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Lethbridge Herald {Newspaper} - 1974-01-30,Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THI LiTHlRlOat HEIIALD-Wedwedey, Jmmwt *>< America emerges strong By Joiepl» Krafl, »yndicated commwutor Prophets on profits This year the American-based oil multi-nationals are having to cry all the way to the bank. Their problem is an embarrassing surfeit of profits at a time when the American public is enduring the effects of shortages and rising prices and making personal concessions to the energy crisis which may even include losing jobs.    , . In New York, Exxon called a press conference to announce its 1973 earnings. It has never done this before, but then it has never earned as much money beforeShell has started an extensive advertising campaign and Standard Oil of Indiana is making its officials available for speeches and TV interviews - all in the interest of explaining profits. Exxon’s profits for 1973 were nearly 60 per cent greater than those of last year. Earnings for Mobil Oil, Union, Cities Service, Texaco and Standard of Ohio increased from 45 to 55 per cent. (As usual, profit increases of Canadian oil companies were somewhat lower. Earnings for Imperial, Canadian subsidiary of Exxon, rose 44 per cent and thos% of Texaco Canada Ltd. were up 43 per cent).    ,. . Answers being given for this increase vary from company to company. One points out that it had a one-time gain simply because of the devaluation of the dollar in 1973 and that much of its profits came from its chemical operations. Others argue that appearances are deceptive, that return on assets is a better indication than profits, and that the average rates of return on assets for oil in 1973 are 12 to 14 per cent. Some oil executives are crying foul and declaring that extremist elements are trying to destroy (read nationalize) the industry. All of them will stress the amount of money they are spending for exploration. The Wall Street Journal says that most of them are emphasizing that they big profit gains are coming from outside ^ United States. This will not endear them abroad, or even in Ottawa, and raises some speculation about what they are saying in Tokyo, Bonn, Pans and London.    _ Throughout the past year, as it became evident that the oil companies were indeed having a bountiful harvest of profits, one of the arguments rais^ has been that 1972 was a bad year and bound to make 1973 look good by comparison. To some extent this is true. Profits per share for five of the 16 companies, including Gulf, were down substantially in 1972. However, the other 11, including Exxon, had higher profits in im than they had had the previous year. Although few firm predictions can be made for 1974, it can safely be said that the public is going to hear a great deal from the oil companies in the next few months about evaluating profits. Oil is a capital-intensive, high-risk business in which reasonable prcfits are essential for survival, in the long run. Yet they are the most uncontrollable factor in the industry. They are simply what happens to be left over, if anythmg, after aU the expenses are paid. They therefore fluctuate wildly. When they go down, the consuming public dwsn t notice. But in years of windf aU profits in some segments of the industry, such as last year, they are fair game for political criticism. What the companies will say in their defence, in the publicity campaigns now being mounted, will not necessarily be the whole truth, but it should be heard. After all, even the worst criminal is entitled to a defence before he is convicted. The United Stales is emerging from the latest crisis in the Middle East as by far the greatest power In the world. But not because this country is an arrogant, imperialistic miliary colossus. On the contrary, the source of American primacy is economic strength, organHing ability and inner balance. So it .behooves us, especially now, to bury completely the fooUsh military Impulses which made for Vietnam in favor of constructive multilateral approaches in keeping with our true national genius. The most impressive mark of American ascendency is the Israeli'Egyptian agreement to disengage forces around the Suez Canal. That accord was negotiated by Henry Kissinger in the most visible way. The success was announced simultaneously In Cairo, Jerusalem and Wa^ington.    . The Russians, despite billions of economic and military aid to Cairo and a steady build-up of the Mediterranean fleet, counted for nothing. Neither did the French or the British who have been trying to get the inside track wiOi Eg^t and other Arab states by jumping on Israel. But why were the Egyptians so ready to do that for Dr. Kissinger? Basically, becau» President Anwar Sadat wants to have friendly relations with the United States. He rightly mistrusts the Russians with their heavy political hand. He wants no part of European coloidalism. But he and m^t Egyptians want the goods, credits, educational opportunities and associated with the United States. So he positively m-sisted that the disengagement accord be made.4n America. Some identification needed American military power, of course, had something to do with the accord. The nuclear deterrent and the Sixth Fleet fill out the background of whatever secret understanding was given to Israel. But Dr. Kissinger's major asset in getting the Israelis to withdraw unilaterally from Suez was a promise by the EeypUans that they would open the canal and rebuild the bordering cities in ways wholly inconsistent with a resumption of hostilities. Equally striking signs of American preeminence arise from the international oil crisis. That supposed superpower, Japan, has been knocked for a loop, Britain, France and West Germany are already breathing very hard. Apart from prostrating themselves before the colonels and sheiks, these countries seem even devoid of ideas for meeting the crisis. By contrast, the United States is in relatively go^ shape. We are only marginally dependent upon the Persian Gulf for oil supplies. We have enough possibilities in coal, oil shale and nuclear power to make credible a threat 'to become self-sufficient m energy. Moreover, we have not been bankrupted morally or intellectually by the action of Üie oil producers in curtailing supplies and raising prices through the roof, American officials have developed ideas, some of them broached by Secretary of State Kissinger, for joint management of the oil problem by producing and consuming I countries. Secretary of the Treasury, George Shultz had the guts to stand up at the International Monetary Fund meeting in Rome last week and tell títe Arabs they had raised prices to the point where international currency stalHlity had become “"unmanageable.” What all this means is not that the UnlteÜ States is sitting pretty and can afford to go it alrtie. On the contranf. given the holdings of major American companies abroad, recessions In Europe and Japan would do terrible damage to the economy of this country. Moreover, the quality of American life - particularly for thi^ of us who value the things of the mind — would be sadly diminished by an American divorce from Europe.    . Neither does it mean that the United States can let down its guard in defence. Given the way the Russians behave, and the run-down in American military stocks over the past few years, there is a powerful case for a big increase in defence spending this year. But the United States does not have to flex its muscles in a brutal way to count around the world. This country can get by without the terror tactics Presidents Johnson , and Nixon felt obliged to apply m Vietnam. The logic of American sü-ength is that it needs to be applied with discrimination and delicacy. It makes sense for the United States to look to economic measures, much more than to gunboat diplomacy. It Is to our advantage to work through multilateral Oi^anizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. For the United States is so preponderant that when it does throw its weight around, destructive nationalism is stimulated even in friendly countries. A lack of precision Students coaxing balky motors are sometimes late for class winter mornings. Urging motors to respond is not always successful and on these occasions students are iaced with being short of time^, especially those heading for the U til L on the west side of the coulee. Some drivers, headed tor the university, who stop to oiler pedestrians rides have been surprised to learn their particular passenger wasn’t heading for the U of L alter ail, but was going to Fort Macieod or other somewhere else. The motorist then has no alternative but to drop off his short-term passenger near the Oldman River overpass, at the university cut-off — a most inconvenient spot to wait for another ride. For this reason it has been suggested that students needing rides wear some sort ol identification — the letters U of L, !or instance — easily distinguishable to motorists headmg for the west-side cam pus. In this way they wouldn’t be stopping unnecessarily or having to embarrass a passenger by putting him out on the city's outskirts.    , Hitch-hiking in Uthbridge violates Section 10 of the city's traffic bylaw which stipulates, “No person shall stand upon or walk along a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride fromJme driver of any private vehicle." This means pedestrians are restricted to walking on sidewalks or on service roads, such as that skirting Scenic Drive and are forbidden to put their thumb up. But there is nothing to hinder considerate motorists stopping to pick up those obviously hurrying to get somewhere fast who don't raise their the university colors of blue and gold or the letters U OF L would eliminate the guess-work on the motorist’s part. Turner’s forecast unreal By Dian Cohen, syndicated columnist MONTREAL - John Turner seems finally to have got the'message that 1974 is going to be a lousy year for the economy. But he keeps hanging on to those rosy forecasts his Consumers will spend more than they did last year, but not much more. Housing starts will be down mainly because houses are getting too expensive to build or buy. With a decline in the growth of new those rosy forecasts nis a«.»»«: u*    - year jfter year if the unemployment rate is not to rise. Turner has consistently refused to say what he and his advisers think the jobless rate will be in 1974. If a mark of the good philosopher li the art of making distinctions, then Professor Michael Kurbara scores rather badly in his letter. My article made it clear that 1 defined literacy in two senses. Kubara asserts that I faUed to define it at all. There was noUiing vague m my analysis except for a reader who needs an etemen-tary spellitkg-out of details. Any competent reader would have seen that there is a real difference between the minimal ability to read and write and sound use of the skills of reading and writmg. And here we are not concerned so much with the ability to take words from a page or to put them on paper as with the capacity for real thought and a sensitive response to language. This point has nothing to do with native intelligence; for who but a prig woukI look down upon others on this ground? The real point is that modem world, saturated in superstitions and cliches which paralyse thmight and cripple expression, does despise the “illiterate peasant.” It does muddle peoples’ minds to the point where they vaguely accept the notion that there are no stM-dards by which we can discriminate between the good and bad novel, the inane ‘pop song and the immortal poem, the eloquent phrase and the unquestioned shibboleth. The schooled mind is filled with substitutes for Uiought, such as ‘evolution’, ‘progress , ‘up-to-date’, ‘scientific proof’ and other unexamined dogmas of modernity. And “philosophers” have contributed more than mwt groups to this confusion. The Spanish peasant who loves music and song, who knows that he owes his life to a Creator, but who cannot read and write, is despised by those who regard mass-schooling with superstitious awe. Kubara thinks my word “worship” is too strong to describe the modem attttude to mere schooling. It may ^ 1 know there are many other deities m the modem pantheon. including tiie 'scientific method*, manor, and bigness, all of them substitutes for that devotion which sophistical professors (who, unlike ' SoCTates, Plato and Anstotle, do not acknowledge wiidom as their goal), have done so much to destroy. , ^ I did not use the word -“vulgar” in my essay. It Is the people (vulgus) Whose cau^ I. . think we should uphold, against the snobbishness of certification and narrow acadaemia. And here K^ra again misses the point. Poets did not merely “make art out of pastoral peasants (a phrase which exemplifies a looseness of style),; the -peasants Uiemselvea had their Swn poetry; a living meech, rather free of dull ciidies. Precision is essential in . good writing. My carrfully qualified statements are tu^ ed into sweeping ones by Kubara. Thus, my sentence “There Is good reawn to . believe... which hicludw the phrases “in both senses’ and “many high school graduates” {not all or even the great majority) is reduced to a ‘flat statement’ witlwut qualification. Most of the arti- , cle provided reasons for this assertion.    „ ^ ' More seriously, Kubara distorts my statement “it is certain that denials by professional ‘educators' that Standards of literacy'have been falling in CaMda may be regarded as their own peculiar myopia” (a statement for which 1 provided or indicated a massive range, of evidence) into a suggestion that “educators complacently ^ deny that we should try to ; make students more literate than we do now” and so, ^ Kubara can simply state no reasons are given. The denials I referred to are^ of -course, those emanating from faculties of education. Kulara demonstrates either slipshod” reading or convenient misrepresentation. Either possibility raises some graved i issues.    . Space forbids-further-;, analysis, but phrases like “arguments for these theses are prejudicial”, sentimental stereotypes like “forgive and forget’^ and others, uidicate a lack of precision where we are entitled to expect lt._' PETER HUNT , Lethbridge Bad comparison By Doug Walker One thing you can say about our family -unflattering remarks are not made beiiina each other's back, they are made right out in the open. The other night Paul’s appearance was being discussed and Judi gave the opimon that he looked a Uttle less of a dolt than he ^ to. “He’s improving all right, said W* loving mother. “He’s be^nning to look like Ids Aunt Marion.”    __ “Poor Aunt Marion!” exclaimed brother Keith. his old speeches. At the federal-provincial finance ministers’ meeting held in Ottawa, as soon as the first ministers finished their kaffee-klatch, Turner said that rising fuel prices will slow the growth of exports because foreign customers will not have the cash to increase their demand for our products. Very good. That’s been apparent for weeks. What is less apparent is how Turner can continue to predict “substantial real growth in the economy this year,” Turner is fond of saying that things are relative. “Substantial” is relative too. The fact ia that this years’ buying as many sofas, beds, washing machines, and other household goods as they otherwise would. Besides, many consumers stocked up on big ticket items last year because thqr knew prices would continue to go up. In a sense, a lot of the shopping they did last year was borrowed from this year. The fact is that even before ENERGY, the Canadian outlook was for slowdown. Tumer^s comments last we^ imply that “substantial growth” is something less than a five and a half per cent increase in our gross national product. Others are less timid. If tiie economy grows by four per cent tlus year, and if the productivity of every employed worker rises by two per cent, then total employment will grow by about two per cent. But the labor force is expected to grow by a little over three per cent. That means that one per cent of the expected labor force in 1974 will probably not find jobs. Add this extra per cent to the average jobless rate in 1973, and the project^ unemployment rate for this year is 6.7 per cent. It would perhaps have been more appropriate had the Oxfam aids Ethiopia 1 " TT,*.'hVtTq that this vears’ Five and a half per cent is    more approprmi« «JSnJ^??<ilo«Soinra    only Canada’s long-term    finance minister said ^ere thi SeS sSioS potential growth rate. It is tte    would be substantial growth m laid on me gy    achieved    unemployment, alone. The finance ministers’ conference at the end of last week was badly tim<J. Ottawa has to settle pricing and policies regarding oil before it can know how much money it has to play with. With nothing settled at the energy conference, there was no chance the provinces would get any money. The day of decisions has been postponed until the end of ^rch. The day after the end of March is April Fool’s Day. Books in brief The full effects of the drought in the E^st African nation of Ethiopia are still not known. Agricultural production has been cut 50 per in the stricken areas. Livestock losses are massive. Two million farmers and herdsmen and their families are directly affected. The United Nations now estimates that 150,000 have perished of starvation and disease. The next harvest is not due until December 1974. , Conditions are improving only relatively. The government of Ethiopia has undertaken grain distribution programs. V^le 10-12,000 people remain in 13 relief camps, they are now being returned to their home villages as rapidly as they regain their strength. The camps are being cleaned and are less crowded. Typhus is under control. Still, some 30 people die daily just in the iamps. And OXFAM field reports state that serious food shortages remain a grave general concern. Transport is the crucial problem because of the lack of branch roads into the rugged interior. Here, unknown numbers of famine victims are stranded - too undernourished and ill to trek out. OXFAM’s medical team is able to reach some of these people by landrover. (Ethiopia, with a population of 24 million, has only 40 Ethiopian medical doctors!) Food, made available by, the Canadian and other governments through UNICEF and the Ethiopian Nutrition Institute, must be transported by truck as far as possible into the interior. Then teams of Ethiopian students must trek it by mule to the many remote villages. Evidently this operation is just getting underway! OXFAM is striving to play an increasingly dynamic role in effective relief distribution. However, although OXFAM financial assistance has now passed (Canadian I) 300,000, this does not provide sufficient leverage to stimulate dramatic combined relief and long-term development operations by the EUiioplan government. Western Canadians who have not yet been able to respond to OXFAM’s urgent appeal for funds are urged to do so now. Cheques and money-orders should be made out to OXFAM-Canada (Ethiopia) and mailed to OXFAM, Box 12,000 in Calgary, Official receipts will' be provided,    ' GRANT ROWAN Western Region Director, Oxfam Winnipeg. “Braves and Buffalo”. Plains lodlaii Life in 1*37” Watercolors of Alfred J. Miller (University of Toronto Press, m pages. *15.00). Commissioned by Liverpool’s Alexander Brown in the early 1800s, Miller captures eariy Indian through a painter’s eye. Miller’s own notes accompany each painting which are now in the Canadian Public Archives. It is odd that a man who could capture the majesty and pride of a people like Miller should hold them in such disregard to state "... An Indian’s life is nearly worthless to anyone but himself ■ ■” The 41 pictures range from a free-roamin* type of picture to an oat of character geometrical sketch of Fort Uramie. Perhaps the best of the collection sre two beautifal works entitled A Recomnoitr« and Approaching Baflato.    ^ GARRY ALUSON Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are re-i quired even when the letter is tc appear over a pseudonym); they are sensible and not libelous; they are of manageable length or can be shortened (normally, letters should not exceed 300 words); they are decipherable (it greatly helps if letters are typed, double spaced and with margins); writers do not subhitt letters too frequently. The Uthbridge Herald S04 7th SI S Ltìtìbridge,    , LETHSfilOQE HÊRALD CO LTD ProprlWor* «ru) PuWistWfl Socönd CI*M Miti Re«l»tratlOfl Nû 0012 DON H PILLINO Managing EdKOr CLEO MOWEflS, Edilor «na PublitMr DONALD R. DORAM Q«n«ral Managw WOYf MILES AdvarlisinD Utntgw DOUÛLA9 K WALKt« Editorial Pa«« Editor ROBERT M. FENTON CirentatKj« Mai^agw KÉNWETH E BAWNETT Bu»n«ssManag«r ..jHE herald serves the SOUTH” ;