Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 24, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERA1D Friday, July K 1970 David Humphreys Britain's Dock Strike Serious Setback Kiesinger Refuses The refusal of the Christian Demo- cratic opposition in the Bundestag to send a delegate with Foreign Minis- ter Walter Scheel to next week's Moscow meetings is a bitter blow to Chancellor Willy Brandt's hopes for a Russo German political settlement. Ever since the inception of the fed- eral republic 21 years ago, it has been traditional for opposition par- ties to join in presenting a common front on questions of vital national interest. 0 p p o s i t i on leader Kurt George Kiesinger, bitterly opposed to Brandt's policy of maintaining the status quo in regard to West Berlin and the present border lines, will have no part of such accommodation with the Russians. Chancellor Brandt is prepared to accept the Oder Neisse demarca- tion line as Poland's frontier and the Elbe as the dividing line between the two German states. This would in fact, mean that Germany would re- main divided in the foreseeable fu- ture. In return for this acceptance the West Germans would at t h e very least expect to be given assurances of more secure access to West Ber- and greater improved conditions for rapport between Berliners and East Germans. If agreement were reached with the Russians it would give a great life to NATO hopes for a mutual troop thin-put in Europe. The Warsaw Pact nations have already shown signs of willingness to discuss such a thin-out. The International Herald Tribune remarks that "for the first time since 1945 all the elements of a Eur- opean settlement are within negoti- ating range." It would be tragic if West German internal politics were to ruin oppor- tunities for an eventual settlement of the problem which has embittered East West European relations for nearly 25 years. The great hope is that the Warsaw Pact nations and the Russians are sufficiently eager to find a basis for agreement that they will offer mild terms in answer to West German concessions. If they are attract i v e enough Mr. Kiesinger and his Chris- tian Democrats might be forced to tone down their forthright opposition. If not, Willy Brandt's 12 member ma- jority could be overruled and the pro- spective settlement plan lolled in in- fancy. CONDON: It is only two years since the call stands disappeared from the changing scene of Britan's dockland. When an employer wanted a job done he went down to the call stand at 8 o'clock and pick- ed out the men for his job from Uie dockers available. His eye fixed on the same reliable workers every time. These men became known as the "blue-eyed boys" of the docks, those who could expect regular work under a system based on piece work and men were paid by the ton moved. Although in recent years a scheme ensured some pay to all registered dockers, freeing them from the complete mercy of the vagaries of employers and conditions, change lias been painful. Suspicions and mistrust have gathered over Uie years. The present potentially-disas- trous national dock strike, the first since the general strike of 1926, is the most serious snag in the process of modernization which has been in process for four years. Government, unions and employers have realized that modernization must be put into effect but differences about methods have slowed or stalled the process. Suddenly, all three parties find themselves behind the eight-ball. All, and indeed, the whole country, have high stakes in the strike. Exports worth million a day pile up unmoved or are lost, soon putting the country's trading position back. Coincidentally, exports also worth about million go lo Canada in a month. The first two days of the" strike dramatically illustrated this country's utter dependence on trading for survival. The government, unions and man- acement all admit the potential harm. The cabinet moved swiftly to declare a state of emergency so that powers would be avail- able, if needed, to call in troops to move essential supplies and to control prices. So swiftly, hi fact, that the Queen had been back in Buckingham Palace from her Manitoba visit only a few minutes when she presided Leftist Peace Makers Much of the trouble at the chaotic UN World Youth Assembly was Communist inspired. As a forum for discussion of world problems the As- sembly got exactly nowhere, and al- though some of the disruption could be put down to youthful hot headed- ness, most of it must be attributed to far-left political propaganda coach- ing from regular delegates of Com- munist countries. The Associated Press reports that at the Peace Commission, probably the most important discussion group at the sessions, a Palestinian Arab was elected chairman, and the'other representatives came from East Ger- many, Cuba, Mali, and Pakistan hardly a fair political balance. Re- ports also indicate that the delegates from Communist countries were far above the 25 year age limit suggest- ed by UN planners. It' sounds like a calculated disrup- tive effort by the Communists and it succeeded. Under these circum- stances it will be a long time be- fore non Communist governments and private sources will be willing to subsidize another such Assembly. Eliminating Frenglisli A recent letter in The Herald from Professor Gaston Renaud pointed out the sort of abomination that results when English is given a slight French cast and passed off as the genuine thing. His objection was to the supposedly French part of a bilingual sign at Waterton Lakes Na- tional Park. This sort of sloppy French was doubtless exported from Quebec but that does not really excuse its use. North American technology has tended to overwhelm French-speak- ing Canadians. As new gadgets have appeared there has been little choice but to call them by their English name. Canadian French thus ac- cording to an editorial in The Finan- cial Post is "infested" with such "clangers" as "checkez les tires" and "changez le fan belt." Premier Robert Bourassa has ap- pealed to Quebec business leaders to support the program of French The fact is that a major attempt is being made in Quebec to eliminate hours. The Frenglish. A substantial increase in the bud- get of the Quebec government's Of- fice de la langue Frahcaise was re- cently made. It has' the responsibil- ity for promoting and improving the use of French in that province. Office de la langue Francaise will provide assistance in the develop- ment of a French technical vocabu- lary in any field. It appears that the Federal govern- ment should avail itself of this as- sistance at least in preparing signs for the national parks. "Just the White Paper you fools just the White over a Privy Council meeting to proclaim the emergency. The government was elected on an undertaking to control the price spiral and it is watch- ing sensitively for any unjusti- fied price increases. It is also reluctant to use the troops un- less absolutely necessary, par- ticularly dining Uie early stages of the strike, when they might prejudice a settlement. Anxious as the government is to see the strike settled, Robert Carr, the minister of employment and productivity, has been strictly neutral, at- tempting first to defer the strike but, once it began, re- maining available but not forcing the pace. Unfortunately the pace has been almost nothing with both sides miles apart. The National Association of Port Employers refuses lo talk while the strike is on and the Transport and General Workers' Union, largest involved, insists that talks must be on the basic wage. Tile basic wage is pe'r week, which the union wants raised to or 80 par cent. But no docker has received the basic wage for years. Even the "fallback pay" guaranteed when regular work is1 inter- rupted is a week and in London. And the average British docker, earns about per week. All these rates are dol- lar equivalents of the rates in sterling, and allowances must be made for a lower cost of living. The employers refuse to talk about raising the basic pay because it is used only to calculate overtime and various other payments which they maintain would actually result in an extravagant settlement. In itself the basic rate is a sign of a makeshift pay structure. What employers are more in- terested in achieving is a settle- ment including some increased base on productivity. When they had the blue-eyed boys scheme, the employers could be reasonably sure of productivity because the pay was strictly based on it. Since shift work has all but replaced piece work, productivity has been near the centre of pay talks. The basis for transition in the docks is a report by Lord Justice Devlin in 1905. The first stage, nearly carried out now, called for a system of shift work, permanent employment for men, to replace the casual system in effect. Some piece work continues to be a point of dispute. The second stage, still in var- ious stages of implementation, called for modernization ot plant and conditions, including a major review of the salary structure. Here agreement has been elusive because so many employers and two rival unions have been involved. The dispute which closed the port of London late last year arose over implementation of lls Devlin report. The dockers claimed that employers were dragging their feet over its first phase and refused to han- dle containers in protest. As a result business was lost !o con- tinental ports. That strike was settled tem- porarily but when the national strike began differences be- tween unions still prevented any agreement for moderniza- tion from being put into effect. The industry has suffered from years of bad labor rela- tions and clumsiness. The port employers association repre- sents 450 different employers. There are. 90 major ports (li- censed for imports) and many lesser ones. The former Con- servative government's re- sponse was to set up a national ports council charged with long-term development. No sooner was it given stat- utory authority in 19S4 than the Labor government came' to power. Labor was committed to nationalization but never got around to legislation until last year and the nationalization bill died in the last Parliament. Efficiency, central direction of resources and the importance of the dock to British industry were central to the Labor gov- ernment's thinking. The Conservatives fought the election on a promise to pre- ve'nt 'nationalization. Their manifesto promised to end the uncertainty hanging over ports "by giving them freedom! to build, in competition with each other but co-ordinated through a central authority." The strike has intruded, of course, before the Conserva- tives got around to translating their manifesto but the docks were not one of their priority times for the present Parlia- ment. In the crisis the government has reacted with1 emergency action similar to that taken by the Labor government during a strike of seamen in 19G6. The country will get by. But considering the obviously vital importance of the docks and the emphasis successive governments have placed on exports, it is a little surprising that they have allowed the si- tuation to deteriorate to the present impasse. (Herald London Bureau) Anthony Westell Speculating About Next Federal Cabinet Shuffle Art Buchwald WASHINGTON This is a government of reports and studies. No matter what happens in this nation, the first solu- tion is to appoint a commission to study It. The commissions take one year, two years, some even longer, and then they make their report to the President. If the President agrees with the report, it's re- leased to the nation. If he or his staff dis- agrees with it, it's buried. But where? Just by chance I discovered the secret burial grounds of reports and studies made by presidential commissions. The ceme- tery is located on a hill overlooking the upper Potomac. It is quiet and deserted, and only the chirping of birds or the call of a hoot owl can be heard. Mr. Gottfried Snellenbach has been care- taker of the burial area for. government reports since the Harding Administration, and after I assured him I would not dig up any of the graves, he let me enter the large well-kept grounds. "We've got some of the great reports of all times buried 'Mr. Snellenbach said. "We've got reports that cost mil- lion, and we've got reports that cost but in the end they all wind up here, buried six-feet under." "Sirj what kind of reports are resting "It might be better to ask what kinds of reports aren't buried here. We have re- ports on violence, studies on blacks, stu- dents, unemployment, the economy, the Communist threat, housing, health care, law and order. You name it, and we've buried it." "How doss a report finds its final resting spot in this "Well as you know, the President is always appointing a commission to study something or other, and after the study they're supposed to hand in a report. Now, lots of times the President had no inten- tion of paying any attention to the report, and it's dead before it's even written. Oth- er times someone on the President's staff reads a report handed in by a commission and says "This stuff is dynamite. We have to kill it.' "In some cases the President says 'Let's release this report to the press and then bury it.' Occasionally a report will just die of heartbreak because nobodv pays any attention to it. "In any csse, after the report is dead, it has to be buried, because if you're President you don't want someone finding it at a later date and using it against you. "So every week each report that has died is placed in a pine box and loaded on a government hearse and brought up here, where we have a simple ceremony before lowering it into the ground. "If it's a blue ribbon panel report that'll been action, we give it a 21-gun salute. Otherwise, we lay it to rest with as little fuss as possible.7' "This cemetery goes for miles and I said. "No one knows how many reports have been buried here by the different Presi- dents." "Mr. Snellenbach, tiiis a beautiful ceme- tery and very impressive. But why does the government go to so much trouble and expense lo keep it up for nothing more than paper "You must understand that most of the men asked to serve on presidential com- missions are very Important citizens. They spend months and years working on these reports, and they feel very close to them. When their reports are killed or buried, these men feel a personal loss. Many'days you will see them sitting here next to the tombstone of their studies, tears rolling down their cheeks. No matter how long you work here, it still gels to you." (Toronto Telegram News Service) QTTAWA The rumor mills on Parliament Hill are never silent, but the long hot days of summer are their busiest season. With Parliament adjourned, ministers and bu- reaucrats have more time to speculate about the next cabi- net shuffle. Trying to second-guess the Prime Minister is a risky busi- ness since he himself must often shuffle his cabinet with- out knowing in detail how it will all work out. He has to ask ministers if they will lake this job or would prefer lhat post, and then try to reconcile competing ambi- tions and his own judgment to make an arrangement accept- able to all. So there should be no doubt that speculation about cabinet changes is just that. But this summer there is even more in- terest than usual. First, the Trudeau govern- ment is at the two-year, half- way mark, and (he time seems ripe for major changes in a cabinet which has been more stable than most. Second, there is expected to be a shuffle also in that other centre of political influence, the Prime Minister's office staff. The key lo cabinet changes is said to be what happens to Mitchell Sharp, external affairs minister. There have teen ru- mors for months that he is going either I- London as high commissioner, or back to big business. Neither seems very credible, as they would mean opening Sharp's Toronto-Eglington con- stituency to a dangerous by- eleclion. Anyway, Sharp ob- viously enjoys public life. So the latest speculation is that he will, fa effect, be pro- moted upstairs to the imposing tille but nebulous position of deputy prime minister. Donald llacdonald is stepping oul of the job of government leader in the Commons and would probably like to take over external affairs. He previously served in the department as a junior minis- ter and has maintained his in- terest, including a prominent role hi last year's cabinet bat- tle over NATO policy. But Macdonald seems a little heavy-footed to go to a depart- ment where morale is still deli- cate as the diplomats recover slowly from the rude handling they received from the Prime Minister. With the new emphasis on economic relations in foreign policy, Jean-Luc Pepin could move over from the Depart- ment of Trade, Commerce and Industry. It's high1 time any- way that external affairs had a French-Canadian minister. Macdonald could then take Letter. To The Editor Disturbing Ric Swihart, in his column of July 10 has struck another blow for poor journalism. In Mr. Swihart's entire col- umn, not one reference is made to his own personal experiences with hitch-hikers. He does, it is true, cite noteworthy ex- amples. Last year a hiker was raped in Alberta and this year a man was murdered in anoth- er country. There it is proof postive that hiking should be banned. The entire column is filled with similar nonsense and as- sorted attempts at humor. It greatly disturbs me that commercial press would see fit to print such an ill- informed opinionated, and slant- ed column. I also sincerely hope his at- titudes are not shared by even a minority of people, for if so, we are in serious trouble. DALE ROGERS. Lethbridge. trade, commerce and industry. Who will replace him as leader in the Commons? Rumor- sug- gests Otto Lang, combining the management of t'he legislative program with his duties as minister responsible for wheat policy. Some inside comments imply that Defence Minister Leo Ca- dieux's recent visit to the forces in Europe had the flavor of a farewell tour, and that he is leaving the government at his own request. One story, puts him in the Paris embassy, but to give that top job to a retired politician would be another unkind cut to the bruised diplomats. Speculation that two cabinet veterans, Public Works Minis- ter Arthur Laing, 05, and Soli- citor General George Mc- 63 this month, are about to be put out to pasture, has been printed so regularly and incorrectly in recent years that it is now almost a joke on Parliament Hill. Trudeau made plain last year, in fact, that far from wanting lo be rid of the two members of the old guard, he valued their political experi- ence ajid conservative attitudes in a relatively young cabinet. There is still no reason to think thai Mcllraith is ready to retire, but this may be Ihe year, at last, for Laing to move to the Senate. One of tire fast rising men in the cabinet is Robert Andras, minister responsible for housing. He will slill be work- ing on his urbar policy through this year and next, biit there is almost certain to be some new title and job definition to pro- mote him from minister with- out portfolio to full minister. There has been mild gossip about the possiblity of splitting the huge Department of Na- tional Heallh and Welfare into two ministries. At Hie least, it is said, John Munro ought to have a junior n-.inister to help him, before he works himself into a slate of collapse. Trudeau may think it diplo- matic to take Uie Indian Affairs portfolio away from Jean Chre- tien, leaving him with Northern Affairs, so that a minister less closely identified with the white paper can reopen nego- tiations with Indian leaders. The Prime Minister will probably try to arrange the shuffle so that he can bring in a few new faces, to pay off political obligations, recognize talent and seek fresh ideas. He has, for example, no min- ister from Calgary or Edmon- ton and could correct that by recruiting backb e n c h c r Hu Harries, who was comfortably fixed as an academic and con- sulting economist before being persuaded to become Liberal MP for Edmonton-Strathcona, with the implied promise that there would be great things to be done in Ottawa. Several senior members of Trudeau's personal staff origin- ally signed on for two years, or have let it be known that they don't want to stick around until they get caught up in prepara- tions for the next election. Principal aid Marc Lalonde's plans remain to be settled, al- though the recurrent rumor that he wants to run for the Commons and enter the cabinet seems as unlikely as ever. Press secretary Homeo Le- blanc has never planned to stay through the next election. Executive assistant Gordon Gibson was set recently to re- turn to the west coast, where his family lias a substantial fortune and a tradition of elec- tive politics, but is now' said to be staying on with Trudeau but in a new job. Out of all this may come a reorganization of the private staff, with familiar faces shift- ing inlo different posilions. (Toronto Star Syndicate) LOOKING BACKWARD THROUGH THE HERALD 1920 Belfast is reported to be quiet today following two days of rioting between Sinn Fein and Unionist mobs. Exact casualties are not known. 1930 According to CPR figures compiled recently, bushels of grain have been marketed on the Leth- bridge railway division since last fail. The "zero hour" for Hitler's threatened attempt to destroy Britain apparently is ticking closer, but it finds the British people both calm and confident. 1950 To dale in 1950 a total of 250 residential housing per- mits have been issued in the city. The building permils have climbed lo in the same period. 1080 For (he second time Uus summer, Lethbridge held the dubious distinction of being the hot spot in Canada, when a reading of 97 degrees above was recorded July 23. The lethbridge Herald LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. Published 1905 1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Ma" "cslslralion Number 0012 Member ot Tho Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Publishers' Association and Audit Bureau of Circulation. CLEO VV.' HOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS B. ADAMS. Gener.) Manager JOE BALI.A WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K WAI.KE1 Advertising Maniifiar Editorial Page Ediby "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"