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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 24, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 tHI ItTHBRIDGE MERAID Tuesday, July 24, IJHIOItlMS Transportation proposals The Western Economic Opportuni- ties Conference which opened today in Calgary is of major significance. It was called by the federal prime min- ister to discuss with the four western premiers certain economic concerns. Ifae premiers have put a great deal of work into it and have come up with numerous unanimous recommen- dations. The federal government will be under no obligation to accept any of them, but it will have to come up with good reasons if it does not. The onus will be clearly on Mr. Tru- deau. These are among the more inter- esting items relating to transporta- tion, which has always been a favor- ite punching-bag for Western Cana- dians: a big part of rail costs on to the federal treasury, by the Cana- dian government "acquiring" all the railway road-beds and operating them as public utilities open to any trains. It is pointed out that people using the air or water for transpor- tation pay about 20 per cent of the cost, the government the rest, (through providing terminals, ports, etc.) but with rail service the users pay 80 per cent. The figure for freight and passengers using the highways must be a good deal less than 80 per cent. the provincial govern- ments before any rail lines are abandoned, and making sure the cost and feasibility of alternative ser- vices are fully taken into account. Churchill and Prince Rupert into major ports. the CN and CP main lines with the B.C. Railway, so block- age of the Fraser Canyon does not cut off service to Vancouver. It is of interest that while these recommendations were being pre- pared by the western premiers, neg- otiations on the last-mentioned above and on the Prince Rupert develop- ment were already being completed, and only hours before today's con- ference opened, agreement had al- ready been reached. That probably is a good portent for the whole con- ference. Comtitutional struggle Canadians may not readily appre- ciate the significance of the struggle between President Nixon and the Er- vin committee of the U.S. Senate. The president has certain tape- recordings that the committee wants to hear, to settle in its mind whether the Watergate episode and the cover- up were known to Nixon. The American constitution provides for a clear separation of powers be- tween the president and the Con- gress. Two hundred years ago, when the country gained its independence and wrote its constitution, the Eng- lish system of government by cabinet responsible to an elected Parliament had not yet been fully perfected. The Americans saw the danger of a mono- lithic system as they had experienced it and they decided their law-makers and their actual government should fee separate. They would elect a Con- gress to make the laws, and quite separately they would elect a presi- dent to carry out the laws and actu- ally run the country. That is why the two arms of government are fre- quently at loggerheads neither is responsible in any way to the other. Nixon is invoking this separation- of-powers doctrine, by keeping from the Senate committee the records of some of the operations under his command. Congress has no authority over the White House, he contends. That extreme position on the separ- ation-of-powers doctrine is disputed ty the Ervin committee, and with some legal and historical justific- cation. The constitution does give Congress broad powers of investigation, and the White House should not impede stfch investigations, it is argued. Secondly, it is argued that the White House is not immune from the laws of the land, and if there is a suspicion of illegal activity as there certainly is against Nixon then the presidency cannot be used as a de- fence against prosecution. Thirdly, most of the Watergate epi- sode is based upon the activities of Nixon the Republican candidate, or likely Republican candidate, in the 1972 election. As president at the time of Watergate he had no-authority beyond his first term. He was under no obligation to run again. He was just another candidate, and as such should have been subject to the same rules and laws as any other candi- date. And no doubt in the back of many minds is the fact the enforcement of the laws has been a.function of the administration, namely the president through the attorney-general, and this unfortunate case involves gross mis- deameanors, perhaps crimes, by the former attorney-general and many others in high places. So 'Congress can hardly trust Nixon to see that all the guilty parties will be prosecu- ted, including, possibly, the president himself. Running the mail You've seen the TV commercial spon- sored by Canada's post office department. to show how the assured mail is delivered? A runner in shorts and singlet springs across the fiatlands and passes the mail, relay-race fashion, to a second runner, wbo in turn bands it to a third runner, and so on for the miles of assured distance across the country. is not often that we see a TV com- mercial that is so informative and be- lievable. Until I saw the postal commercial, I believed the story that all first-dass mail was carried across Canada by airplane. From the airplane it was transferred to a truck, which took it to a post office, which gave it to a letter carrier, wbo on strike. ki my innocence, I understood to be toe means of conveyance of Canada's postal system. Ite human relay runners make much better sense. Eager to know more about our two legged Pony Express. I sought an interview with one of the runners, a veteran of the haul between Vancouver end Lethbridgc, Percy Packer. I found Percy in maintenance bay, bav- ing bis sneakers fitted with studs. "Yep, looks like an early winter through the be explained. "With tins new assured mad I can't afford to lose traction on the hills. And that's for sure Percy looked very assured. And fit When be took off his singlet I noticed the three stripes bJue, white and purple painted arourtf his nwdaectjon His athle- tic support bore an impressive score of Special Delivery stackers. "Assured next-day delivery must make severe demands on your I said. "That's for said Percy. "If the next guy drops the letter when I hand it to him, with both of us runnmg like the there goes your pension cheque." Asked bow be broke into running the mail, Percy said: "I got my training as a running back for the B.C. Lions. That's where I learned to run backwards as weil as forwards, and to hand off to another runner before I got After the postal runner has mastered the basics of getting rid of his responsi- bility at a gallop, he joins the ranks of those involved in assured mail delivery. 'We got runners, each runnmg a mile. p3us guys repainting the mad boxes." Before be cooW tell me more, Percy was loaded onto a dolly and taken to the start- ing Mocks, where be was Banded bis let- ter and readied for take-off. The despatch- er tokl him be couid expect to run into patches of wet tar through Chinatown. "That's for sure.'' said Percy. At precisely 11 a.m. (National Assured Time) the stsrter's gun popped and Percy shot off in a cloud of direct-mail adver- tising. The post offjce department is confident that this new system of cross-country mail delivery wffl speed things up, so long as tne OHMS runner doesn't encounter too many hostile dogs or people loping along beside him to stuff tardy greeting cards into his shorts Momentum, after all, the ke> to suc- cess of assured mail. A tarnished image further blackened By Dave Humphreys, Hcfald London commentator LONDON The most re- markable state visit since Mr. Kosygin had dinner with the Queen has ended. The con- troversy whipped up for the oc- casion lingers on. Portuguese Prime Minister Dr. Marcello Caetano was only a little more welcome here than he would be in Ottawa, which isn't saying much. The Trudeau government has been much stronger than the British in op- posing the Portuguese dictator- snip's African policies. But the co-operation of the Portuguese authorities in bor- dering Mozambique has helped Rhodesian rebel Prime Minister Ian Smith defy British policy and Commonwealth and U.N. sanctions for seven years. So a few eyebrows raised when it was announced that Dr. Caet- ano would dine with the Queen, and be feted by the lord mayor of London and the city estab- lishment. Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Prime Minister Edward Heath both have a stubborn streak about southern Africa. In spite of well-publicized ob- jections to the Caetano regime at home and in Africa Sir Alec wanted to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Anglo-Portu- guese alliance. This has become so obscure and bent that most British have forgotten H ever existed. Sir Alec believes strongly that objections to foreign allies should not be allowed to inter- fere with British national inter- ests. In the passionate Com- mons debate on Dr. Caetano's visit he said: "The country must never let defence and foreign policy be- come matters of instant judg- ment and erratic change, or po- litical playthings." Many argue hit judgment of British interests in this respect. Like Britain, Canada is an ally with Portugal in NATO. But Canada has long since cut off mutual military aid and treats Portugal as decided embarrassment. The British decision positively to play up the alliance came out Police inhumanity in South Vietnam By Anthony Lewis, New York Times commentator LONDON "Torture during interrogation, or as a discip- linary measure within prisons, is no longer even motivated by a desire to gather 'intelli- Torture is widely used not only as an instru- ment of intimidation but as an end in itself In many instances torture has become no more or less than a matter of habit." Those are some phrases some of the milder a report recently issued by Amnesty International, the highly respected independent organization concerned with political prisoners around the world. The subject was the sit- uation of (be or more civilians detained by the Sai- gon government. The report described in re- volting detail what is done to human beings in the prisons and interrogation centers of South Vietnam: The use of electricity, beating, water; the crippling and death that result. It named victims and described cases in convincing detail. It called the situation, altogether, "one of the most serious cases of political re- pression in the world today." The Amnesty report rated a few paragraphs in some seri- ous British and American newspapers. Most of the mass media paid no attention at ad. It was just some more of the familiar horror of Vietnam. It is not surprising that peo- ple turn off the moral pain of Vietnam. There are limits to outrage, to tears. Tales of misery, however true, eventu- ally weary the audience. Peo- ple instinctively protect them- selves from being incapaci- tated by despair. But individual" escape cannot aid public responsibility. Mass injustice anywhere claims the concern of mankind, for it di- minishes and threatens all of us. Nor can the cases of mis- treatment of American war prisoners in North Vietnam ex- cuse massive and continuing official terror in the South. Can the stories be true? That is what some people in the Letters Worst district fair When life was a lot simpler, one of the joys of rural living was the annual district agricul- tural fair. Everyone from grandma to grandson could contribute homecrafts, baking, floral ar- rangements, hobbies, prize ani- mals (not necessarily -world champions, but prized posses- sions of their vege- tables, machinery and a grand assortment of local fiddlers and vocalists all assembled for a true district exhibition. Today, in one of Canada's major agricultural communi- ties, we nave just witnessed Whoop-Up Days. But what did it tell us about the area? Very little! Here in Ihe heart of RCMP country there could have been at least a token tribute to the past. But no. believe it or not, in the very heart of the Bible- belt area of western Canada we come up with a show that highlights a midway, a casino, booze, and freaks. So what if Grannie's cookies get a little dusty after a week on display beneath the grand- stand! That, rural and city friends, is a fair. Whoop-Up Days 1973 was easily the wwsl district fair I've ever chanced to see. If the same kind of format persists, you can count me oat as a cus- tomer next time around. N.B. Lethbndge. Not fringe Christians lin a recent interview with Lorraine Thompson, the mod- erator of The United Church of Canada referred to the Jesus People as "fringe" Christians and said he would like to see them become part of the church. On the other hand, he stated, it was wrong for t h e church to try to convert Mos- lems and Hindus. Negativism against youth and contempor- ary isn't likely to re- verse the chiuroh''s downward trend in membership. The Jesus People, through efforts outside the church, have a mes- sage that can help people hook- ed on dope, sex. the occult, and communion wine. PAMELA WINTERS Catoarv West would ask, finding it dif- ficult to face the horrors re- ported. But there is no escape that way. For the situation of political prisoners in South Vietnam has been seen and graphically described by a wide variety of observers: Am- erican congressmen, corres- pondents, doctors and many others. The leading British commer- cial television company, Gran- ada, did a careful program on Saigon's political prisoners. Among others it interviewed two American physiothera- pists, Jane and David Barton, in a hospital in Quang Ngai. "People came to the prison- er ward at the hospital often immediately after they've been Jane Barton said, because prison officials "pre- fer not to nave a dead body at the interrogation center The torture that we see the re- sults of most frequently is (at- taching) electrical wires to people's toes, or fingers, or sensitive parts of their bodies." The Bartons bad films and still photographs of some of the victims. Two were women wbo had been beaten on the bead until their skulls fractured and they became paralyzed on one side fif fMr hodtae. W8S a young girl, the other a 67- year-old woman. Granada also snowed 60 year-old Mrs. Ba Shau, who was blinded by lime thrown in her face by guards when she was held in the tiger cages on Con Son Island. It showed some other freed prisoners from Con Son being treated by a former American Air Force doctor, John Cbamplajn. Dr. Champlain described how va- rious prisoners lost the use of their legs by being confined in the cages or shackled to their beds. The Saigon government of Nguyen Van TMeu is marvel- lously cynical in its discussion of these matters. It says (hat there are no "political prison- ers" at all: Everyone in its jails is either a common crimi- nal or a "Communist." In fact, as everyone in South Vietnam knows, people are ar- rested for having sheet music of an anti-war song, for carry- ing rice at night, for any rea- son that strikes a police whim. Many are not tried but held in- definitely on suspicion. Just two weeks ago a union leader held without trial after a strike for higher wages was reported to have been tortured to death. In evident embarrassment over its political prisoners, the Thieu government bas been re- classifying them as guflty of common crimes such as dis- turbing the again without triaH, of course. And it "3S over to the Viet Cong, as some of the best known persons arrested because they opposed the war or TMeu. A neat solution. It is especially wrong for the United States to avert its pub- lic eye from these realities. For the police system of South Vietnam is an American crea- tion. The Central Intelligence Agency devised the Phoenix program to hunt out Viet Cong suspects, which began the offi- cial torture. William Colby, the nominee for new director of the CIA, testified feat between 1968 and May, 1971, alone, 587 suspects were killed. More than million in American money is still avail- able or budgeted for aid to the Saigon police and prisons. Bather than helping, the Unit- ed States should be protesting police inhumanity in South Vietnam. of UK same framework as its famous, now forgotten, an- nouncement that it would sell arms to South Africa. Both have caused furious troversies, leaving the question of what they accomplished. No arms were ever sold, although a Commonwealth conference was almost ruined while Sir Alec made bis point. The Portuguese alliance presumably will lurch ahead as though noth- ing had happened. The government knew and well understood opposition to Portuguese policy. It probably has more precise intelligence than most governments about the war against the Frelimo "liberation" guerrillas in Mo- zambique. So it took a dear calculated risk in inviting a leader widely despised. But it didn't count on the extraor- dinary co-operation with the protest industry of The Times of London, perhaps Britain's most influential paper abroad. A few days before the visit The Times opened its front page for a report alleging a sys- tematic massacre by Portu- guese troops. against Mozam- bique villagers thought to be sympathetic to Frelimo.' It was written by a British priest, Father Adrian Hastings, based not on any personal ex- perience but from notes sup- plied by Spanish priests who themselves bad not been wit- nesses. This toned up in The Times unqualified as a mas- sacre. The Times editorialized feat accusations of Spanish mis- sionaries must carry great weight. Some, people with a knowledge of Africa, of antipa- thy between Spanish and Portu- guese, of the known political motivation of some priests, even of their involvement with the IRA, were not as easily vinced as The Times. "Mr. Heath will not caB off Portuguese state toe pa- per headlined a few days later. Even if not intended as such The Tunes allegations became the focus for a campaign against Caetano and his visit. The Labor Party went into fits of righteousness. Harold Wilson, recently returned from Czechoslovakia and who enter- tained Mr. Kosygin lavishly in 1966, called for support of the guerrillas. But Mr. Caetano es- caped with mild demonstra- tions, a few scuffles and one to- mato over his car. He returns with serious alle- gations to answer and his tar- nished image further blackened. The truth may never be known. Thousan'ds who have never set foot in Africa and know less about it will condemn him with- out hesitation. Likely the charges will be disputed and slowly forgotten like other war stories with a little truth and lots of exaggeration. Political editor Anthony Shrimsley of The Daily MaU pointed out there are few non- Communist countries now not on the extreme left-wing's or someone's hate list. Portugal, Spain, Greece, the U.S. India Pakistan, South Africa, all have detesters. "There are some countries like Canada and Norway who seem to be the world's profes- sional nice often means joining the protesters. to worrf about gas shortage, The Utidwidge Herald _ UIHBMDGE RBRALD LID., Proprietors sad PaUtsMN 1MB-UM, by Hon. W. A. 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