Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 27, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thundoy, July 37, 1972 THf lETHBRIDCE HIJtAlD J. King Gordon Poor nations get big assist from Dutch HAGUE The transi- tion from the Adriatic- ard the Mediterranean Lo the North Sea is sharp, sharper by far, I would say, than from one side of the North Atlantic to the other. In Malta, wo were drenched in sunshine, with af- ternoon temperatures in tho nineties. We put down at Schi- pliol, the big airport for Am- sterdam and The Hague, in mld- momlng. The air was clear and coollsh, sun shining, big wel- coming party with band not for us bill, as we learned, for Gromyko, here on a state visit. The contrast is much more The labor savers By Ray Cromlcy, NBA indicate it is now ment perhaps concentrating b e c o ra ing considerably more on efficient production more profitable than in the past to replace men with machines and equipment. And this trend favoring the machine is in- creasing. The figures in fact indicate It is now approximately two times as profitable to replace men with equipment on the average as it was 25 years ago. In part, this is due to major technological advances in equipment. In part it is be- cause (with the higher standard of living Americans have come to expect) hourly labor costs have gone up much more rapidly than prices of labor- saving devices. Charts pre- sented by the Morgan Guaran- ty Survey seem to indicate in fact that hourly labor costs in recent years may have risen at more than twice the rate of equipment prices. More rapid modernization of plant, of course, is long over- due. Some of our major com- petitors had their industries bombed out in the Second World War and have been mod- ernizing with vigor ever since, aided by advanced U.S. tech- nology, dollar aid, considerable American investment and their own intensified industrial re- search. Economically, in the past several years American re- searchers have grown far less worried about the industrial application of science and tech- nology in Soviet industry, and a great deal more worried competitively about the mark- ed advances In friendly nations such as West Germany and Japan. The expectation among some knowledgeable economic anal- ysts is that U.S. industry in the years just ahead may step up considerably its investment In efficiency increasing equip- rather than greater output. Some economists fear a marked trend in this direction will add heavily to the infla- tion pressure when combined with increased consumer spending and government defi- cit financing. But past records indicate that over the long pull those indus- tries which have modernized have, on the whole, raised prices more slowly than those which have not. The inflation problem is rath- er that those industries which have been the slowest to adopt labor-saving devices have found their costs spiraling. Economists this reporter has talked to are especially con- cerned in this regard about schools, hospitals, banks and other financial institutions, trading companies, real estate firms and local slate and fed- eral governments. If the same revolutionary changes could take place in these areas as have come about in farming and manufacturing, it would be possible to effect great savings or increase enor- mously the amount or quality of services provided. The pressure of labor and professional costs is even greater here than in manufac- turing because in most in- stances wages and fees form a high percentage of the costs. But the prospects here are discouraging. Conferences on the application of labor saving devices to government and the major service industries, which this reporter has attended, more often than not end up in generalities or in strong state- ments that major advances are next to Impossible because of the very necessary human re- lationships and judgments re- quired in these fields. than weather. There's n clean efficiency about this place the Mediterranean has other virtues. You see it and sense It in the hotels and restaurants, in streets, the parks, tho flower filled, well-cared-for gardens. The people too a bit like the Swiss, perhaps, like the other end of the Protestant axis (but this is surely Calvin- ist But wanner than the Swiss, less constrained, naturally, with no mountains and the sea all around. Of course, it's silly to generalize: like the people who say, "Don't you find the French rude, so different from the Ital- ians." We didn't: we found the Parisicns and Parisienncs cour- teous; and we encountered two rude waiters, one in Milan and one in Venice. And we find the Dutch very kind and friendly. We like The Hague more than Amsterdam, I think. Al- though we hardly gave Amster- dam a chance, getting mixed up on our trains, and then after a quick sandwich lunch with a Hcinkin on draft, trying to crowd in all the 17th century Dutch masters in the Rijksmu- seum as well as all the van Goghs down the street in the Municipal Museum. But Am- sterdam is big and noisy and full of traffic: and The Hague is decent and quiet with broad unhurried streets, quiet parks, a fountain coming out of a lagoon near the group of old palace buildings, and an old man and woman feeding the ducks. And there's the high tow- ered twentieth-century Peace Palace which now houses the World Court, with a kind of gracious gingerbread elegance to it. And there is the lovely solid 17th century Mauritshuis with its priceless lode of Rem- brandts and Frans Hals and Steens and Vermeers par- ticularly Vermeers. It's a town we want to come back to. But we came to The Hague not just to walk its streets and view its pictures but to see peo- ple and talk to people. That's what we've been doing during these past three weeks In Eur- ope. And the subject we've been talking about mostly has been International co-operation and development, trying to find out how the rich countries have been responding to the needs and claims of the poor coun- tries. We've been talking to people on this broad theme in Paris, in Geneva, not in Venice, cer- tainly in Malta, even if in Malta the main Interest centred on the ocean environment. We haven't been too happy, too en- couraged by our talks. What Lester Pearson featured In his Report "Partners in Develop- Is happening: the rich countries are getting weary of well-doing. United States parti- cularly, the key contributor, has cut back on its international assistance. And the other developed countries, with some ndtable exceptions, have become pre- occupied with the monetary crisis and their own BCTIO- mic hangups and are assigning low priority to development aid. This is not true of Canada although its record at UNCTAD III was pretty illiberal; it is not true of the Scandinavian countries; and it is certainly not true of the Netherlands. What I had heard even be- fore coming to The Hague was that while most developed coun- tries have been cooling off in their support of the goals of tho Second Development Decade, the Dutch have been more com- mitted than ever to a policy of international co-operation. This was evident at UNCTAD III in Santiago: not only did tha Netherlands delegation break frequently with the "Group B" industrialized nations and side with the "Group of 77" poor na- tions but a large contingent representing Dutch non-govern- mental organizations were ac- tive lobbyists lor more gener- ous policies. I had also heard that aid for developing countries Is s live- ly issue in local Dutch politics. What I have dug up since com- ing to The Hague more than confirms my advance infor- mation. It has been more diffi- cult to find the answer to the question: Why are the Dutcli different from the other rich countries? The answer, In fact, seems complex. One of the first per- sons I asked was fairly prompt and definitive. The answer is religion. The Dutch are still basically a religious people. They have a strong mission- Easy Choice FIVE STAR CANADIAN RYE WHISKY JOSEPH E. SEAGRAM SONS LIMITED WATERLOO, ONTARIO, CANADA ZSoz. The smooth taste of quality that is unmistakably Seagram's. Seagram's FIVE STAR Canada's largest-selling rye whisky. Blended ind boliled by Joseph E Seagram Sons Lid., Waterloo, Out ary tradition. Now this mission- ary drive and it's equally true of Catholics and Protes- tants has been channelled to- wards secular goals, helping tho poor countries. You can't mis- take the moral impera''jvc. A second, equally firm an- swer, came from another per- son I spoke to: "The source of this strong motivation is youth. It's the young people who pro- vide the drive." I asked a young student from the University of Amsterdam who sat beside me in a plane what was the reason for young people's concern. She said, a little embarrassed: "The question seems meaning- less. I find it strange that peo- ple in rich countries do not care for people in poor countries." There was a third more sophisticated reason given me by a Dutch educator: "The Dutch have a feeling of respon- sibility for what is going on in all parts of the world. We are a small country surrounded by bis countries. We can't com- pete with them. Therefore we must reach out to other coun- tries and identify ourselves with policies that are of bene- [it to the entire world." A practical expression of this global approach was the e s t a b lishment in 1951 of the Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Co-operation The man I talked to was its director Dr. Heiman Quik. I had met him before several years ago and then, I recall, he had mentioned that following, the independence of Indonesia the Netherlands found itself with a surfeit of magnificent higher educational and techni- cal resources that, it was felt, must be put to good use. NUFFIC linked together the 13 Netherlands universities and technological institutions to pro- vide co-operative support for universities overseas and also provide snecially tailored cour- ses for students from develop- ing countries. One of ils by- products was the world-famous Institute of Social Studies nt The Hague. In the last three years. Dr. Quik told me, NUFFIC has undertaken spon- sorships of a number of pro- jects in developing countries, implemented by the univer- sities and financed by the gov- ernment. A different sort of grassroots movement for mobilizing sup- port for international assistance is the Netherlands Organization for International Development Co-operation (NOVIB) which was founded In 1956 "as a na- tional focus of a large number of Netherlands organizations, Institutions, and individuals." It does an educational job on the problems of developing countries, acts as a pressure group on government, sponsors and co-ordinates projects in de- veloping countries, and pro- duces a vast quantity of litera- ture aimed at various groups. It lists amongst its active sup- porters the great developmen- tal economist, Jan Tinbergen, one of the authors of the plan for the Second Development Decade. There Is still another organi- zation which must be mention- ed briefly because it shows the dynamic and dialectical nature of this peculiarly Dutch pheno- menon. The Committee for De- velopment Strategy was estab- lished with full government sup- port and under the leadership of Prince Claus, husband of Crown Princess Beatrix. The main purpose of the Com- mittee was to inform the peo- ple on problems of develop- ment and brief them on tha government's development poli- cies. However, in a community as alert to the problems of the third world as the Netherlands, the transmission belt is apt to go into reverse. This happened in connection with a campaign that was mounted to boycott Angola coffee in protest over Portugal's African policy. Embarrassment to the gov- ernment on the score of NATO hut also on the score of Prince Claus. But public feeling on the subject of the boycott was so strong that the Minister of De- velopment had lo make a state- ment asserting that the Com- mittee was free to take its own stand and was not subject to government control. A few conclusions: First, the Netherland government's devel- opment policy is no whim of this administration or that one: It is solidly based on highly in- formed, highly committed pub- lic support. Second, the Neth- erlands policy has not harmed Ihc position and reputation of the Netherlands in Ihe third world nor has it harmed trade of a nation which exports 90 per cent of all it produces. Third, it is just possible that the Netherlands example may bruiR new heart to some Cana- dians who may be in danger of growing weary in well-doing. In spite of some new orthodoxy to the contrary, one does not need to be a big power lo have a big view of one's global responsi- bility. EVA BREWSTER Telephone culls in the night fOUTTS Did I hear somebody com- plain recently about the telephone ringing in the middle of the night and it always turning put to be a wrong num- ber? Whilst I sympathize with the re- cipient of these unwelcome calls, my hus- band is green with envy. For the past 25 years, he always hoped it might be a person on the other end wanting someono else. In our house, the telephone that goes Brrr Brnr in the night, intrudes into our sleep with usually an emergency call for the long-suffering veterinarian. In the 25 years it has wakened us almost seven nights every week, any time between midnight and 4 a.m. except during the odd holidays away from home there were, however, many calls one could not exactly call an emergency. Often they ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. Lately, nothing worse cropped up than a customs officer phoning at two o'clock in the morning: "There is a camel waiting at the border." From the great distance of interrupted sleep, I heard my husband saying: "You guys must have a marvel- lous time down hanging up and blissfully going back to sleep, just to bo aroused again ten minutes later. "The camel is still waiting for inspection, sir." By the time he gets dressed and gets down to his yards, the camel is, of course, still there but added might be any number of horses, cattle trucks, circus animals or anything else on two, four or r.o legs with or without wings. So, the next lime he creeps back to bed, I might be getting up for breakfast. These kind of night calls though are not worth mentioning in com- parison with some others we had through- out our long and chequered career. Early in our married life, he was In pri- vate practice in South Devon, England, not far from bleak and lonely Dartmoor. One cold winter night, he was called out by an old lady living all alone in a hugs mansion, high up on the moors. She asked him to come as fast as he could "to save her watchdog." He rushed out through Ice and snow to be met by the old lady care- fully removing the chain from heavy oak- doors: "I must confess. I have no watch- dog but it gets so very lonely up here in winter and when I couldn't sleep, I thought how I would love to hear a nice Scottish accent. And here you are. Come in and have a hot cup of tea." In Lagos, he was called to his clinic at 3 a.m. by the American manager of the Nigerian soft drink distributors: "My Box- er dog is dangerously ill." At the clinic, he saw immediately that the Boxer, In the process of having puppies, did not need help but, before he could say anything, the soft drink manager asked: "Can you giva her an injection, and to his wife: "Wait outside, dear, you don't want in watch this." She obediently went out and the man whispered: "I know she is going to have pups but I wanted it to be a sur- prise for my wife." Later, before leaving, the wife took my husband aside: "I know she is just going to have puppies, Doc, but my husband did not want me to know and I could not disappoint him." The wife of a Supreme Court judge In- variably called him in the middle of ths night and the diseases of her pets ranged from a "budgie with a sore throat to a Pekinese with a headache." Even when he knew there was nothing wrong with pets and that the owners needed the treatment, he could not refuse to turn out for it might have been that one time he ignored a call that something serious might be the mat- ter. Early in the morning, after a party at the house of our Lagos bank manager, he was called back: "Something terrible has happened to one of our Siamese When he got there, dead tired, he found the animal had escaped from the cats' pri- vate room and climbed one of the tallest coconut palms in their compound, unable to get down again. However, the Japanese ambassador, who had not yet left the party, was already half way up the tree, his black tails flapping, stiff white shirt front bulging and it was he, scaling that smooth trunk as skilfully as a native, who rescued the frightened cat. On another occasion, a swarm of bees had made its home in the highest hollow point of a flagstaff outside Government House. It had to be removed before dawn or the Union Jack could not have been raised in the morning and how could the Army blow their bulges without the flag going up? Who but a veterinarian could remove bees? Aren't they animals? I can'l remember how he solved that problem but solve it he did. I could go on and on. Our night calls ranged from a request to board a "sweet- smelling-mongoose (and if that one was sweet-smelling, I shudder to think what a bad-smelling one would be like) to a lion with a sore throat, an injured rattle snake to a race horse with toothache or a few hundred parrots and monkeys to be ex- amined for export. If only someone had kept our telephone busy with a wrong number occasionally. Senseless slaughter Tne Great FalJs Tribune AT THE BEHEST of Western ranchers, the federal government has long en- gaged In the cruel, senseless and wholly unnecessary destruction of wild animals. The chief victims have been coyotes be- cause sheep raisers blame them for tha loss of lambs. The Department of the Interior has been spending million Annually on "predator control." It has put out poisoned carcasses on the open range. It has used the "coyote getter" a baited cartridge on a steel rod which shoots cyanide into the animal's mouth. From airplanes, it has scattered hundreds of thousands of lard-covered strychnine balk like deadly snowDakes. It is a thoroughly shameful, senseless and savage business carried out not by crack- brained individuals but by an arm of the United States government. This hideous practice has resulted In the slaughter not only of coyotes but also of thousands of bobcats, mountain uons, bad- gers, foxes, possums, raccoons, beavers and porcupines. Every Impartial scientist who has seriously studied this predator control program has condemned it as un- necessary, inhumane, and ecologically a disaster. The limits of public tolerance were reach- ed last year, however, when It became clear that the bald eagle, the national sym- bol, has been brought near to extinction partly because it has been feeding upon government-poisoned carrion. In conjunction with his annual message on the environment, President Nixon has at last issued an executive order forbidding the use of poisonous chemicals on public lands including those leased to sheep ranchers. Exceptions to the ban will be permitted only in presumably rare titua- tiocs. It is doubtful that any exceptions ought to be permitted, but if the new order Is conscientiously enforced, the shame of "predator control" may be banished from the land. It's about time. Silencing the senates IN a recent issue of this very journal the minister of education was quoted as (a) highly gratified and (b) rather dis- appointed at public response to a report entitled (a bit fatuously, don't you "A Choice of perhaps more widely known as the Worth Report. Leaves one a bit uncertain whether to put in one's two cents worth. But one wishes lo be sure one has done one's duty, so having pre- pared a few comments, I'll just air them here, where it will be very easy for the minister to ignore them, if indeed he has enough already. Hopping and skipping through the report after all, 300-odd pages is quite a lot of report-reading, even allowing for unusually generous use of pictures and blank spaces I came across a section entitled Univer- sity Senates, and having a certain interest In these bodies, I read carefully. It Is thn view of the commissioners that senates "might very well be and in support of this conclusion they cite the fact that the influence of senates has declined drastically because of what the report calls "the surge of staff In other words, Ihe paid staff of the umversity having suc- ceeded In usurping the role of the senate, or at least In finding the means lo vili.ito It, the senate should be abolished. A bit drneonlnn, wouldn't you sny? Rnlhcr liko discovering that the shoe no longer fit.s, and so prescribing amputation of the foot. My next reaction to this remarkable rec- commendation was to wonder where the commissioners got their information con- cerning senates and their roles. Surely it wasn't by direct enquiry of the three sen- ates in this province. (There may been some discussion with selected ex cf- ficio members, who are also members n( the paid staffs referred lo abin e, of course.) And one hopes it wasn't from per- usal of the Universities Act; it would ba Saddening to find that the future of educa- tion in this province might be inlhieuced by anyone who could read the relevant sections of the Act and not comprehend that the really significant role of a univer- sity senate in this province resides in ils being the sole body concerned exclusively with university affairs in which the major- ity of members represent the general pub- lic, and no one eke. It is startling to find that the Trainers o( tlu's report regard this to be of no account, that they can airily propose Ural this func- tion could as well be handled by civil ser- vants in the department of education. Mosl sincerely I trust that other sccUons of the report reflect more searching judgment. The fact of the matter Is Mint the raison d'etre of n university senate in the prov- ince of Alberta Is the means it provides of some sort of dialoguo between the univer- sity and the tax-paying public. Hoaven knows thai dialogue has been pretty feeble, in the pasl, but that's hnrdly reason for extinguishing it. If It were, senates would i lot o( compiny lo oblivion.