Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 17, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Lougheed may rattle Ottawa conference with election call By PAUL JACKSON Herald OtUwa Bureau OTTAWA - Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed is seriously considering an-, noundng a provincial election more or less immediately as he steps from his jetliner in Ottawa to attend the controversial federal-provincial energy conference here next week, according to rumors circulating in nigh circles on Parliament Hill. Some of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau's cabinet ministers are aware of the possible move, understand the logic behind it, and are reported to be concerned about the disruption and impact the announcement would have on the historic conference. Mr. Lougheed at this moment has on his desk a confidential document from one of his closest and most influential political advisors urging him to "jump the gun" on Ottawa and seize the initiative by calling a provincial election While he is attending the conference-a conference at vrtiich Alberta is likely to be battered by the federal government and other provinces. The premier, according to insiders in Ottawa, will fight the election on the basis of both a vote of confidence in his current administration and on the fact that Alberta's vast natural resources-in particular the Athabasca oil sands-belong to the people of Alberta or whether they should be under federal jurisdiction. There is no doubt in anyone's mind in Ottawa that an election would result in an almost total sweep of Alberta by the Progressive Conservatives. Polls taken in Alberta suggesting Mr. Lougheed might well win at least 70 of Alberta's 75 provincial seats are accepted as valid in the national capital. Currently, sources in Edmonton and Ottawa know, the Progressive Conservative war chest is crammed full of dollars, the campaign machinery is ready to go and the Social Credit OpposiUori is in disarray. With a federal elecUon expected sometime this year-some observers on Parliament Hill are predicting Mr. Trudeau will seize the initiative from the New Democratic Party and go to the polls as early as April or May-Mr. Lougheed has been told it would be politically unwise for him to go to the polls himself after a federal election in which Alberta has been made by the "whipping boy" in the campaign by the federal Liberals. Hence, they feel that with Mr. Lougheed's personal popularity riding the crest of the The Lethkrldae Herald VOL. LXVII - 30 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, , 1974 24 Pages 10 Cents FBI in tape gap probe WASHINGTON (AP) - An assistant special prosecutor today questioned the reliability of United States Secret Service records showing who in the White House had access to presidential tapes. The new line of questioning developed a day after it was learned the FBI had entered the investigation into who might have been responsible for the 18V^-minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes. Robert Frank, an FBI spokesman, confirmed Wednesday night that Watergate special prosecutor Leon Jaworski had asked the bureau to enter the investigation. In court today, assistant special prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste asked Raymond Zumwalt, a Secret Service technician, about the records he had of who had received and returned tapes. A notation showed that presidential aide Stephen Bull had received tapes on July 10, 1973, and subsequently turned them over to former White aouse staff chief, H. R. aldeman. Ben-Veniste pointed to a notation indicating the tapes were returned two days later and asked, "would you show us where you have documentation for that fact?" "It's not indicated on here," Zumwalt said. "Can you tell us how you know?" Ben-Veniste asked. "I probably just remembered it, that would be my guess," the Secret Service man replied. Pointing to a reference to removal of a second |tatch of tapes, Ben-Veniste once again drew an admission from Zum-walt that he had no documentation to prove they were returned on the date shown. Zumwalt also testified that he had once suggested that the White House taping system be improved but that he later told a Secret Service inspector the project was "put on a hold basis," after discovery of the Watergate break-in. Zumwalt acknowledged it was he who signed Stephen Bull's name to a receipt for the Uher 5000 tape recorder delivered to Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon's secretary, Oct. 1. Zumwalt said the machine was purchased that day.be-cuse an assistant mistakenly reported there were no machines with foot pedals in the Secret Service storeroom. In fact, he testified, there were four Uher 5000 machines in the storeroom Oct. 1. Bull testified Wednesday that he delivered the recorder to Miss Wobds but said someone else had signed his name to the receipt. Bull, special assistant to President Nixon, testified Wednesday that he knew of only five persons who ever had possession of the tape of a June 20, 1972, conversation between Nixon and H. R. Haldeman.' He said they were himself, the president, presidential secretary Rose Mary Woods, White House lawyer J. Fred Buzhardt and Gen. John Bennett, a presidential aide. SMfi and h�ard About town Defeated Stingray relay swimmer David Anderson saying "if it was football, we would have whipped them" . . . Dougie Irwin, 6, having fun sliding across an icy sidewalk on his stomach. Colony cookhouse razed RICK ERVIN photo The 100 members of the R6ckport| Hutterite colony, eight miles south of Mag rath, are using temporary cooking and eating facilities today after fire razed the colony cookhouse early this morning. An adjacent building and a walk-in freezer were also heavily damaged. Damage has not been estimated but all the facilities are uninsured. Rockport is about seven miles from the ^hrystal Springs Colony where fire destroyed a garage and all but one of that colony's tractors just two weeks ago. Story and photo, on Page 14. Rail workers ^pleased' with arbitration award An arbitration award granting rail workers substantially more than minimums set by Parliament last summer is "generally good," a local union spokesman said this morning. David Rossiter, of the Lethbridge local of Brotherhood of Railway and-Airline Clerks, said he could not comment further until the union had had a chance to study the wage settlement in some detail at a meeting scheduled tonight. However he said he was "generally pleased" with the award because it gives railworkers more than the amount set by the government. The award, produced by binding arbitration, 14 months after the start of contract negotiations for 93^000 workers; provides them with a retroactive pay increase of 15 cents-an-hour for 1973. This is above a 34 cents-an-hour 1973 wage raise set by Parliament for 56,000 non-operating workers and 8V4 per cent raises given to ouier employees when the government ended a national rail strike in September. It gives Heath holds out on election call LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister Edward Heath today ruled out a British election on Feb. 7 but kept open his options for an appeal to the country one week later. The British leader made his intentions plain in the House of Commons. He told members his government still is pondering new talks with labor union chiefs on the country's industrial crisis. If Heath were planning to ask Queen Elizabeth to dissolve ParUament in time for a Feb. 7 ballot he would have to make his request no later than Friday. He told one Conservative questioner he had no plans to visit Sandringham, where the Queen is staying. 40-hour-a-week employees an additional $312 in retroactive pay. The award, prepared by Emmett Hall, retired Supreme Court of Canada justice, also give workers a nine-percent increase for 1974. Parliament had. awarded 6.5 per cent effective Jan. 1, 1974, and 1.5 per cent July 1. Union leaders were happy at the award Wednesday but company spokesmen had no comment. The award, which exceeds even the unions' final demand in bargaining last summer, is sure to increase pressure from the companies for a relaxation of a freight rate freeze. Mr. Justice Hall, son of a railway employee, cited cost-of living increases, the need of railworkers to share in increased national productivity and a catch-up with workers in similar jobs in other industries as factors he considered in his decision. Based on average hourly pay to the various classes of workers at expiry of their last contracts on Dec. 31,1972, the total wage increases, including the minimum given by Parliament, will range between 22 and 24 per cent. Classified....... 20-23 Comics........... 18 Comment........4, 5 :S District........... 15 ^ Family.......16, 17 i Local News---- 13, 14 Markets.......... 19 ii:: Sports......... 10, 11 1^1, Theatres........... 7 :^ TV................ 6 Weather........... 3 Youth............. 8 LOW TONIGHT 0, HIGH FRI. IS; CLOUDY,COOL 31 persons killed Fierce winds batter English Channel ships Driver bailed out . . .fast EDMONTON (CP)-A Truck, stuck in ruts at a railway crossing, was carried 150 feet by a train Wednesday but its driver bailed out before the collision and escaped injury. The train, a CP Rail dayliner, was also damaged but its occupants were unharmed. Armand Dahlke, 19, driver of the truck, said he was trying to free the vehicle from the ruts on either side of the tracks when flashing warning lights went on. "It all hapened so fast ... I knew the train would hit it," he said. "I got out." Clyde Stanford, 30, who works at a business establishgment near the tracks, said at least 10 cars became stuck in the ruts Tuesday. He said one small car became stuck just as the warning lights flashed on and about six people jumped out of other cars to push the small car across the track. "They just pushed him out and the Dayliner whizzed by," said Mr. Stanford. "Boy, they sure go fast." DOVER, England (AP) -An English Channel storm with SO-foot waves and 100-mile-an-hour winds killed 31 persons today and left five others missing, authorities said. It was the channel's worst storm in 20 years. Searchers recovered the bodies of 16 crew members who had abandoned the Cypriot freighter Prosperity. The 2,088-ton ship ran aground on a reef near Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands. Two of the Prosperity's crew were still missing. Earlier reports said 20 crew members had abandoned ship. The Danish freighter Merc Enterprise sank off the southwest England coast, taking the lives of five persons and leaving three missing. Four of 11 survivors from the 781-ton ship were picked up by the Soviet trawler Leningrad. Helicopters rescued the others. The wife of the captain was one of those rescued. The 2,447-ton freighter Marta caught fire 10 miles off Ostend, Belgium, killing a seaman. The captain radioed first that it was impossible to launch lifeboats and later said he was heading for the Netherlands and no longer needed help. The fire apparently was under control. Ostend is about 70 miles east of Dover. Irrigation 'benefits^ discounted WASHINGTON (CP) - A major environmental statement- emphasizing the benefits to Canada of the $500-million Garrison irrigation project-was issued by the Interior department today and immediately found disfavor among Canadian experts. "It doesn't treat the impact on Canada in detail," one Canadian official said. "It plays up the increased supply of water to Canada and downplays the fact that it would be dirty water." wave, and with the federal situation being what it. is, there could be no better time than this within the next year or so to go to thie people. Mr. Lougheed may, of course, decide to go against the advaice and wait some months or even a year before calling a provincial election but, as a veteran Ottawpoliti-cian put it: "If you happen to be a gambling man put some money on the matter. The odds are that Albertans are going to go to the polls in February or March!" To win a resounding victory in Alberta at this time would certainly leave its impression on the federal Liberal government. Ottawa knows that Mr. Lougheed is a popular ntan back home, but staggering victories at the polls-as in the recent Liberal sweep of Quebec under Premier Robert Bourassa-tend to reinforce a provincial premier's influence in the federal capital. Socreds dreading early vote By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer The "solid Social Credit South" is heading into the party's annual convention badly shaken and fearful of a sudden election call by Premier Peter Lougheed. Riding the crest of a confrontation with Ottawa over energy, the Progressive Conservative premier has opposition MLAs predicting disaster for Social Credit in a March election. "If the premier called an election on energy, it would basically devastate the southern part of the province," Charlie Drain, MLA for Pincher Creek-Crowsnest, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.:: The Social Credit stronghold south of Calgary is represented by 10 Socred MLAs. There are no Conservatives. Six of the 10 Wednesday predicted varying degrees of trouble for the party in the south. It will be one topic hotly discussed at the convention in Calgary opening today. About 150 Southern Socred delegates are attending. To counter Progressive Conservative gains being encouraged by open friction between some Socred'MLAs and party leader Werner Schmidt, the MLAs and other delegates are uniting behind Mr. Schmidt in a display of party unity. Will support Schmidt All 10 said they did not believe a call for a leadership convention - would receive much support. They said they WjMild supjpiort Mr. Schmidt, who does not have a seat in the legislature, at least until the '^n^t election. iParty House Leader Bob Clark, who has been at odds with Mr. Schmidt, has told the Social Credit League's board of directors that he will not support any move for a leadership convention. "Our people are smart enough to know we can't stand another leadership convention," said Francis Porter, league president, in a telephone interview from Drumheller. Mr. Porter said major issues at the convention include revitalization of the party, energy and recent government legislation. Another issue to be discussed among about 500 delegates, if not out on the floor, will be Mr. Schmidt's piloting of the party since hfe surprisingly defeated Mr. Clark a year ago in a leadership race. If the premier were to call an election now, "he would just be trying to eliminate all the opposition," added Macleod MLA Leighton Buckwell. Mr. Buckwell said both Mr. Lougheed and Saskatchewan Premier Allan Blakeney are risking handing the Trudeau government an election issue on a gold platter. We deserve fair share He said it is right that Albertans should get a fair share of oil profits. *'But we're also Canadians. This Alberta-first sort of thing is fine for quite an appeal but other people say 'maybe Trudeau isn't all wrong.' We have to think of others too." "Lougheed is sure appealing to the public," said John Anderson, MLA for Lethbridge East. "I think it will be kind of disastrous for us unless Werner Schmidt is a lot more on the ball than he has had a chance to demonstrate so far." Mr. Anderson said Mr. Schmidt should be given a chance to show what he can do in an election. "It's anybody's guess as to what will happen because the decision (to call an election) will not be made on the basis of fact but on the basis of emotion," said former premier Harry Strom, who represents Cypress near Medicine Hat. "To suggest he (Lougheed) needs a mandate is foolish because we support him in principle," Mr. Strom said in a telephone interview from Edmonton. He said the only way to ease problems with the federal government is to sit down and talk to Ottawa. Ray Speaker, MLA for Little Bow, is predicting an election March 4 after the first ministers* conference on energy next week. "If Lougheed gets whipped in Ottawa and comes back crying for more support from Albertans, if he is ineffective and inept in the negotiations; he should be thrown out of office. It's one of the strongest points we have," he said. South VonU stay solid' "If he (Lougheed) were to call a quick election, he would do very well," said Dick Gruenwald, representing Lethbridge West. "I can't see the south staying as solid as it is now but the Socreds may pick up a seat or two in Edmonton." Mr. Gruenwald said solid blocs no longer reflected the thinking of the voters. "I would have to endorse the statement that the way things are sitting now, things don't look too good for Social Credit, " said Fred Mandeville, MLA for Bow Valley. "We'll have a real battle on our hands. "We could fight it on the grounds that we need a substantial opposition for good government. It's funny how you chahge, isn't it? When I was on the government side (before the Socred defeat by the Conservatives in 1971), I didn't think we needed an opposition." Mr. Mandeville does not see an election until June, 1975. Mr. Speaker and MLA's Doug Miller (Taber-Warner), Ted Hinman (Cardston) and Bill Wyse (Medicine Hat-Redcliffe) were all optimistic about the staying power of the party and its future in the south. Mr. Wyse Usted the constituencies now represented by himself, Mr. Strom (who is stepping down) and Fred Mandeville as being in good shape for Social Credit. "As far as the eastern portion of the south is concerned, we're just as strong as at the last election but I can't speak for the west." People may be frightened of "lopsided government" without an opposition, he added. Mr. Hinman, who is likely to step down as a candidate in the next election after 20 years in the legislature, said the party could hold "about even," including Calgary, with the southern part of the province. But he conceded it "might be a little worse" if the Con^rvatives called an election now.