Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 16, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE UTHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, July 16, 1973 EDITORIALS U.S. trade improves as dollar sinks Encouraging alcoholism Making alcohol more readily avail- able to minors is something about which a reservation was expressed in a recent editorial on the report of the provincial government's com- 1 mittee on beverage alcohol. ing children to be served alcoholic beverages in the company of their parents could be an encouragement of alcoholism, it was suggested. Reference was made in the editor- ial to the findings of Dr. Jorge Valles, director of the Alcoholism Treatment and Research Unit of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Houston, Texas, that the earlier the age at which an individual begins to drink the greater the possibility that he will become an alcoholic. Now there has come to hand further information that reinforces the concern about putting any stamp of approval on the use' of alcohol by children. A Los Angeles Times article re- ports that there are today 25 Alcoho- lics Anonymous groups in the Los Angeles area that are "young people oriented" compared to 12 last year and none five years ago. Dr. Morris Chafetz, director of the U.S. Nation- al Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse, is quoted as saying that it- is not uncommon to see severe alcohol problems in kids nine, 10 and 12 years old. He says too many parents approve of teen-age drinking and feel relieved their children use alcohol rather than drugs without realizing that alcohol is the most abused drug in the nation. Dr. does not think there will be any solution to the rising in- cidence of alcoholism until adults' take a long, hard look at how they use, and misuse, alcohol themselves. Children and young people emulate their parents for whom a party and drinking are synonymous and who give the impression that drinking is not only socially acceptable but nec- essary. Those who are serious about doing something to curb alcohol abuse must begin to consider how much their own example is a part of the problem. The exercise of some res- traint iii the serving and ingestion of alcoholic beverages might have a more salutary effect than lecturing or legislation. This could begin with' a morator- ium on cocktail hours under the sponsorship of governments and gov- ernment agencies. Let those who feel tha need or desire for alcoholic re- freshment prior to banquets' and meetings slip off to one of the out- lets to be found in abundance in al- most all communities and indulge themselves at their own expense. Gov- ernments have no business both fighting and encouraging alcoholism. Excellent performance The excitement of the RCMPs centenary celebrations in which the Queen called them "the greatest pol- ice force in the world" may have over-shadowed their successful cen- tenary-week arrest of 20 drug smug- glers and the discovery of pounds of hashish, with an estimated street value of million, in the greatest drug haul in B.C.'s history. Many months of painstaking inves- tigating was carried out by the U-S. Bureau of Narcotics before the drama was climaxed in the lonely waters off Quatsino Sound when the RCMP, in a rented fishboat, and the destroyer escort HMCS Mackenzie stopped the Gondola and the Marys- ville in one of the most suspense- packed arrests in modern history. The Canadian fishboat Gondola and the former U.S. minesweeper, Marysville, owned by San Francisco blue movie- maker Alexander Edward De Ren- zy, rendezvousing two miles offshore had been previously carefully ob- served by an air patrol prior to last week's pre-dawn arrests. The subsequent intensive five-day hashish hunt by the 13 man Cana- dian ground search force and the 20 RCMP officers described by Captain Curtis Usherwood as "the roughest search' I have ever been carried out through heavy rain, deep under- growth and steep terrain led to the discovery of the 24 plastic-bag-cache under logs and clumps of mud, 30 feet from the shoreline and five miles from the sea arrest. The 20 persons apprehended are charged with con- spiracy to possess hashish for the purpose of trafficking with 10 charged with importing narcotics. Drug arrests are always welcome, especially when offenders are bent on making million off Canadian teen- agers, while hooking them on a dam- aging habit difficult to break. The fact Edward de Renzy, 37, is in cus- tody brings added relief. Bringing an assignment of this magnitude to a successful conclusion is an outstanding accomplishment. It required .thorough research, min- ute detail, intense surveillance and perfect timing and the RCMP ex- celled in every one. ERIC NICOL Shape up, or else How to lose 20 pounds in a single week: stop wearing cast-iron undershorts. If you have not been wearing cast-iron undershorts, and you still weight over 200 pounds, then, sir, you may have a pro- blem. I say "sir" because it is we guys who have blundered into summer without ing 19 for the season. For months the newspapers have been raring ads and features aimed at women and keyed to "Are you ready to look good in your Nobody, apparently, gives a damn how we men look in our bikini. We are allowed to let it all hang out, waddling onto the beach and wonder- ing why the surf recoils nervously. The ads directed at men have been ex- clusively concerned with baldness. It mat- ters not that our body profile looks more at home floating over the Rose Bowl, so long S3 the ladies are cot blinded by sun glare off the pate. As a result, on the beaches this summer the male sex is represented by faultlessly- wigged plugs for Goodyear. Many of these toupeed blimps are young men. They appear to be blissfully unaware that their bikinis are overblown around toe aialL In contrast, we hardly ever see a fat young woman trundling after her beach- ball. Atooe, that is. Today the fat woman is invariably accompanied by her fat bus- band and their chubby young. When the female surrenders to the calories, she maker, sure that she takes the whole fam- ily wiia her. More commonly we find woman to be sleek, fit. battle-ready. Liberated from the lard bucket Sex noivobject, yet fiercely responsive to the man who indicates that the first thing he notices about her was her equal rights. 'Are we, the men, physically prepared for that challenge? Cast your gaze across the tennis court, the swimming pools, the golf courses, and you sadly conclude: no weigh. We gcrmless blobs, ridiculously satisfied so long as the gum in our hair-piece doesn't melt, stand about like monuments to the avocado. We still fail to recognize the significance of those housewives we saw last spring, jogging around the parks, running in packs, and smiling, smiling, smiling in the knowledge that they would overcome. Is it too late, men? Too late to burn the martini lunches, to regain the svelte figure of these who think mink? Have we missed our chance to have women look at us as a dreamboat rather than a garbage scow? Well, frankly, yes. We've blown it for this summer, at least. We must learn to see ourselves as vic- tims of female bondage, as exploited by the master slave relationship that keeps us toiling over a hoi desk while the wife is making it with her golf pro. Sucking in the paunch is no substitute for a man's gut resentment of being den- ied motherhood, relatively longer life, and first crack at the lifeboat Meantime, my fat fellows, I suggest you adopt a shapeless, all-enveloping garment like a mtra-muo, remain seated as much as possible, and go swimming only at right. Happiness is watching Frank Can- non. IVetc kind of club By Dong Walker Shortly before Father's Day too close for it 10 have any influence this year I thought I reported that my .golfing cronies Jim Rae and Fern Bouchard had bMi primed their respective families to give tbcm golfing accessories. When my casually asked what I still lacked, 1 mentioned one or two ttaigs including a sand wedge. Much to my surprise I say it truth- fully I was given a sand wedge on Fatiicr'5 Day, It is amazing that Elspc-th was able to find s clerk v.ho -what she wanted in telling fnends about my gift she called tf a "sandwich.' By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator MONTREAL Europe's mo- netary officials spent last week urging the United States to "do something" to stop the fall of the American dollar in interna- tional currency markets. They're afraid the "crisis" will lead to a serious international recession. In tiie last two years, the dol- lar has lost close to one third of its value relative to the- German mark and the Japan- ese yen. Last week it dropped so fast that the head cf the Swiss national bank said the situation was "completely out of control" and chastized the Americans for "watching idly" as its dollar sank. Meanwhile, in Washington, senior Treasury official Paul Volker ruled out any new for- mal devaluation of the dollar. In view of the panicky nature of the situation, it may be help- ful to clarify a few points! 1. Why is the dollar falling? 2. Should the Americans "d o 3. How does it all affect Canada? Until August 1971, virtually every currency in the world had an arbitrarily fixed value rela- tionship to the U.S. dollar. When the Americans severed the link between their money and gold, everyone was forced to allow supply and demand in the mar- ketplace to set the value for their currencies. Many countries resisted this approach. For the past two years, those nations which re- fused to float their currencies, have had periodically to reva- lue them against the U.S. dol- lar. Rogue elephants and wage price controls By Brace Whitestone, syndicated commentator Several years ago, the French government attempted to bring representatives of gov- ernment, industry, labor and agriculture into an agreement on a wage and price control policy. The conference fail-ad but, for itself and similar ef- forts elsewhere, it earned a handy name: "the dialogue of the deaf5. As the United States con- tinues to grope for a successful anti inflation program after having tried and abandoned three "phases" in less than two years, sonre in Canada ap- pear to be advocating 'an in- comes policy to control wages and prices. For twenty five years, Europeans have been trying to do the same thing. Their record does not augur well for Canadian advocates of wages and price control but at least Canada has a chance to learn from Europe's errors. The most obvious lesson to be drawn from the experience of others and the reason we should hope that Canadian poli- ticians will resist short term popularity by advocating such controls, is that wage and price restraints do not cure in- flation: by and large, they only suppress or restrain it. After all, rising prices and wages are the result of inflation not the On the Hill By Joe Clark, MP for Rocky Mountain If old King John watches Canada's Parliament, he would have worn a satisfied smile the other night He was the English King who was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, which gave the first Parliament its first power. The issue was money. The Kings' treasury was empty, and the lords of England made a deal they agreed to give nun funds if he would give them some control over the way the money was spent That was the beginning of Parliament and Parliaments' basic power has always been that it could control the spend- ing of Kings or government. Tuesday night, June 26, 1973, Canada's Parliament tost a lit- tle of that power. The loss began a few years ago, with a change in the rules, designed to make Parliament "more efficient" Before that change, Parlia- ment met in "committee of the whole'' to duscuss the spending plans of government That meant the whole Parliament in- terrupted its regular business, so that each MP could scrutin- ize each proposed expenditure. If enough MPs disagreed, they could vote an expenditure down. That took more time than Parliament couW afford. So the scrutiny of spending was "farmed cuT lo various com- mittees of Parliament. When h" chose his committees, each 35P also chose what spending he would scrutinize. It was always the understand- ing that a handful of spending proposals could be brought back to Parliament as a whole. One way was to use what is called an "opposed vote." meant that on MP ctrald .specify his intention to oppose a particular spending proposal, in Parliament. That's what happened In June. Seven MPs indicated an intention to "oppose" certain votes. (For convenience sake, we all did it in the name of one MP, Erik Nielsen, of the Yukon.) I was one of the seven. The vote I opposed was in the Parks department I wanted to cut million off the budget for consultants' fees at least until the government agreed to publish all the reports which consultants prepare. Otbas opposed spending on Information Canada, or on the secret security branch set up by the solicitor general, or some spending of the CBC. In former, times, it was pos- sible to specify a particular sum like the million bud- geted for parte' consultants and "special services." When the rules were changed, it was intended to protect that right to specify. However, every rate is sub- ject to interpretation. The gov- ernmeDt interpreted the new ruJes to say, in effect, that if you oppose a single vote, yon oppose tile whole budget. In other words, the only way I could get at consultants wouM be to vote against tbe whole budget of the parks department That would have been irres- ponsible. an MP is kft with a Hob- sons' choice between being irresponsiWe and being powcr- That goes against the found- ing spirit of Parliament and a number of MPs are deter- mined to redefine the rules, to protect Parliament's right to control expenditures. For the time being, however, In? government has turned Par- liament backwards, towards (he days of old King John. cause of inflation. They reg- ister the effects of inflation just like the thermometer rec- ords the degree of heat. Throw- ing out the thermometer does cot change the temperature any more than suppressing price changes reduces infla- tion. A control mechanism retains a price situation in place that may or may not be appropri- ate, even if there were no in- flationary pressures to con- stantly change prices. Infla- tion exerts different pressures, on various items and this, plus supply and demand changes, anises price and wage shifts. Hence, a rigid wage and price control system erodes after a short time and then crumbles entirely under the explosive outbreaks of inflation. AQ of this is true but it is not the end of the story. Though they should know bet-' ter, some kesp going back to an incomes policy. Price and wage controls are tried or ado- .vocated with discouraging fre- quency. Scandanavian coun- tries, The Netherlands, France and, more recently, the United States keep hoping that con- tols wfll do some good. Does the record justify this confidence? Tbe most that can be said is that price and wage controls may work for short sprints rather than a long race and that they were better suit- ed to deal with short term emergencies, like temporary balance of payments problems of wars, than with persistent inflationary pressures. Wage and price controls can be effective, even temporarily, only if there is a fair degree of co-operation by unions as well as residual legal clout, compulsion. Also, you cannot have a wage policy without a sweeping consensus. Probably this could only be achieved if profits were controlled too. If profits are allowed to proceed unchecked, unions are inclined to believe that they are being cheated. (Unless unions see that everybody's ox is teing gored, the wage policy is likely to blow up.) If profits are con- trolled, the entire process of investment and entrepreneur- sfcio will not be able to operate. Further, the "rogue e'e- pihart" principle tends to wreck control programs. Some unions or companies wfll not stay in line or will try to ex- ceed guidelines. You cannot ex- others to stay in line un- irss you discipline the "rogue elephant" You either do this or be prepared 1o see the en- tire program collapse. Al? of this is illustrated by events in the U.K. In tbe mid 1960s, Brilain, deeply worried about Its balance of payments portion, Jnroosed a complete freeze in It was totally effective anfl even popular; >be public felt lhat rough justice was being ap- plied. In the next six months, Britain switched to a policy of "severe restraint" with its prices and incomes board maintaining a "zero norm" for wage increases but 'granting some minor exceptions. For the full year of tight controls, wage rates were held to a 2.S per cent gain and retail prices climbed only 2.5 per cent The trouble began in July 1967, -when Britain made an- other switch to a policy of The prices and incomes board retained its zero norm but exceptions became more frequent The' rogue ele- phants joined the parade and then started to lead the march. As the list of exceptions grew longer, the British public lost its sense that rough justice was being done. Wage boosts began running to 9 per cent on an annual basis and with a na- tional election looming, the government allowed its and price control to lapse. British unions later charged that the government handled the job badly, splitting re- sponsibility between a number of government agencies. The unions also claimed that the economic forecast on wfuch tbe guidelines were based showed a consistently conserv- ative bias so that labor was being short changed to the benefit of corporate profits. The same criticism cropped up in Sweden, The Netherlands and Germany in the 1960s caus- ing labor to balk at pleas for self-restraint in the public in. terest In many countries, management has claimed that wage increases nave been con- sistently on the inflationary side wnDe the government has sat on price increases by in- dustry. The result was a sharp squeeze on profits. It appears that wage and price controls are ineffective and provide only temporary popularity as they enable tbe government to appear "to be doing something about infla- tion." Such a policy can only buy time, time for inflationary pressures to be moderated by the only real means at hand: cutting back on spending and curtailing tbe ex- cessive increases in supply. Since the disintegration of the last major realignment sever- al months ago, the weakness of the American dollar has been variously attributed to the fai- lure of the Americans to deal effectively with their inflation, to the Watergate scandal, and more recently simply to tional and panicky market psy- chology." While these factors have un- doubtedly played their part in causing people to. lose confi- dence in the ability of the U.S. to lead the world, currency traders very q.uickly absorb such events, and after an ini- tial flurry in tbe marketplace, discount them. Watergate at all can really no longer be blamed for the sinking Ameri- can dollar. The thing that convinced the Americans in the first place that they had to sever (he link between dollars and gold was the fact that there were far more dollars floating around than the U.S. could cover in gold. The original lack of con- fidence two years ago arose be- cause so many holders of dol- lars worried that the U.S. wouldn't be able to pay off all it owed. That "overhang" of dollars that foreigners keep accumula- ting but don't want to hold has not gotten smaller. Indeed re- cent estimates are that it has gotten significantly larger. One U.S. economic consulting firm estimates that tbe dollar glut has doubled since 1970, with for- eign governments and busines- ses now holding billion, compared to the billion they held three years ago. There is no way the U.S. dollar problem will be perma- nently solved until this surplus supply of dollars is dealt with- it must be gotten rid of in some organized way. The suggestion that the U.S. prop up its flagging currency is basically a pipe dream. The reason the Americans severed tbe gold-dollar relationship was that they felt their doHar was overpriced, making their ex- ports too expensive to be com- petitive internationally. The Americans bad (and still have) a huge balance of payments deficit they have bought more than they have sold. The cheaper their de-Bar becomes abroad, the cheaper their goods and services the more they are able to selL Even since -the beginning of the year, the American trade position has improved a great deal. It will continue to improve as the dollar sinks in value. In deed, if the Americans contin- ue -their "benign neglect" ap- proach, they may very wefl have a huge trade surplus be- fore long. And that's what they've always wanted. At this point, it is indeed like- ly that tbe U.S. dollar is un- derpriced. But it is equally un- likely that the Americans wiH move to stop the decline until their payments position is more secure. As for Canada, the Canadian dollar has been lock stepped with the U.S. dollar, plummet- ting to new lows along with it. We have not had the advan- tage out of the decline that tbe Americans have had, becauv the bulk of our trade is with the U.S., and our currencies have maintained almost tbe same value. Canada has never wanted tbe American dollar to weaken against the Canadian, simply because when our dollar is at a premium, it's harder to.sell our goods to them. But now the danger of tire Canadian dol- lar rising to a premium seems to have passed, as our own bal- ance of trade continues to de- teriorate. There is now every likelihood that the Canadian dollar will fall relative to the American. And that's what we've wanted all along. 'Crazy Capers' I'm not going to be beaten by a neck any more.' The Lethbridge Herald 7th SL S., tetbbfldge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Pubtttbed IMS-ISM, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Stems OMB MM ftvffivtrMfiov) wo. 0nz CtnMm Prat and the Cancdjm Dally Ntwspqpw AcvKMFkM 9flf fMl AvCftf SiTWM OTdfliflom CLEO W MOWERS, Editor M PiWMMr THOMAS H. ADAMS, Mwwgcr BON PflLUNO WILLIAM MAY Mcniuflng Ednar Aswdgtt Editor TOY M1L6S OOWLA4 K. tOlana THE HRA1D MRVES 1ME SOUTH'