Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 22, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Saturday, June 22. 1974 Inflation and the CIDA Inflation is usually thought of in domestic terms, which is perhaps natural in a campaign year. But if infla- tion is having an impact on the Canadian consumer's pocketbook. it is also having a marked and disastrous effect on the program of the Canadian International Development Agency. For Canada to maintain the impact and the extent of its aid to developing nations, there will have to be a increase in money allocated for such aid. To illustrate the problem, in 1973 fabricated steel was a ton: it is now S800. In 1972. fertilizer was a ton: it is now Wheat was a metric ton in October of 1972; in March of this year it was S220. (To put this another way, in 1972 a billion dollars would buy a developing country 16 million tons of wheat. In 1973 it would buy only 11 million tons and by 1974 it would purchase only five million tons.) Although the general rate of inflation in Canada at the moment is running about 10 per cent a year, the programs of the CIDA. because of the large propor- tion of commodities and manufactured goods involved, have been hit by a dramatically higher rate. In some sec- tors of the budget, costs have risen 100 per cent. Canadians are among the world's most favored people. This is a truism worth repeating here because of the corollary responsibility to those less favored. It would be encouraging if. in their political campaigns, this country's national leaders would remember this and. in ad- dition to their promises about domestic economic matters, would make promises about meeting the inflationary increases in the CIDA budget. Civil liberties Two of the world's most hated dic- tators are currently being resurrected in white-washed versions in their respec- tive countries. In West Germany there is a noticeable Hitler boom in which fascist newspapers assert that concentration camps were built after the war by German prisoners under American orders and biographies of Hitler play up his- contribution to German nationalism and ignore his barbarities. In Russia there are signs of a similar attempt to present Stalin in a respec- table light, after the deglorification of the Khruschev period. The difference between the- two situations is the fact that in Russia the attempt to modify history has government approval whereas in West Germany it does not have the blessing of the government. This eulogizing of men to whom human rights meant nothing comes at a par- ticularly dangerous time when the world faces an unsettling degree of economic and social chaos and entire nations yearn for strong leaders with simplistic solutions. At times like these, the illusion of security may seem more important than democratic ideals. By a fortuitous coincidence, the Cana- dian Civil Liberties Association has just published a tract entitled The Fun- damentals of our Fundamental Freedoms, designed to set forth the philosophic bases of democracy. Its origin lay in the invocation of the War Measures Act Oct. 16, 1970. More specifically, it was inspired by the lack of reaction among Canadians to this infringement of their liberties and a suspicion on the part of some leaders of the Canadian Labor Congress that there was very little literature available for school and public consumption concern- ing the rationale of basic civil liberties, to enable Canadians to recognize in- vasions of those rights so necessary to democratic societies. In introducing the booklet, the Honourable Ernmett M. Hall, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, wrote. ''Every citizen has the obligation to be aware of his rights and must have the courage to stand against any unlaw- ful invasion of them." The book ends with the familiar, but none the less eloquent, warning of the German Protestant clergyman, Martin Niemoller: "First they arrested the Communists but I was not a Communist, so I did nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then they arrested the trade unionists and I did nothing because I was not one. And then they came for the Jews and then the Catholics, but I was neither a Jew nor a Catholic and I did nothing. At last they came and arrested me and there was no one left to do anything about it.'' The author concludes that the freedom of no one is safe unless the freedom of everyone is safe. Southern Alberta is a long way from Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia in time, space and social and political prac- tices. Nevertheless, even here, there is occasional evidence that civil liberties and civil rights are not as well under- stood (or valued) as they should be. The pamphlet is published by the Cana- dian Civil Liberties Education Trust. 1554 Yonge St.. Toronto, at a cost of 75 cents. It is a good investment. Hard to please By Doug Walker Judi and I collaborated on a meal of near perfection. She prepared a succulent beef stew and I provided stewed rhubarb with a dash of ice cream. While we smacked our lips and congratulated ourselves on our culinary success. Paul was his usual glum self. He not only did not join in the exclamations of delight, he looked as though he was having to force the food down. WEEKEND MEDITATION It was too much for Judi. "Paul." she said, "did you ever enjoy a After some thought he conceded that an anniversary dinner at a restaurant a couple of years ago had been "pretty good." Now that he's failed us all, including himself, his mother won't have to feel so discouraged as she resumes the cooking chores. Merits of the open mind All prophets have struggled against closed minds. It was one of Jesus' most bitter com- plaints. People become prisoners of their own prejudices, enslaved to their traditions, un- willing to listen to new truth. On the other hand, of course, it is a common fault to want to run after new things, follow every fad. As Chesterton said, the merit of an ope" mind is to be able to close it on something solid. Some church ladies were preparing a dinner for an anniversary. Some newcomers suggested baked potatoes. An oldtimer spoke with an outraged voice. "We've always had mashed potatoes in this This became a private joke for the minister and his wife who. when prevented from trying something new. would laugh at one another and say. "But we've always had mashed potatoes in this The open mind is a hospitable, generous mind, an appreciative mind, always looking for something to praise and enjoy Jesus was continually saying. "Behold the lilies; behold the sparrows, behold the fields He was call- ing to people to wake up, there was so much to sec and appreciate A story is told of William Corbett Roberts when rector of St George's church, in Bloom- sbury A man came to the church wanting some information and the sexton told him to consult the rector The stranger knew he was studying and said. "I don't like to trouble him The sexton replied, "Nothing is a trou- ble to our rector What a fine man Roberts must have been Few of us have such gracious hospitality The mind is an undiscourageable mind Robert Stevenson had a hard life and finally became discouraged. He wrote. "1 nave trod tne upward and the p onward slope. I have endured and in days HOLD SOMETHING YOU CAN USE FOR PEACEFUL. PURPOSES... Comprehensive transportation policy By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator is reasonable to assume that, with Jean Marchand's press confer- ence, we now have a comprehensive statement of the Government's new trans- portation policy; bits and pieces of which have been coming down to us over the past fortnight in an- nouncements and hand-outs. Without question, the policy will be very costly. Mr. Marchand's five-year figure is SI .7 billion but this evidently is a ballpark estimate. It does not take into account the ren- tal of track; a matter left to future negotiations: nor the cost of rate subsidies, obvious- ly difficult to assess in ad- vance: nor the progress of inflation. In fairness, it must be noted that, with or without major policy changes, large costs loom ahead and will have to be met in one form or another. Possibly the most obvious is the restoration and improve- ment of the road beds and track in western Canada. But this unavoidable burden, coupled with the present very high level of government ex- penditures and the massive foreseeable demands on the economy for other purposes in the next few years, might be expected to make the Govern- ment wary of new com- mitments. "At the least it would seem advisable to clar- ify priorities but they are missing altogether from Mr. Marchand's guiding prin- ciples, which concentrate rather more on the in- spirational, such as world leadership and "people and national interest first, profits second." The word does occur else- where in the document but in a fashion to suggest (except in regard to the revamping of the grain handling system) that it does not necessarily mean to the Government what it means to the individual citizen: that is. first things first. We learn, for example, that the Liberal party has three major transportation priorities but these, on exam- ination, turn out to be simply objectives. Thus the system must work to ensure national and regional economic development: it must rein- force our reputation as a reliable exporter and it must produce a streamlining of the interrelationship and inter- workings of our various modes of freight. Good, but what things do we do and in what order? From these collected pro- nouncements, one gains a total impression that the Government, through its new policies, is going to improve everything everywhere. In ad- dition to all the changes affecting freight, the box-car reserve, the grain handling system, the ports, rates and so on, there is the new multi- mode policy (and a new Crown Corporation) for inter- city passenger trans- portation. It is not solely a matter of high speed passenger rail service in the Quebec City provinces link and various other areas; the new Corpo- ration is also to ensure "high quality bus services in areas not adequately served by ex- isting carriers' and "Super- bus" service between vastly superior terminals in medium sized centres. Furthermore, the old style luxury service is to be restored for special trans- continental excursion trains "of the highest which will also emphasize the auto piggy-back traffic. We are promised, at the same time a major conference on national highway policy. In brief, whatever we think we want, we are going to get. It is also quite certain, although the point is not stressed, that we will have to pay for it. There is an argu- ment that more attractive services will attract the customers to pay their way. But there is also a not very reassur- ing experience: the CN did in fact test this theory, despite the findings of a Royal Commission, and the results were disappointing. A policy of everything for omitting the manufacturers who may be offered more than they are capable of not seem, on first inspection, a very responsible approach. But Mr. Marchand's course is open to another objection. Surely the Government is do- ing what David Lewis, up to this point, has not succeeded in doing: making na- tionalization respectable. The point is not that the Lib- erals are adding new gems to the galaxy of Crown Corpo- rations: many of which are more radiantly expensive than obviously efficient. It is, simply. that the government, professing a spirit of pragmatism, is relieving the railways of unprofitable services while continuing to entrust them with the profitable ones (with a few subsidies in the process to improve the road Many citizens, almost certainly, will interpret this proposition in simple terms; heads they win. tails we lose. On this basis. Mr. Lewis may very well find takers for the case that was generally ignored in 1972 when he talked of nationalizing the CPR. It is doubtful if we have had before a non-political policy more felicitously phrased for maximum political ef- fect. But phrases alone will not build a transportation system of rea- sonable efficiency and within our means as shippers, customers and tax-payers. Comprehensive as the new policy may be. it is scarcely a finished product. A good many strings are still dangling: many questions remain un- answered. Of the latter, at least two are very important. What will this plethora of ser- vices mean in additional costs to already overburdened tax- payers? And where is the new pragmatism leading: to more efficient systems or to rail socialism via the back door? Ottawa Declaration restates NATO principles By W.A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator before: I have longed for all. and bid farewell to hope: and I have lived and loved and closed the door." How sad that is. when a man final- ly gives up and closes the door! It means that life is over. The open mind is always trying new ways, getting new ideas. It is like Ulysses whose purpose held to sail beyond the sunset anfl the bath of all the Western stars until he died. Listen to the old man calling to his comrades. "Come, my friends: 'tis not too late to seek a newer world." The open mind does not despair, never gives up. The open mind is a brave mind, an adven- turous mind. The fault of many people and in- stitutions is that they cease to progress, they stand still, and develop sclerosis of the men- tal arteries. Only those live truly who live adventurously. U is a tragic life which is always living in the past. Paul urged his readers lo forget the things which were behind and to reach out to the things that are before Live with the future in your rnind! The motto of the Scottish family, the Buchanans, is "Audaces meaning. "I help the brave. "This is commonly expressed. 'Fortune favors the brave." The great men and women are those who challenged the im- possible. The telephone, the airplane, the television, and countless other inventions and achievements of men's minds and hearts were declared impossible. How impossible it seemed that smallpox and tuberculosis should be driven from a country, but they were by men and women of the open mind. The closed mind is the greatest enemy of God and man PRAYER: O God, give me a mind open to truth, a heart open to love, and a life open to the call to adventure. F.S.M. OTTAWA The statement of principles agreed to here by the NATO foreign ministers, which may come to be known as the Ottawa Declaration, is j moderately important piece of tidying up. of getting the house in order, by a group of countries which recognize that their futures are largely tied together. On the face of it. the declaration is an up-to-date re-statement of principles which the alliance has accepted from the beginning. Even if that were all. it would be no bad thing. There is merit, as Dr. Kissinger suggested at the end. in re- minding the countries of the alliance of the realities they live with, which are not the same as those of the days 25 years ago when the alliance was put together. That is not. however, quite all of it The ups and downs of the project since Kissinger first put it forward in a New York speech on April 23.1973, are significant too. The major events which have taken place in the intervening months, however, have been of great magnitude. The Middle East was last Oc- tober, the drastic re-pricing of crude oil by the producing states with all of the ramifications of that action in a world where a Kissinger's exceptionally successful diplomacy in the Middle East, where even first stepssare in fact improvements that would have seemed beyond hope not many months earlier. When American forces were placed on a world-wide alert during the October war without any consultation between the United States and its allies, a shocked shudder went through the alliance and through this capital as much as the others. The justifica- tion for the American action was openly questioned. The action itself was widely regarded as an unsound response to whatever the Soviet Union had been prepar- ing to do. On his side. Kissinger was openly furious with his country's allies and he let his intolerance of them be widely advertised. Relations between most of the same countries, although outside the precise NATO context, were about as badly .strained over the oil issue.When Nixon organized the Washington conference at the beginning of the year to consider the oil situation, the European nations were suspicious. They tended to regard it as. at best, an attempt to divert attention away from his Watergate problems and. at worst, a dangerous effort to gang-up on THE CASSEROLE the oil producers, who had it in their power to retailiate against any course that looked like a western effort to bully them out of their new price structures. Strain grew again when Kis- singer reacted badly to the de- cision of the European Community members to talk directly to the Arab states about oil. The American secretary of state is brilliant, he has genuine accom- plishments to his credit, and he also possesses some of the characteristics of a prima donna. The snappish reactions that were developing between the United States and its allies last winter were again getting into the category of dangerous luxuries- The background was full of factors that ranged from discouraging to alar- ming. At one level, the various sets of talks with the Soviet Union were moving very un- evenly, where they were mov- ing at all. Much greater doubts, how- ever, were arising on the eco- nomic side. Attention tends to be centred on the problem of the inflation which torments this and every other advanced nation, along with some that are not so far advanced. A more critical problem than the painful level of prices, although related to it. is the strain that is being imposed on the international monetary structure. This is coming from the great balance of payments problems that are now starting to develop fully from the new level of oil prices. They carry with them grave threats to trading pat- terns. It is likely that every foreign minister here this week would have conceded privately that he is far more worried by the danger of Italian economic collapse and all that might follow than by anything the Soviet Union is currently doing. This all mounts to a picture of a world in which countries cannot afford to leave their relationships troubled and un- tidy No one expects a brave new world from the Ottawa Declaration but no one should scoff at any tidying up t do today. The Ottawa bureau responsible for enforc- ing the Hazardous Products Act says that because of recent reports of baby soothers having harmed the children using them, new regulations will be introduced to make them safer. Someone should bring to their attention that a favorite adult soother 'the one that comes in bottles has a long record of harm- ing its users, perhaps they can figure out how that stuff could be made a little safer. "Illiteracy rate shocks American." a headline' in a big city paper That's odd Don'1 they listen to the radio anymore'' A researcher recently expressed the opi- nion that excessive drinking may not be as frequent a cause of highway accidents as is claimed. Perhaps not. but since the legal drinking age was lowered to IS the number of teen-age highway deaths has gone up dramatically, as have impaired driving charges against teen-agers and the number of accidents in which teen-aged drivers are in- volved Moreover, according to a Calgary police inspector, the younger drivers love speed and tend to dnvc faster when they've had a few dnnks, so the accidents they have are more serious. The lethbridge Herald 5M7thS1 S Lethbndge Alberta LETHBRiDGE MERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Wegislration No 0012 CLEO MOWERS Editor Publisher DON M PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General I ROY F MILES Advertising Manage- DOUGLAS K WALKER Edfonai Page tenor ROBERT M FENTO Circulation Manager KENNETH 8ARNETT Business. "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"