Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 25, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The Letfdnridge Herald Local news SECOND SECTION July 1974 Pages 15-28 Last of Canada's deadly mustard gas made big gross hole mark jack rabbit warren Killer gases were once describ- ed as among the least humane weapons of modern warfare and their use has been avoid- ed by most nations since World War I. Most nations main- tain stockpiles in the event that the other nation should begin chemical at- tacks. Mustard gas is having been replaced by more deadly types of nerve and blood which re- main in storage in most nations. Bottled death The rubber suit and gas mask worn by Suffield in World War was destroyed under his supervision technical officer Claude Diehl made him look more this week. The substance is actually a dark like a spaceman than a civilian defence employee. In it is turned into a lung-corroding mist Canada's total stockpile of the used chiefly which is drifted into enemy lines. SUFFIELD A scared jack rabbit which returned to find its a smoking 90-foot typified the contrasts at this defence research station. Scientists had two projects to parade before the press and public the destruction of four vaults of mustard gas and the confir- mation that deadly explosives can be stockpiled in less space than previously believed. Mustard gas first tore out lungs at Ypres in France in 1917. But the 737 tons of it manufac- tured in Ontario and shipped to Suffield in 1941 never sent a deadly veil across a battleground. the scientists demonstrated how the terrible substance would finally be at this base 100 miles northeast of Lethbridge. But they also proudly demonstrated that other capabilities for war can be using obsolete explosives manufactured in 1943 and also intended for but never used for killing. By AL SCARTH Herald Staff Writer also Page Those explosives shipped by Britain from Germany helped send a scorching 200-foot fireball and speed-of-sound shock wave smashing across this barren military reserve. The despite its enormous im- failed to touch off other bundles of ex- plosives left as bait at extremely close range. As the last in a series of three explosions by 55-ton it proved a The dis- tance between explosive stores on military bases and elsewhere can be cut by a drastic two-thirds. cost of the series could be saved within one year on one base in British physicist Reg Watson told a briefing after the blast. The total cost of the series was about The crowded United Kingdom was the NATO member which initiated the explosives trial idea in 1972 at a meeting in Brussels. The project is backed by the Canada and the United States. The results could mean a sav- ing in real the Canadian blast organizers said in an outline of the project. NATO members have been itching to reduce the distances between ammunition magazines and other explosive dumps for about four years. Studies have indicated the guidelines set out after tests in Germany shortly after the Second World War were Scattered but undetonated high explosive from test batches virtually at ground zero Wednesday appeared to confirm the scien- tists' contention. But as they were proving you can increase the density of stockpiles enormously with no no the range safety officer was saving a jack rabbit. Before Dick would put in the final detonating plug at the base of the semi- trailer-sized load of he had to find the rabbit which didn't know his shady new home on the hot prairie was about to be vaporized. Mr. who doesn't like to harm chip- munks and other living things after 25 years in the explosives threw some prairie sods at the animal to scare it away. After the when surrounding acres of sod were pulverized to the rab- bit and Mr. Wyld returned to the crater. The safety officer said he could only guess that the circling an earth embank- ment built to cushion the was up The explosion also proved that an ex- plosives warehouse designed by Gordon Duiguid of the UK for installation at 40 British military was stronger than necessary. Mr. Duiguid was delighted at the lack of dangerous damage to a section of his design erected at ground zero. But now he has to build a cheaper one since his first was too good. The section triumphantly sported a tiny Union placed at its roof's edge after the blast. It replaced a larger British flag which had flown bravely but vainly in the face of the fireball. A second British test demonstrated that residential abound near military bases on the could be placed as near explosives as conventional dwellings. American scientists were happy too. Their tests of typical window structures indicated recent building designs involving large ex- panses of glass could be as close to explosive dumps as older buildings with small windows. the Canadian scientists were pleased to have disposed of 40 tons of the deadly mustard stored at the station in half- buried concrete and lead bunkers. In charge of the most dangerous physical operation was the man who poured the vicious liquid into the vaults from barrels with a funnel in 1941. Technical officer Claude Wednes- day was backed in the job of destruction by Ross decontamination technician. Wearing rubber suits designed to withstand the onslaught of chemical or biological war- their present job is much safer than the one Mr. Diehl held in 1941. Remote controls enable them to safely supervise the chemical conversion of the mustard pumped into a tank on top of the vaults to an innocuous but smelly substance similar to anti-freeze. Slaked lime and water accomplish the conversion in a process developed primarily by Suffield scientist Charles Reichert. The converted mustard is harmlessly in- cinerated in the station's thermal destructor which has already destroyed Canada's out- lawed stockpiles of DDT. The mustard stockpile which is stored in the vaults as a liq- uid should be converted and burned by next summer. Canadian government has actively supported the concept of some form of inter- national agreement to prevent the future use of chemical warfare techniques.' Suffield Chief Clay Iverson told a briefing Wednesday. this he has been recognized for some time that the credibility of the Canadian government position may not be complete until the stockpile of chemical agent stored in Canada was the only chemical weapon stockpiled in Canada will soon be erased as will be the of man's inventive brutality. But the era of chemical warfare is not ended. Destruction of the mustard does not mean Canada will not retaliate with a chemical weapon if such a weapon is deployed against it. A policy statement on chemical warfare from the defence department makes it clear Canada reserves the right to use chemicals if they are used by someone else first. The samples on which to base chemical weapons such as nerve gas exist in tiny quan- tities at Suffield. They are used for the pre- sent to test protective measures against chemical attack. Union carpenters vote A government-supervised strike vote will be held Friday by employees of Prebuilt .Industries an official of Responsibility should be shared for nurse training The governing of Alberta nursing programs should be partially the responsibility of individual community colleges when hospital-based nursing schools are phased out during the next few the president of the Lethbridge Community College said Wednesday. C. D. Stewart said unless the department of advanced education is willing to pay the increased cost of the the colleges should have a voice in the operation of nurs- ing courses. The governing of the including those in now is the respon- sibility of the Alberta Univer- sities Co-Ordinating Council. The college is paid about per student from the but this could reach about per student because of changes the coun- ing schools are placed in the Dr. Stewart said. if the department is willing to pay the whole shot. for changes not in college courses now the colleges would be more receptive to outside agencies having a say in their he said. One area under discussion by the council is that teachers should complete master's degree requirements. this is ridiculous. There aren't enough nurses in the province at that Dr. Stewart said. Dr. Stewart added nursing courses in colleges could be governed by advisory com- comprised of graduate hospital of- ficials and lay instead of the council. The council has been responsible for the approval of nursing programs which taining and controlling minimum standards of nurs- ing education. The Alberta Association of Registered which has advanced the idea of college- based seems to be on a collision course with college presidents because the association does not want course approval mechanisms within each institution. But the association has agreed that is evident that budgetary constraints could become one inhibiting factor to the achievement of professional educational stan- Dr. Stewart said negotiations are under way between all groups involved in the switch of health training from the department of health and social development to the department advanced education. getting cleared he mainly for the benefit of students and staff working in hospital-based nursing schools. have to assure those nursing students in hospitals that they will be able to finish their education before the phase-out. They should allow everyone to graduate before they close the programs. the staff in the programs should be given in- dication they could teach in the Dr. Stewart said. The president added that discussions have been aiming at spreading the training of nursing programs throughout the province instead of increasing the classes of programs already in nee. ead of transferring to existing opened in cities such as Grande Prairie. Dr. Stewart also stressed that despite the change the college wants to keep an policy on students wishing to take nur- sing. The college programs have been criticized for having a low success rate between graduates and people entering the program. But someone wants to try nursing they should be able even if they only meet the minimum entrance he said. Dr. Stewart added if colleges have to an as do some nursing the colleges would be going against the philosophy of providing an education to requirements and wishes to take a certain course. Some of the best nurses graduating from college courses have been people who would not have been accepted into university he said. Man killed A 21-year-old Medicine Hat man was killed at 1 a.m. today when he was crushed by a heavy part of an oil which swung against him at a drill- ing operation about 10 miles north of Medicine Hat. Dead is Timothy James an employee of Bow Island Drilling Company. The coroner is E. G. F. Skinner of Medicine Hat. There has been no decision regarding an the carpenters' union said Wednesday. Pat of chief negotiator for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of told The Herald money was the main issue at stake. The 320 workers represented by Local 2998 rejected a conciliation report last week by 90 per cent. When negotiations broke the union listed 16 points of and all but five were directly or indirectly related to he said. The company listed he said. Mr. Mattei said the conciliation commissioner recommended an increase cf an hour over two years. With the cost of living rising so this was not even a break-even he said. The company would not discuss a cost-of-living he said. The union official said the starting rate at Prebuilt currently an hour and averaged about an hour for production workers. The tradesmen's for plumbers and welders was an he said. difference between a construction site and a but the disparity is too said Mr. Mattei. Another issue is job classification. The union wants a joint process to determine job he said. It does not dispute Prebuilt's right to determine job assignments and job he added. G. D. O'Brien manager of deferred comment on the situation until he could check with Prebuilt's parent company. Accident costs An accident at 2nd Avenue and 12th Street S. Wednesday caused about damage. No injuries were reported. A car driven by Adelard R. 57 of Edmonton and a car driven by Georee R. of 745 9th St. collided. Lethbridge police said. Gaudreau has been charged with failing to yield the right of way.