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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 20, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta _ THE IFIHBRIDGE HERALD 20, 1972 Dave Humphreys European leaders plan two conferences ._ i i ,t ii._ tnn Vfif ic rtfltil fnriim for Canada waffles Canada eventually joined the plenary session at the Stockholm Human Environment conference in condemning all testing of nuclear weapons, Especially "those carried out m the atmosphere." But why did Canada abstain in Uie committee voting on the resolution? (In corn- rnittee the vote was 48 to 2, with France and China A member of the Canadian delegation, Liberal MP Eymard Cor- bin, said Canada wanted a resolu- tion with more universal application without reference to a specific COUTH try an inconsistent comment, since no specific country was men- tioned in the original draft resolu- tion Mr. Corbin went on to say that since it was obvious that the resolu- tion would be adopted at the plenary session anyway Canada would extend its approval. What kind of skirting the issue is this? Canada's Minister of External Affairs, Mitchell Sharp has said that Canada is "the leading advocate in the world of ending all nuclear whether in the atmosphere or un- dergound." That includes France as well as China. There is a suspicion that Canada was attempting some kind of left- handed gesture of friendship to France in abstaining from voting on the committee resolution. Yet the French tests do not have the mitigat- ing circumstances of the Chinese ones. The Chinese after all, are fac- ing a nuclear power on their own border But in any conceivable cir- cumstances, a nuclear confrontation in Europe, which includes France, would have the protection of the U.S. nuclear power. The only possible reason for the French tests Abased on French nationalism, a uaullist throwback it has yet to rid itself from. The bumbling explanations of tho Canadian representatives at the conference dumbfounded the com- mittee members, according to reliable reports. They are not any more understandable or satisfactory to the Canadian public. Our friend- ship with France and China should not force us to back down on our stated principles. Canada after all had no hesitation in protesting loud- ly clearly and in every way it how when the Amchitka tests were carried out last year. The fact that the French tests are being conduct- ed far from Canadian territory does not alter the principle involved. T ONDON European Icad- crs ore showing signs of unease. They have commit- ted themselves to two grand history- making conferences in the next year but they are not sure they can deliver the goods. Tlwy are divided among them- selves about the goals to be set and lire means for achieving them. President Georges Pom- pidou of France has threaten- ed to cancel the summit meet- ing of the ten leaders in the expanded Common Market in. October for fear of failure. The same conflict has already arisen in planning for the Eu- ropean security conferenco next year. Canada has a direct interest in both conferences: In. the summit If only because it may determine for years to come the kind of Europe that will form Canada's second largest trading partner. Canada has a seat in the security meeting by virtue of membership in NATO. President Pompidou's ill-tempered threat betrays the fundamental, old differences that exist in tho Europeans concepts of tho future of their continent. The French emphasize the independence of Europe as a power unto itself. The British and most others emphasize the value maintaining the North Atlantic partnership, a view to which successive Canadian gov- ernments have subscribed. For- mer Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson made the point to a Commonwealth conference in London recently. He said: "I b e 11 o v e that the frag- mentation of mankind, whether into inward looking regional or continental groupings, or based on a tew super-powers and their clients, preoccupied with their own problems and interests, is bad for every state, dangerous for smaller ones and an obstacle to world peace, security and ordered progress." Europe must be ex- pansive and outward looking, lie said. Elsewhere in Europe at the same time French and British ministers raised the two con- cepts. French Deputy Foreign Minister Jean da Lipkowski said the (highly protective) Common Market agriculture policy must be saved and strengthened as the backbone of an economic and monetary union. The British representative at the Common Market, Michael Paluser, revived the concept long soft-pedalled hi the inter- ests of harmony with the French: "The creation of a new but equally close and friendly At- lantic relationship as we have enjoyed in tlie past, requires a basic strength and effort between Europe and North America: This in turn requires a greater unity among the Europeans." These deep differences of view stand beliind the imme- diate disputes about whether a new institution should be loca- ted in Paris or in Brussels. Until they are bridged, Mr. Pompidou may well worry that the French concept may not prevail and Us October summit may dissolve in dissent. The division spills over into the security field. All ten members of the new Common Market, except France and Ire- land, are also NATO members. In that capacity they have agreed to prepare almost ot once for next year's grand con- frontation over a table with the Soviet bloc. They also hope to interest the Soviets in Mutual and Balanced Force Reduc- tions, to which the French are opposed on a bloc basis. France takes no part in the military side of NATO. Accord- ing to the Times the French have argued that tho planned Common Market political scc- cretariat should he in a non- NATO capital, meaning Paris or Dublin. In spite of such arguments the Common Market Ten have ambitions of agreeing to a sin- gle policy for the security con- ference. They are working to that end through their foreign policy group known as the Da- vignon committee. NATO Sec- retary General Joseph Luns and U.S. Secretary of State liam Rogers happen to think NATO, not the Common Mar- ''Closer than it was" There's an air of expectancy and hope that something is going on that may, just may, lead to encouraging developments on the diplomatic front- leading to a negotiated end to the Vietnam war. White House aides say that they do not expect Hanoi's agreement on anything before the November elec- tions are over, for obvious reasons. Hanoi could expect much easier terms for a negotiated peace from a Democratic president, and in particu- lar from first runner George Mc- Govern, than they could from Presi- dent Nixon. But facts are facts, and Hanoi has to admit that its war effort is falter- ing The U.S. bombing and mining of the harbor has hurt North Vietna- mese morale and slowed the flow ot supplies. The big North Vietnamese offensive while it cannot yet be called a failure is undoubtedly faltering. The diplomatic situation has changed since the President's overtures in Peking and Moscow. The North Viet- namese leaders are not as sure of support from either China or Russia as they once were, and further they know that U.S. public opinion unex- pectedly and strongly supports the Nixon decision to resist the massive North Vietnamese invasion with air and sea power. In spite of Moscow radio's anti- U S blasts last weekend, President Podgorny, of the route home from a conference in Hanoi, said that the Soviet Union would do everything possible to work for a de- escalation of the Vietnam war. This has been interpreted as meaning that he urged the need for some kind ol] compromise on the Vietnamese. President Nixon's trouble shooter, Henry Kissinger, having returned to the U.S. from a fence mending tnp to Japan, is now in China where he is talking the whole thing over with Premier Chou En-Iai. The U.S. chief negotiator in the Paris peace talks, Mr. William Porter, is back in the French capital, and there are rumors that the North Vietnamese represent- ative Xuan Thuy will turn up soon. No one is yet suggesting that the end is in sight. All that can be said for sure is that it is a little closer than it was. Jn fact it looks like a stalemate, and the only way out of a stalemate is the conference table. "What Jo you mean,