mo- rale has- never been lower. Since Gerin-Lajoie's arrival at CIDA late in, 1970, staff haye quit in droves: 300 in the past two turn-over rate in 1974 of 16.6 per cent. To uncover the causes of the hemorrhage of talent, Gerin- Lajoie commissioned a study by Toronto manage- ment consultants Price Waterhouse. Last April, opposition MPs, tipped off about the staff ma- laise, demanded publication of the report. Gerin-Lajoie re- fused. The document, he told a commons committee, con- tained "reports of interviews which have been conducted with the staff of the agency conducted with the under- standing that full confiden- tiality will be preserved." By that reply Gerin-Lajoie deliberately MPs, who agreed .1 There's a new lower p rice on our 1974 Mazda 808: about If you'd like to drive a brand new car at a pre-inflationary price, a great deal going for ypu right now at your Mazda dealer's. We've got new lower prices on all 1974 Mazda 808's. What do you get for about About everything you could ask for in a beautifully engineered economy car. A powerfully thrifty 1600 cc overhead cam engine. Power-assisted brakes with front discs. Whitewalls. High-back front bucket seats. Centre sports console. Four-speed all synchro manual transmission. 60 heavy duty batten'. Ammeter. Flow-through ventilation and powerful with three-speed blower. All in a sleek fastback package that just doesn't look like an economy car. The place to see one is your Mazda dealer's. And the time is now. At about these 1974 808's won't be around for long. based on Manufacturer's suggested retail price for the standard two door coupe p.o.e. Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver not including preparation charges, licence, gas, provincial sales tax or local freight where applicable. Mazda.You don't have to settle for less. Pro Motors Ltd. 1520 2nd Avenue South: 328-8117 it would be improper to make public the names of CIDA offi- cers who had criticized the in- stitution. The interviews in the study, The Star has learned, were made only with ex-staffers, selected from a list supplied by CIDA. No names are mentioned in the report (of which five copies exist) and so no confidentiali- ty could be breached by its publication. In fact, to further conceal the identity of those interviewed, Price Waterhouse ran together quotes taken from different interviews. Gerin-Lajoie has with-held the Price Waterhouse report, not to protect the ex-officers interviewed in the study but to protect himself: the docu- ment adds up to an explosive critique of the president's ad- ministration. He is 54, short, trimmed, neat with the looks, down to the clipped moustache, of a keen army staff colonel, or, with his dark-blue suits, of a corporate lawyer rising rapidly. A Rhodes scholar, his decision to come to Ottawa in 1969 from Quebec where he had been Liberal minister of education and the most nationalist, except Rene Le- vesque, member of the cabinet, represented a major victory for federalism. Not even Gerin-Lajoie's se- verest critics doubt his intellect or commitment. In a recent speech he called the gap between rich and poor, "an assault to human dignity neither just, nor politically astute, nor economically beneficial in the long run." To talk to ex-CIDA officers is painful. None want to hurt the agency or, still more, to damage the aid program. Once they begin to talk they do so in bitterness and anger. As widely-known are Gerin- Lajoie's administrative weak- nesses, from a dependency on a handful of close advisers to a passion for endless, disrup- tive re-organization. These could be the quirks of any top executive. Far more damaging to CIDA has been Gerin-Lajoie's compulsion to expand. "An ominous slowdown at-, flicted Canada's aid program, he told MPs last April-this although the 1974-75 budget is higher by 25 per cent. Growth has become a self- justifying goal. Charts measure the progress of CIDA directors toward spending their alloted budgets. In three years CIDA's management program review committee has not rejected a single pro- ject. "As the end of the finan- cial year approaches" says one ex-CIDA officer, "the pressure is on to spend. Not to spend is to be disloyal." In Gerin-Lajoie's four years, CIDA's budget had doubled. Among the conse- quences: young, untrained project officers are forced to rush through multi-million dollar programs. Canadian business firms and consulting companies know CIDA as a soft touch. A typical example: one of the country's best engineering consulting firms costed a proposed bridge for CIDA at million yet when the project was put to tender not one bid came in under million. A budget cut to restore ad- ministrative sanity and replacement of Gerin-Lajoie, the right man in the wrong job, would solve only part of "IDA's problems. The issue still to be dealt with is the role of aid in a changed world. Aid always will be impor- tant, no matter the individual failures and frustrations. As the world's second-largest food exporter, Canada must meet its moral responsibility n the face of the most basic demand of people not starve while we grow fat. Aid by itself, though, is 'marginal" as Gerin-Lajoie himself has said. he continued, "is only viable as a omplement to equitable rade and investment jolicies." These alternatives are pain- ul: trade liberalization so hat poor countries can earn money on their ment policies to establish in- ustrics in these countries which may, one day, compete with our ules that halt the drain of xpensively educated rofessionals from un- eveloped nations. These policies add up to the 'sharing" that Prime Minister Trudeau spoke about his new year's statement. Tie difference in the '70s is hat the sharing must be joint, nd no longer only on the rms of the rich. The Grade I teacher By Louis Burke, Lethhridge teacher Like mother, the Grade I teacher is un- utterably important. These teachers, usually women, belong to a category of education en- tirely different, but absolutely essential in the education chain. Yet officials, and par- ticularly those with the purse strings, all but ignore this area, or at best, lump it with the other 11 links in the chain. This is a cost- ly mistake when the human side of the ledger is topped up. There is never a balanced sheet herein. Education is like a garden. It can be filled with strong plants and beautiful flowers, or it can be choked with vicious weed-like growth. Anyone can plant a child in school and everyone is doing just that yearly and half- yearly today. But the Grade 1 teacher tends or neglects, makes or breaks that youngster so planted. It is clear, then, that these teachers ought to be unique in many ways and this division of education ought to be first for funds to be invested. To a tragic degree, the philosophy of Grade 1 education has been polluted. In many schools and indeed, in whole school systems, the first grade youngsters are handed Over to persons steeped in "playtime" methods of education. This is so much sophistry foisted upon the public as modern methods in education. It has already done untold damage. Not that the Grade 1 teacher should "put the fear of God" in them by terrorizing the youngsters, but a degree of firmness is es- sential from the first day. It is this firmness that gives 'direction and creates security for them. It also helps to establish the at- mosphere needed to produce education and progress. The student who fails in Grade 12 started his string of failures in Grade 1, but few if any grade one youngsters "fail" today. That is administrative policy and piffle. The facts are that many do fail, but are not recorded, and as a result, they begin a 12- year course to disaster. This is criminal. Nor should the Grade 1 teacher always be a woman. Some females are totally unsuited for this crucial stage in education. A man at that level might prove just as capable and even outperform women. But since our world is geared to reward and remuneration, the Grade 1 teacher ought to have the highest salary scale. It should, in fact, be distinct and above the scales used for other categories of teachers and ad- ministrators: a kind of super-scale. The world now lives in the gray morning of a new science based society which is yearly drawing closer to a dawning. Likewise the first year of school is a dawning and we can no longer fool around with it using soft- hearted, well-intentioned personnel in the classrooms. The little person needs a teacher, not a mother, during his first year in school. Indeed, if the job is properly done in Grade 1, the Grade 12 teacher is not needed, but if the first year is a flop, there is nothing the Grade 12 teacher can do, except suffer with the near adult person. No teacher is more important than the first one! Proposing a change By Norman Cousins, editor of Saturday Review LOS ANGELES Hardly less serious than the world oil shortage is the shortage of world statesmen. The main problems of our time call for leaders who are capable of speaking not. just for their own nations but for humankind. One man who does measure up to the re- quirements of the times is Carlos P. Romulo, foreign minister of the Philippines. It is doubtful if any of the world's political leaders have a clearer understanding of the problems and prospects of the United Nations than the man who for more than a quarter century has been the architect of his nation's foreign policy. Carlos Romulo is also one of the founding fathers of the United Nations and a former president of the UN General Assembly. From the start he was concerned with the need to make the United Nations a workable instrument for world peace. The big need for the United Nations in a world of nuclear weapons, as he saw it, was to become a source of genuine world security. There was no point, he kept reminding his colleagues at the United Nations, in talking about disarmament without getting at the conditions that made for a durable peace. True, the arms race in itself pushes nations toward war. But the place to begin in an ef- fort to reverse the arms spiral is by creating a workable system of world order that can deal with fundamental causes of war. In his inaugural speech as president of the General Assembly a quarter century ago, Carlos Romuio called for the full develop- ment of the United Nations as an organization that would be able to administer and enforce world law. He defined the structural changes that would be necessary for this purpose. He pointed to the weaknesses of the General Assembly and to the ease with which veto could paralyze the Security Council. Recently, Romulo returned to the United Nations capacity as representative of the Philippines. As the senior statesman of the General Assembly, he spoke quietly but with great eloquence and conviction in what was probably the outstanding address of the recent session of the General Assembly. The speech was not widely reported. It was lost in the flurry of news about oil, inflation, recession, Middle East crises, Watergate trials and reports of famines and earth- quakes. In that speech, Gen. Romulo stated the case for upgrading the United Nations and giving it the capacity to administer world justice. "The mechanisms of the United he said, "are increasingly creaky and primitive in light of the task of planetary management that the organization is increasingly called upon to serve... I remind the members that the atom bomb was un- known when the Charter was written. I re- mind the members that only 51 states were present at the founding." He proposed a step by step consideration of ways in which the United Nations can be responsibly strengthened. So far as the Philippines were concerned, Gen. Romulo said his government had prepared a detailed statement on what was required to give the United Nations the infu- sion it needed. He recognized that not every government .might agree with these proposals, in which case they had the oppor- tunity and perhaps the obligation to come forward with proposals of their own. But il was folly to suppose the United Nations could go on without a clear redefinition of purpose, with responsible authority. This may be described as rhetoric. True, but it is powerful rhetoric and it could serve as a design for world living. If enough people take it seriously, the world has a chance. Sovereignty on the reservation From the Wall Street Journal Lawyers for six Sioux Indians have asked a federal judge in Lincoln, Nebraska, to dis- miss charges against their clients stemming from the 1973 occupation and siege of Wound- ed Knee. They contend that under the Treaty of 1868 the U.S. government lacks jurisdic- tion, since only Indians have authority over crimes committed within the territory of their sovereign nation. The implications of such a finding would be to throw into doubt a century or more of U.S. Indian law. That in itself might not be such a bad thing; the thousands of regulations, treaties, court decisions, statute and attorney general opinions comprising Indian law are not only Confusing but often contradictory. Congress and the courts have endlessly backed and fill- ed on the matter of tribal sovereignty. But it is hard to escape the conclusion of the federal court judge, who in a 1973 case involving the sovereignty of the Blackfeet Indians of Mon- tana, wrote: "No doubt Indian tribes were at one time sovereign and even now the tribes are described as sovereign. The blunt fact, however, is that an Indian tribe is sovereign to the extent that the United States permits it to be sovereign. Neither more nor less." That of course is ultimately what is at issue in the Nebraska court. There isn't much doubt that the Sioux have legitimate grievances. In 1877, Congress took some million acres of their land and abrogated that part of the treaty that declared vast areas to be unceded Indian territory. Similar violations occurred elsewhere among other tribes. But there is already an existing mechanism for ad- judicating those grievances, for which the Sioux 'will eventually receive anywhere from million to million.. Even that higher figure is a pittance at today's land value, and in view of the fortune in gold extracted from mines on what was originally their land. But simply as a prac- tical matter, neither Congress nor the courts is likely to uproot the non Indian majority from cities and towns in the Dakotas, Wyom- ing and Montana in order to repay treaty, violations of a century ago. The Indian Claims Commission, establish- ed by Congress in 1946 to settle all out- standing Indian claims against the U.S. from the beginning of the nation, has approved 250 of them at a total cost of more than million. Another 177 claims are still pending. This represents an effort by the federal government to partially atone for wrongs committed during America's expansionary 1 era. Few governments in history have made any attempt to compensate peoples subor- dinated through conquest. Those who are invoking claims of Indian sovereignty don't see it that way, of course, and we have no great wish to press that latter i point. Besides, it is far preferable to try settl- ing these disputes in the court room rather than in the bunkers of Wounded Knee. But it would be unfortunate if a combination of sympathy and guilt obscured what is really at issue here. It goes without saying that Indians are en- titled to the full benefits of U.S. citizenship, which was granted them by 1924, as well as to the educational and health benefits promised in the various treaties. They likewise deserve respect for preserving a rich culture against enormous outside pressures, and their reser- vation homelands deserve as much autonomy as practical. But it does little good for Indian and nbn Indian alike to persist in the illusion that reservations arc sovereign nations within the borders of the United States.