Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 13, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGH HERALD Tuesday, 13, 1977 Maurice Western Alarm of nationalists exaggerated Strikes in civil service The belief that federal civil ser- vants favor strike action as a method of settling disputes has not been open to argument ever since that right was given them by the Pearson administration. The unions have defended strike action with in- tense passion and have totally ig- nored the rising resentment in the Canadian public, which has found it- self inconvenienced, to say nothing of being forced to submit to economic loss, through circumstances for which it lias no responsibility whatever. But do the majority of civil ser- vants really prefer the right to strike, or would they rather submit their grievances to a binding court of arbitration? An interesting ques- tionnaire on this and other con- troversial issues has been going the rounds of two Ottawa constituen- cies. Preliminary results have been released by Ottawa Liberal MPs Gordon Blair and Lloyd Francis. One of the questions, blunt and un- equivocal, asked by Mr. Francis was "should public servants have the right to The mittedly only a partial one, based on 1080 replies is startling. Sixty- nine per cent said no, 22 per cent yes, and the remainder were fence sitters with no opinion. Although the survey questionnaire was not confined to public servants, it was conducted in an area where they predominate Ottawa. Granted also that only a small sampling has been published, the government would do well to ponder the results. It must be remembered, as Mau- rice Western, the Herald's Ottawa correspondent, points out, that at the time the legislation permitting strikes in the civil service went into effect "although many civil servants at the time indicated a preference for the course of arbitration, the union leaders seemed to regard this as a temporary situation." He continues. "Since that time they have defended the right to strike with much pas- sion and never, to my knowledge, have they suggested that their views on the subject might not be shared by those interests they profess to represent." The result of this preliminary and admittedly inadequate opinion samp- ling is at least indicative of a strong possibility that those most concern- ed, the civil servants themselves, might be in favor of relinquishing strike action as a means of achiev-- ing their demands. They should be considered. After all, civil servants are members of the public. It now seems that a large proportion of them along with the rest of us are disenchanted with unionism in the public service. OTTAWA The House com- mittee studying the Foreign Takeovers Bill has decided, not without a certain amount o[ po- litical controversy, that it is too short of time to seek guidance from Walter Gordon. While this is regrettable, all is not lost. Mr. Gordon's views ought by now to be quite gener- ally known and in any case tha committee is to hear from the Committee for an Independent Canada, of which he is a Found- ing Father. It is arguable too that Mr. Gordon should con- serve his strength for sterner efforts in a different direction. Tile main argument of new economic nationalists in the three serious political parties is relatively simple. Mr. Pcpin's bit! will not do very much to alter a situation which is sup- posed to be cause for alarm. Foreign capital In equity form is bad for us, in the eyes of Mr. Gordon, Mr. Lewis and others, because decision-making is transferred to head offices be- yond our borders. Although tberc is division in all the parties, concern mounts as one moves leftward across the political spectrum. Thus Ian Vv'alin is obviously more worried than Mr. Pcpin; Mr. Gordon more alarmed than Mr. Wahn, Mr. Lewis in greater distress than Mr. Gordon. With Mr. Laxer, Mr. Watkins and the so- cialist Waffle, sheer panic sets in. The decisions which have ac- quired such sinister significance for many people arc, of course, commercial decisions. No ona has produced convincing evi- dence that businessmen, guided by profit considerations, be- come nationalist-minded politi- cians when they enter their boardrooms. We do have some, studies by competent econo- mists which indicate that corpo- rations in which outsiders havo invested heavily differ in no sig- nificant way from purely Cana- dian companies in the provision of jobs, goods and services for the general community. In the vast complex of Cana> dian-American relations, there, are hound to be exceptional sit- uations. Not long ago critics complained that the great auto- mobile corporations were ex- tracting too much in prices from Canadian consumers. Eul tlu's posibility of excessive profit had been opened to them by the automobile pact whicli was the brain-child not of busi- nessmen but of governments. Tilings would be very differ- ent, and deeply alarming, If Ilia decisions were in fact political. There was a classic case in lira immediate aftermath of the war when the Soviet Union imposed joint development companies in East European countries. Tho political decisions of Moscow bureaucrats had political conse- quences, contributing largely to the revolt of Tito's Yugoslavia. With us the situation is quite different because tire interna- tional companies aro not tho servants of government. Busi- ness resents the interference of bureaucrats; a fact plainly evi- dent from the comments about Washington that find their way into the columns of financial pa- pers every day. This being tha general situation, the alarm and hand-wringing of our nationalist politicians would seem greatly exaggerated. Massacre in Burundi Tutsis on the rampage, Hutus reported massacred in Burundi, reads the headline in the Paris Her- ald Tribune. It is safe to assume that most readers know that Burundi is a newly independent African nation but to most of us the difference be- tween a Hutu and a Tutsi, and the reason for the reported mass slaugh- ter, is a mystery. Once a former Belgian trust terri- tory, Burundi became independent in 1962. Nearly four million tribesmen eke out a meagre existence there an existence that has been made even more precarious by thousand year old tribal enmities. 'Hie Tutsis, or more correctly the Watusis, the world's tallest people comprise about 20 per cent of the population, the Hulus, nearly 80 per cent. A small minority of pygmies, called the Twa, the world's smallest people, make up the rest. Tribal rebellion leading to mass slaughter has prevented any real progress in Burundi since indepen- dence. Hutus, numerically predomi- nant, but less well organized, have killed off their feudal overlords, the Tutsis, every once in awhile, but at present the country is ruled by a 32 year old Tutsi, Col. Michel Micom- bero. When the centuries old Bur- undi monarchy was overthrown, Mic- ombero on assuming power, declared his opposition to feudalism and clan conflicts. But Micombero appears totally un- able to control the present mass primitive fury, even though !ie has urged moderation. The outnumbered Tutsis, fearing an uprising of their enemies who outnumber them four to one, are going ahead, with the killings, probably believing that this is the only way to convince the Hutus that any attempt by them to take over the government is doomed be- fore it begins. When the law has no teeth, it is replaced by the law of the jungle. "When 1 applied for a job as an ecologisf, this isn't exactly what I had In Is the situation likely to change now that President Nixon lias been wined and dined in Peking and Moscow? Tins is a political year in the United Slates and the politicians are in oven fuller cry than they are in Ottawa. It may be that someone somewhere is advocating lha sort of program that would ap- peal to Mr. Lewis or even to Mr. Laxer; a massive take-over of industry and an American so- cialist state. Certainly in that event com- mercial decisions would become political decisions and we would have great cause for worry. But Is there anything to suggest that so extraordinary a transforma- tion is in the offing? (If it was, a first sign would probably be a flight of fascinated Canadian so- cteUsts to Washington for fresh inspiration; and of that there is no sign.) It may be that there are por- tents invisible to me but clear to Mr. Lewis and his assorted followers; rot to mention the frustrated Mr. Gordon. In that case, surely, they are wasting their breath with exhortations to people up here, They ought to be criss-crossing the United States warning Americans, in our in- terest, against the pitfalls of so- cialism and bureaucratic eco- nomics. Mr. Lewis is a very accomplished advocate and per- haps in such distressing circum- stances he might do something to bring our neighbors back to their senses. Such a tlireat, however, ap- pears decidedly remote. Pre- sumably U.S. business will con- tinue on its course, a reassuring prospect for socialist speech- writers up here. While it does any political decisions with im- plications for our sovereignty will doubtless continue to bo made by politicians. To protest them when they occur is one thing (if such deci- sions ara objectionable to us, they are probably objectionable to the business interests fected as to see a dire threat in the normal run ol commercial decisions is some- thing else again. In their alarm about theoretical dangers the nationalists would subordinate economics to political objectives at an unavoidable cost, hound to be high though impossible to measure. It is surprising that there should be such readiness to risk jobs for a theory built on such doubtful assumptions. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) Tim Traynor How much are you prepared to pay? Nuclear solution to energy shortage questioned By Eva Brewsfcr A NYONE who has never bargained in an oriental bazaar or sat cross-legged on a terrace with an African trader dis- cussing the well-being of his antecedents and all his progeny before getting down to the serious business of evaluating his wares, may never have had the opportun- ity to compare this method of conducting business with our once civilized trading system in Canada nor would he realize the. jungle the latter has developed into, I do enjoy bargaining in the Orient or Africa where it is part of a colorful, time-honored way of life and where, did you not try to bring down prices to the level of sanity, you would seriously hurt the trader's feel- ings and cheat him out of the joy of giving you a "present." In Canada, however, there was a time you could go into any shop, pay tho marked-up prices and feel satisfied they were reasonable. Now you can shop in the most reputable of stores and what you eventually pay may bear no relation to the original price tag. The final bill often de- pends on your nerve to say right out. that the items of your choice are too expensive and that the same goods are on sale for very much less elsewhere a fact the owner or manager probably knows anyway. This inconsistency in prices applies to anything you care to name, from a new car to the smallest item in your shopping basket. Let me give you a few examples: I got the shock of my life when I made my first purchases of furniture in Canada. The armchairs, chesterfield and rocking chair I had set my heart on were the most comfortable I had tried anywhere and car- ried the label of a reputable firm. How- ever, when a salesman turned up a price tag it made me gasp and, regretfully, 1 got up and prepared to look for something more in keeping with the contents of my purse. "How much would you be prepared to the salesman asked surprisingly. I told him and after some quick mental cal- culations he agreed to sell me the furnit- ure for a round below the asking price. Last winter I bought a pant suit in a sale for and shortly afterwards saw an identical one in another store, also "on for eighteen dollars. Quite a differ- ence, isn't it? I mentioned tlu's to the sup- ervisor and she admitted thera must ba some mistake and offered me the suit for the lower price. Nevertheless, the "sales" tag remained on the unsold suits. Six ounces of a popular cosmetic can be bought anywhere in Calgary for four dol- lars. Locally it costs six dollars. Delivery distance is blamed for the discrepancy. Yet, I can order it postfree from Cal- gary for the lower price. I could go on and on. Before you even look at a house or a new car you can knock off a few hundred dollars from the advertised price or, to come down to more mundane things: if one store sells green onions for 29 cents or strawberries for 79 cents, you can, if you put you foot down, buy them for that any- where, regardless of the original mark-up. Few people are aware of the very signif- icant fluctuation in cost and few have the time to shop around. Yet, it has become a necessity to find the stores that will not make an unrealistic profit if you want to keep your head above the murky water of rising inflation. Nor is it wise to believe all the advertisements of "lowest prices ever" or "here is where you save" because ycu will almost invariably discover others, of- ten smaller stores, where prices are lower and you save more. It is always the government that gets blamed for the ever increasing cost of living yet, private enterprise is as guilty of tho poor getting poorer and even those belter off frequently requiring the doubtful bene- fits of loan companies to cope with the greed of all those out to make a fast dol- lar. In the final analysis, it is up to the con- sumer to rid society of the evil necessity of bargaining. If everybody kept a watch- ful eye on individual unjustified price in- creases and refused to buy, we might soon be able to go back to those peaceful days when a price tag could be accepted at its face value. Lots of advice By Dong Walker PAUL came home from school recently said Keith to his bilious-look- with a list of optional activities avail- brother able to him in the next school term. His brother and sister looked over the list and had some helpful advice to offer. "You ought to sign up for knitting "Maybe they'd let you In the girls' self- improvement said Judi to the near- ly apopletic boy. TACK RIDGE, Tennessee: At the American Museum of Atomic Energy here, the de- velopment of nuclear science is depicted in neat rows of models and exhibits. The exhibits trace the growth of the nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge America's or- iginal atomic centre. There is information on how the com- plex evolved in the 1940s and on subsequent developments in nu- clear technofogy. The visitor then passes, in what seems a natural progres- sion, to confident projections about a nuclear "great leap for- ward" the establishment of a network of nuclear generating plants as a major component of the nation's electrical supply system. The actual situation is any- thing but neat. The Atomic En- ergy Commission, which runs the Oak Ridge Museum, has been shaken to its roots by en- vironmentalists' challenges to nuclear power generation in general and various nuclear plant sites in particular. In a major breathrough last summer, environmentalists won the backing of a federal appeals court in a case involving a par- tially-completed nuclear gener- ating plant at Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, on Chesapeake Bay. The court found that the AEC had not complied with the Na- tional Environmental Policy Act, which calls for a compre- hensive study of the environ- mental impact of any federally, sponsored project. The Calvert Cliffs decision meant the AEC had to set about re-processing licences granted to dozens of nuclear plants around the country. Commis- sion officials and firms which had invested billions of dollars in the development of the plants were plunged into uncertainly. They had no clear guide as to whether and when they could complete projects and add the resulting electrical generating capacity to existing reserves. In the months since, the AEC has struggled to regain its bal- ance. The projects by the court ruling were reviewed last fall and provisional approv- al for the continuation of con- struction was given to most, including Calvert Cliffs. This was far from removing uncer- tainties aroused by the deci- sion, however. To further prop up plans for major expansion of electrical generating capacity, the Nixon administration sought, and gained from Congress, legisla- tion to authorize the granting of temporary operating licences to nuclear plants which have been prevented from receiving regu- lar licences as the result ol en- vironmental challenge. The AEC will be able to grant the temporary licences on tho grounds that power from a plant is needed to meet urgent energy needs. The passage of the bill under- lines the conflicting pressures surrounding the nuclear pro- jects. From one direction, the plants are pushed by those pre- occupied with the threat of de- pletion of energy supplies, lead- ing to large-scale "brownouts" during the summer months when air-conditioners are in full use. The environmentalists, mean- while, push with increasing strength, from the other direc- tion. In Congress, for instance, it has been proposed that de- velopment of nuclear plants be frozen altogether pending fur- Uier study of safely aspects. Hearings called by the AEC as part of its response to the court decision have led to the airing of scientific doubts which have served to heighten the controversy. It has emerged that there has been consider- able questioning of a key ele- ment of the standard safe- guards for nuclear plants, with concern being expressed both Waste going to gas By Don Oakley, Service up one more ecologi- cal crisis. This one has to do with the spontaneous gener- ation of methane gas from ani- mal droppings and other organ- ic wastes. Balloon and rocket observa- tions indicate that this gas rises into the upper air in sufficient quantities to reduce the strato- sphere's ozone content. And the ozone layer Is all that stands between us and the sun's harm- ful ultra-violet radiation. It is not clear who worried about the situation" over past eons when all the world was a zoo, or as recently as 100 years ago when 60 million flatulent bison roamed the West with nobody to pick up after them. Most people will conclude that there are more urgent problems on the ecological agenda. But one of those problems is the world's shrinking reserves of the kind of natural gas wa pump out of the ground and which has become urgently de- sirable as a source of pollution- free energy even as supplies dwindle. It could be that tha methane problem will help solve the natural gas problem. It is reported that some farm- ers on Taiwan are already us- ing pig produced methane to heat their houses. A gentleman in Devonshire, England, runs his car on methane obtained from chicken droppings. According to a scientist with the University of Arizona, the technology is available for con- verting urban and agricultural wastes on a large scale into usable methane. The manure from a feedlot producing cattle could supply the fuel gas needs for people, says Hinrich Bolm in Environment magazine. Speaking of technology, by curious happenstance a U.S. company, has just claimed an "environmental breakthrough" in the area of municipal solid waste disposal by developing a process that converts organic wastes, such as paper and gar- bage, into a premium fuel gas. Not only that, says Linde Div- ision of Union Carbide, but solid wastes, including everyth i n g from metals, plastics, glass, tires and furniture to the kit- chen sink, are into a slag which has several potential ap- plications. The company is looking for a municipality in which to dem- onstrate the system on a full- scale basis. A lot of gas has been gener- ated in recent years over tha energy and pollution crisis fac- ing the world. Not all of it, fortunately, has been hot air. by outside technical experts and by officials at high levels within the AEC. The item in question is known as the Emergency Core Cooling System. Heat from the core of a reactor is normally absorbed by steam, from which electric- ity is produced. In the event that the steam system ruptures, the ECCS is supposed to flood the reactor core with water to prevent a build up of heat which might cause the core to fuse causing an uncontrolled chain reaction. There has not been a full- scale test of the mechanism. When it was tested on a small mock-up reactor it failed, but the AEC claims this was not applicable to large commercial reactors. Nevertheless, a num- ber of scientists considered the result sufficient to object to the reactor program, as being in- adequately prepared. Though it is not claimed that there is any imminent possibil- ity of a serious reactor ac- cident, it is said that until the safety mechanisms have been more fully explored, reactors should not be located near pop- ulation areas, at the very least. Other questions figuring in the controversy are the escape of radioactive material into tha environment, and the disposal of reactor waste materials. Af- ter discounting questioning on its standards for emissions into the atmosphere the AEC light- ened the standards, thus some- what undercutting its earlier position. By its own admission, tha AEC does not have a final an- swer to the question of how in- creasing amounts of waste ma- terials which will remain radioactive for centuries ara to be disposed of. Scientists critical of the reactor program point to this as another indica- tion of inadequate preparation for the planned plunge into nu- clearization of power resources. The stakes in the struggle aro very large: Over 100 nu- clear generating plants are un- der contraction or on order. By the year 2000, it is estimated nuclear plants will account for half the nation's electric power. (Hcrnld Wasliintoit Bureau) Looking backward Through The Herald 1912 The world's record for pipe laying was broken near Lcthbridge the other day. A gang of 40 men working for Drinkoil and Connor on the na- tural gas pipe line laid feet in one day, the best pre- vious record being slightly over feet. 1922 The Lethbridgc tax rate for 1922 was struck at 45.9 mills. This is an increase ol 1.3 mills over 1921. 1932 of golfers played over the new 0 hole course of the Lethbridge Golf and Country Club on Saturday. 1B12 Lumber Jills, mem- bers of the newly formed Bri- tish Timber Corps, now fell trees, saw and mea- sure timber for ship building, aircraft construction, pit props and other work. 1532 The roar of the new press in The Herald building became official yestord a y afternoon at an informal cere- mony in which W. A. Hamilton pushed the starter button and Earl Morris checked the first paper of the "run." The Lethbridgc Herald 5M 7th St. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERA1I> r.O. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published I905-19S4, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Mali ReghisaUon No, 0013 Member of The Canadian and the Canadian Dairy Newspactf Publishers' Association and I he Audir Bureau cf Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and. Publisher THOMAS H, ADAMS, Genera' Manager DOM PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER idvtrtSsIng Manager tdltorfal Editor "THE HERAID SERVES THE SOUTH"