Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 24, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE Junt Canada week Canada think about it penson-y. This is the theme of Canada Week, which runs from June 24 to July 1. Sometimes the best way to think about a country is to look at it through the eyes of a visitor. From this point of view, the most immediately noticeable thing about Canadians is their ability to enjoy life. Canadians are activists. not social activists, mind you just activists, busy at a multitude of recreational, commercial, educational and philanthropic activities. There is a reason for this. A considerable amount of money is spent at all levels of government to provide the physical and organizational facilities which promote such activity. The ability to be happy does not mean that the Canadian psyche is any sturdier than, for instance, its counterpart south of the border. It simply means that a Canadian does not wake up every morning, as an American does, with the knowledge that his country is the number one power in the world and therefore, in a large sense, responsible for its destiny. This is not a burden to be envied and its lack frees Canadians, by and large, from the neurotic quality of life that grips most Americans. The second aspect of Canadian life here on the prairies which is most noticeable to a visitor is the disappointing penchant for borrowing American culture and history. Almost all conversational references are American and one gets the instant impression that Canada has no past and very little present. Not long ago. an announcer on a local talk show, in making a generalized pronouncement about corruption in unions, mentioned Dave Beck and Jim Hoffa. Both are Americans. If there are no Canadian union leaders who could have been cited as examples, then such a generalization was out of place in Canada. Although the results are not yet visible to a visitor, this country is embarked on a revival of interest in its own culture and history. This search for identity seems to have sprung from a national, subconscious consensus that Canadians don't really want to be Americans after all. It's a sign of maturing and it's about time. Self-respect is a better ingredient of national identity than envy and, in Canada's case, it is a more realistic one. This is an exciting country, culturally, historically and geographically. Its bilingual opportunities, which are sadly neglected because of the polarization between French and English cultures, its opportunities for pioneering peacetime technology because its industry is not tied to a huge war machine, its opportunities, if it grasps them, to learn from the environmental experience of others because it is still a developing nation, its space, its heterogeneous population, its resources, its potential for exploring the quality of life all combine to make it a country unique on the face of the earth. Above all, because it is wealthy without being overpowering, because it has a conscience without being politically aggressive, because it shares problems with both the industrialized nations and the developing nations of the world, it has the unique opportunity to provide insight into the world-wide problems which face mankind and leadership in helping to meet them co- operatively, as must be done. Penson-y. It is a nation of which to be proud. A note of thanks In officially opening its distillery in Lethbridge, International Distillers and Vintners. Ltd.. of London, England, made a very stylish gesture and one which should not be lost on other local in- dustries. The Lethbridge distillery announced the granting of six scholarships to the University of Lethbridge. In doing so, a spokesman for the company explained that, after all. the University of Lethbridge is Lethbridge. This perception of the university is not the usual one in Southern Alberta and it is a refreshing revelation of the thinking of the outside world. Nothing of this nature has happened to the University of Lethbridge before, to the distress of various faculty members who are aware that in other parts of the world industrial concerns do contribute to undergraduate education by way of sizeable scholarships. In Alberta, in- dustry is more apt to contribute research money to graduate students for projects of immediate benefit to that industry. International Distillers and Vintners are to be complimented on their public relations gesture, not only because it will assist specific students but also because it emphasizes the value of undergraduate education as seen by international in- dustry. RUSSELL BAKER The Great Whale's mistake A mother whale and a father.whale were swimming along the coast with their adoles- cent son whale when the mother sighted a school of people on the beach. "Thar they she sang out in her eerie whale voice. asked the son whale, who had never seen a school of people before, or even a stray person. "That's people, said the father whale. "You see them all up and down this coast at this time of year. They cover themselves with oil and lie up there on the sand and boil themselves until they sizzle." "But they're such little said the son whale. "I'll bet I could swallow one whole and have him live in my stomach." His mother said she would not want her stomach filled with anything that had been boiled in oil and had sand all over it. Moreover, she said, it would be very un- healthy because people were filled with smoke and hot dogs. "What do people asked the young whale. "They sit on the beach and stare at the ocean." the father whale said. And they eat hot dogs." The mother whale said they also walked into the ocean now and then and flopped around in the water for brief periods and made such clumsy splashes that the fish had to get out of their way. "They seem to be useless." said the son whale. "Why did the great whale make people "Son." said the father whale, "no creature in the great whale's universe exists without a purpose. If the great whale made people it was for a good reason." "Maybe people are the great whale's way of keeping down the hot dog the young whale suggested. "There are some things." said the mother whale, "that even whales can't understand. We must accept the world as it is and live in harmony with it." The father whale called their attention to a small group of people who had detached themselves from the school and were getting into a metal box mounted on wheels. When they were all inside, the metal box moved along the beach throwing up a great cloud of sand and destroying vegetation and birds' nests. "What are they doing asked the son whale. "Making said the father whale. "People make almost all the garbage in the world, and they use those little moving boxes to do the job." He showed his son the dark gases which spewed out of the box and pointed out the ef- ficiency with which the beach grasses and the bird nexts were quickly converted into gar- bage. "And inside the box." he said, "they are also preparing more garbage." At that moment six beer cans came flying out of the box, followed by a bag containing a half-eaten hot dog, a mustard jar. some banana peels and an empty plastic body-oil container. "Maybe that's the reason the great whale made said the young whale. "To make garbage." "The world doesn't need growl- ed the father whale. "Now. now." said the mother whale, who was always uneasy in the presence of religious speculation, "we must accept the world as it is and learn to live in harmony with it." "Sometimes." said the father whale, "I think the great whale doesn't know what he's doing." "Your father has been very sensitive about garbage." the mother whale explained, "ever since he dived into 800 tons of fresh sludge that had just been dumped off the New Jer- sey coast. He smelled like a sewer for weeks." "Eight hundred tons of cried the young whale. "Wow! That's what I call gar- bage The young whale was so excited that he spouted, and the people on shore saw it and cned, And somebody threw a beer bottle at them. The whales made for deep dis- tant water and later that night as they drifted off the gulf stream admiring the stars a large ship passed by and spilled oil over them, but they remained in harmony with the world as it was. and afterwards dreamed of the unfor- tunate people far behind them making gar- bage through the sweet summer night. Still smiling By Dong Walker Borys Gleb was clearly the best of a bad lot one of the times he was playing with Lu OulleUe, Fern Bouchard and me. But on the last hole he dropped into a tie with me at 104. was having my own troubles on the left side of the fairway but I was aware thai Borys was hacking down the right side. Then I lost sight of him until I got to the green when I spotted him on the 10th tee box beyond the 9th green. Somehow he arrived at the green via the path to the club house and after putting back and forth a few times he holed out with a nine. And he was still smiling. Why shouldn't a gay smile when he can come in with only nine after all that trouble? "No, but he could be the first U.S. president to visit us who asks for political asylum Moscow looks beyond Nixon By Dev Murarka, London Observer commentator Soviet Un- ion is already giving thought to the shape of its relations with the United States after Nixon, as Soviet leaders become more and more reluctantly convinced that the president's days in the White House may be shortened. They want to use his visit to Moscow to stabilize relations with Washington at a certain level of political and strategic parity. But there is no great confidence here that beyond an underground nuclear test ban treaty for which an American negotiating team has already been here there will be any new breakthrough in the strategic arms limitation talks. Mr. Leonid Brezhnev's pre- election speech in Moscow traditionally an occasion for reviewing policy, was notable for the absence of any startl- ing new propositions. And even on the subject of Mr. Nixon's forthcoming visit he sounded a little on the defen- sive, although confident of its limited outcome. But the Soviet leaders seem to be worried that even before the visit has taken place, a sense of anti-climax is in the air. Mr. Brezhnev himself referred to the foreign press's pessimistic outlook about the visit and went on to say that "we want Soviet-American relations to become really stable and not dependent upon fleeting factors." Significantly, there was little to indicate that the Russians are concerned with raising the overall level of this stability, except in the strategic arms limitation field. In other words it is tacitly recognized that President Nixon is no longer in a political shape to move into newer and deeper areas of consolidation of Soviet-American ties. No one has even mention- ed the unfulfilled American promise of "most favored nation" treatment in trade. It has virtually disappeared from Soviet pronouncements as an issue between Washington and Moscow; this is the result of two factors, the recognition that Mr. Nixon is helpless in the matter and a desire not to embarrass him further. Nevertheless, Mr. Brezhnev's speech did emphasize that at the moment the priority areas for Soviet foreign policy are relations with the United States and Europe. He spent a con- siderable part of his foreign policy speech alternately pleading and being tough about the progress, or rather the lack of progress so far, in the European security talks. Clearly this is one issue on which the Soviet side expects more active co-operation from Washington after the Nixon visit. One of the curiosities of the speech was Mr. Brezhnev's strong disapproval of recent and forthcoming visits to Pek- ing by some prominent Euro- pean and American political figures. He cited this as an ex- ample of the alliance between the Western right-wing and China. He held out no hopes of improvement in Soviet relations with China for the time being. The visit to Peking by the British Conservative party leader, Mr. Edward Heath, a short while ago has been the subject of several attacks in the Soviet press and there can be no doubt that Mr. Brezhnev had this visit particularly in mind. He noted a slight im- provement in Anglo-Soviet relations in recent months but no more than that. Whether Prime Minister Harold Wilson's projected visit to Moscow later in the summer will improve matters, it is a bit early to say. The overall impression is that Moscow is not happy with the slow pace of development of detente, but for the time be- ing it sees no way of speeding it up so long as Mr. Nixon's position at home remains un- certain and while the new European leaders like West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and French Presi- dent Giscard d'Estaing are still settling in to their jobs. Rising debt causes inflation By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator In Canada, the buildup of debts has been expanding purchasing power faster than real output all of the time since the end of the war. It is thus no wonder that inflation is beginning to get out of hand. Conventional economic theory did know how to deal satisfactorily with the impact of debt, both on the price level as well as on the corporate sector. However, it does not1 adequately recognize the im- plications of the buildup of debts in the financial system and of the steadily increasing portions of income that must be devoted to meeting interest and repayment charges. Since the end of the war real gross national product in Canada more than doubled, and the rate of growth in money terms (because of inflation) was double that figure or close to 400 per cent. But during that same period, debts outstanding, excluding the government of Canada, rose about 800 per cent. Debts rose at an annual growth rate of 9.6 per cent, and it is two and a half times the rate at which real output grew. That is a basic cause of the infla- tion that we have had. The debt grew, of course, because the money supply expanded at a rate to accommodate this growth in debt. Moreover, debts out- standing also rose half again as fast as the money incomes from which they presumably are to be repaid. The debt burden on income rose even faster, because during this period interest rates approx- imately tripled. There is no way of knowing beforehand how much debt would be too much. The steadily increasing instability of our financial system suggests that we may have already passed the point of no return. Under conditions of inflation, borrowers frequent- ly do not care too much about the interest rates they have to pay as prices are rising so rapidly. Therefore, it will probably take an enormous increase in short term rates to have any noticeable effect on the demand for credit. That is the case now and. as rates continue to soar to un- precedented levels, bank loans show no signs of slackening. For the month of April, they were increasing at a 29 per cent rate. The Bank of Canada could bring the process of credit for- mation to a screeching halt now. but only at the risk of a tinancial panic. It appears that the structure of existing debts has grown so large that it could not be supported if its burden were not being steadi- ly reduced through inflation. Our monetary authorities are caught in a trap now. If they continue to expand the money supply at existing rates, there will be accelerating inflation, but any degree of restraint sufficient to dampen the inflation in- volves a large risk of shrinkage of credit and a depression. Therefore, the focus of of- ficial policy swung abruptly from trying to control the cause of inflation to attempting to suppress its symptoms. In Canada this approach has not been so noticeable, compared to the policies followed in Britain and the United States, but nevertheless, some here ad- vocate price and wage controls or an "incomes policy." This is even worse Jlian rfo- ir.g nothing at all The market- place is always the most ef- Letters Power plant sale As a matter of record, comments on the city council's decision to sell the city power plant are perhaps necessary. It must be pointed out. that the decision was made on a manoeuvring at a political level. All opposition based on economical and technical reasons was overrided by political powers city council has. The chairman of the power committee stated it is his conviction that is the ultimate ground for the sale of the power plant. Strangely enough, reasons for his conviction are not explainable to other people. People simply have to believe his mysterious ability to come up with a conviction despite all contrary evidences and reasonings. He said it was his gut feeling. What is more, city council avoided disclosing the ultimate ground of the chairman until the last minute. Instead, various misleading statements were circulated with wide media coverage. Since the opposition was tricked into arguing the false reasons publicized, there was no effective refutation of the ultimate ground for the sale. Some briefs came close to discussing the suspected ground but without clear statement of the ground they could not be effective Besides, none of the briefs submitted by the citizens of the city was commented on by city council. City council did not refute the points contained in the briefs. The council avoided discussing the points in public. In retrospect, this was a masterful manoeuvring tactic. If council had responded to the briefs at all. it would have become public knowledge that the council could not substantiate the conviction. In the matter of economy and other technical points, the public had enough knowledge to take up and refute assertions -for the sale. The only way to withstand opposing evidences and reasonings was to ignore them all by silence. And this tactic worked well. Such a tactic was workable, because communication media were either biased for the sale or at least inactive if they were neutral. From all appearance, political control of the media was complete. The majority of the citizens were misinformed and even it they had something to say. there were very few places where they could express their concerns. S. KOUNOSU Lethbridge Editor's Note: Mr. Kounosu's letter continues at considerable length. His statement of political control of the media is nonsense. So far as The Herald is concerned, the opponents of the sale of the power plant were given fully as much space as the proponents, and any suggestion of biased reporting is mistaken. Summer track meets I would like to comment briefly on the letter Sports Cancellation, (Herald June 12) by a junior high student. One can sympathize with a young person who has trained diligently over a period of time in order to put forth his best effort in track competition, only to have the meet cancelled. Track is the ultimate in sports in the benefits that result from the necessary physical conditioning, the mental relaxation, the camaraderie among the participants, and the development of attitudes of persistence, fair play, and courage. It is probably the of all sports. One has but to compare track with hockey, the Canadian disgrace, because of the flagrant disregard of rules of fair play. To cancel a meet because of weather conditions is most unusual in the history of track in North America. Meets have been held in near blizzard conditions, and when tracks have been under several inches of water. To not re schedule the meet in question during the summer holidays is inexcusable. The summer months are ideal for holding meets, sponsored by the city or civic organizations. There could be a meet nearly every week which would certainly accelerate the development ot our young athletes. Track is a "carry over' sport. The aforementioned attitudes and values that are learned can be as life saving as swimming instruction or driver education. Track men and women are not soft, and know that they can persist, when others quit. Hopefully, the organizations and individual citizens of Lethbridge will give whatever support possible to Mr. George Gemer. a most devoted coach, and to the track team. ROBERT J. DWYER Lethbridge Sophisticated city ficient mechanism for allocating resources and productive efforts, even under inflationary conditions. Now that superinflation appears to be setting in. nothing will work very well, but controls provide no answer. The foregoing reveals one important flaw in our traditional economic system. We have not figured out a way to induce people or businesses, but most impor- tant of all governments, to be reasonable and prudent about borrowing and lending money during good times. An excessive rate of debt formation if continued must result in inflation, and ul- timately to excesses and collapse. In Canada we had relative price stability until 1962 with inflation running at a little more than one and a half per cent yearly. But then we decided that we were not operating at theoretical rapacity. After ali. in the U.S- .John F. Kennedy was elected on a promise of "getting the country moving again." and Canadians were marching to the same tune! Yet. it was ob- vious that this approach would cause trouble because it operated precisely by over- stimulatinp the rate of debt formation Certain consequences are now inevitable. The standard of living will faiJ and inflation will get worse. If a business collapse and hard times come again, it will be vitally impor- tant 1hat the cause be iden- tified properly: it will have been an enormously excessive expansion of money supply and credit stemming from povernmenl policies over a long period of time, not a failure of the market form of economic organization. Lethbridge can congratulate itself on having now entered the ranks of a sophisticated city. A massage parlor (demurely called The Velvet Touch) has at last come to this growing metropolis, and a big corporation has stepped in to take care of the people of this city so that they will not have to pay too much for their power supply. The concern of the civic fathers here is almost as touching as that of other important centres: they went ahead with the sale of (his city's power plant in the face nf malicious charges that they were not acting v.'ith complete altruism, so that the residents whose welfare they were elected to guard would have cheaper power. They realise that just as big supermarkets make food available at lower prices and great industrial plants offer more jobs. so. too. big power plants bring many advantages Bui Jhere is one small Ihing 1 cannot understand. With city council so compassionate to- wards )he poor, ordinary folk whose bills run so high these days. I wonder why Sand is so expensive. Perhaps it was simply lack of foresight. The land on the West side, so high- pnced now. was frozen for so long Then, again, it was nice for council to decide to go ahead with the bridge over the Oldman river this year. That did show foresight. As one who sat on the sidelines in the power dispute, let me say how predictable the outcome was. Not for one moment would I have suspected that council would be persuaded to turn down the chance to save the poor some pennies PETER HUNT Lethbridge crazy I'm sorry. Splurge, the com- puter has turned down your request for a raise. The lethbridge Herald S 'dge. Alberta LETMBWDGE MEflAtO CO LTD Proprietors and Second Class Mail Regtstianon No 0012 CLEO MOWEP.S. Editor Publisher DON H PILLING Managing Edrtor DONALD fl DOWWi General Manager ROY f MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Edrtorial Page Edrtor ROBERT V f ENTON Manager KENNETH BAP.NETT Business Manager THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH'