Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 26, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE June Stanfield clarifies inflation attack By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator Stanfield's integrity Mr Stanfield is a man of his word. When he says he would freeze wages and prices for 90 days if he becomes prime minister, he must be taken at his word. But in granting his integrity, one must question his wisdom and his ability. If he becomes prime minister it is bound to be a minority government situation, and he won't be able to do anything without the support of some members from outside his own party. Where? Liberals? NDP? But more to the point, there is strong resistance to such a policy from within his own party. Several PC candidates have said they are opposed to the Stanfield policy. The latest pronouncement is the most astonishing. None other than Mr. Diefenbaker said "Stanfield may not have the solution for inflation, but he is going to do something about it." That can only mean that the Conservative leader doesn't really know what he is talking about, for the 90-day freeze is promised by Mr. Stanfield as the solution for inflation, or as the first step toward a solution. The evidence doesn't support Mr. Stanfield's policy. Britain tried it and it didn't work. President Nixon tried it and it made matters worse. Inflation is a world-wide phenomenon, but curiously less severe in Canada than in most other countries. Governments should not take it for granted. They should do everything they can to contain it. But Mr. Stanfield's policy, with strong doubters even within his own party, would only make matters worse. The Moscow summit Because of the friendship between the Soviet Union and India, the Indian offer to assist Argentina in developing a nuclear capacity can be viewed superficially as another bit of Russian pressure on the U.S. just as President Nixon is enroute to Moscow for a summit meeting. The offer raises the spectre of another nuclear power in the western hemisphere where, to date, the U.S. has been the only nation equipped for nuclear war. The number and nature of the agreements to be signed are still in doubt and both capitals are evidencing unease at the lack of adequate discussion and preparation. The Russians have made three small concessions at the deadlocked Geneva talks oh security and co-operation which are viewed as a further attempt at persuasion. They would like the American president to agree in Moscow to a fixed date for winding up the European Conference on Security and Co-operation, the grand finale of which will be held in Helsinki in the form of a summit meeting. September 1 is thought to be the target the Russians have in mind. This prospect is alarming to many of the 34 countries involved in these talks because they feel that the Russian concessions do not meet the minimal demands of the West and that waiting out the Russians is their best weapon. They would rather see the conference fade away into diplomatic history than to have it end in a meaningless agreement from which the Russians would gain a propaganda advantage. Their attitude is understandable, in view of the very minor nature of the Russian concessions. The Soviet Union has agreed to let citizens subscribe through the mails to Western publications and agreed not to levy exit taxes on emigrants. They have also promised to notify the West in advance of military manoeuvres taking place within 100 kilometers of an international border. Western diplomats point out that the first concession is still a long way from open distribution by newsstand and that it is easy to observe and control the flow of mail. They do not look on the lifting of exit taxes as anything in the way of a concession and they would also prefer advance notification of all military manoeuvres. Both sides of the summit are predicting that a general 10-year trade agreement will be signed and some kind of agreement on underground nuclear testing is anticipated. But other planned agreements are still up in the air, including arrangements for co-operation in the areas of shipping and energy development. And of course, the two powers are still a long way apart on the question of strategic arms control. The recent conclusion of the U.S. Air Force that a fratricidal effect will limit the effectiveness of multiple warheads may mean a general re-thinking of the entire problem of nuclear detente. Furthermore, it is beginning to look as though any agreement on strategic arms limitation between the two powers, if and when Lt comes, has been virtually rendered useless. The Indian move shows quite clearly that any agreement on the use or limitation of nuclear armaments must include not just the two so-called super powers but all nations with present or future nuclear capacity. Canada should take a special interest in this matter since it has contracted to supply Argentina with a CANDU reactor, although under stricter controls than were written into the agreement with India two decades ago. ART BUCHWALD Henry the husband WASHINGTON7 The one question I keep getting asked when I'm on the road is "What kind of husband will Henry Kissinger It's a hard one to answer, but on the basis of Henry's recent behavior. Mrs. Kissinger is going to discover that it isn't easy to be married to the super-negotiator of the world. This is the kind of situation that could come up. "Henry. I forgot to buy bread for the smoked salmon for our dinner party tonight. Would you go down to the supermarket and get a couple of Henry replies. "Of course, my dear." He returns in a half-hour. "What kind of bread did you want, rye or "It really doesn't matter. Henry. Either one do." "It's not going to be that easy. The supermarket has more white than it does rye and therefore they have put the white bread up in the front and the rye bread in the back. They're demanding guarantees that I buy two loaves of white for every loaf of rye. I've taken the position we should have the right to buy the rye bread without having to purchase the white bread." "For heaven's sake, Henry, the guests are coming in 45 minutes. Will you go back and get the Henry comes back after 15 minutes. "The supermarket has agreed to sell me the rye without having to buy the white, but they raised the problem of the size of the loaf. If we get the large loaf, we get three cents off, but that means we'd only need a loaf and a half. Bui if we gel the small loaf, we'd need two and the price would be prohibitive. What do you we "Henry, I need bread for the dinner. Would you please go back and bring some Henry went back to the store and returned again I think I've worked out a compromise, Nancy If we gel rolls instead of bread we won't have the problem of choosing sizes. The supermarket has indicated it would consider selling us rolls at a special price providing we buy a jar of peanut butter that they're pushing as part of a 4th of July sale. I told them I would bring the offer back to you and lay it on the table." "Henry, I don't care if it's peanut butter or jelly or cream cheese as long as you get the bread." "They didn't raise the question of jelly or cream cheese, but I'll tell them you'd rather have that than peanut butter." By this time several reporters who are standing outside the Kissinger home surround the secretary of state. "Mr. Kissinger." one of the reporters asks, "we understand you're trying to buy bread for your dinner tonight. Do you think you'll be able to do "there are still some last-minute details to be worked out." Henry says, "but I'm optimistic that there will be a deal." But when Henry returns from the supermarket he is glum and tells the reporters. "I would be less than candid if I told you that I brought back bread. "The supermarket has raised some last- minute conditions on slicing that I'm not sure can be met. But after reporting to my wife I am going back and make one more effort to find a compromise which both sides can live with." By this time the guests are arriving and Nancy is crying. Everyone asks where Henry is and Nancy doesn't have Uie nerve to lei! them he's still out trying to buy bread for dinner. Just as they sit down to dinner Henry rushes in with three boxes under h's arm. His face is flushed and he waves them at Nancy. Nancy asks. "Ry-Krisp." Henry replies. But at leasl it's a start." "By says a reporter peeking through the window, "Henry's done it again." OTTAWA Robert Stanfield, in a pair of recent interviews, has defended his anti-inflationary program, endeavouring to clarify certain aspects which have been widely misunderstood. It is apparent from some of the questions and answers that the Conservative leader's difficulties are due in part to the fact that the policy requires him to keep two balls in the air at the same time. What he has to say about the two year control period is occasionally misapplied to the 90 day freeze and vice versa. On one program Mr. Stanfield had to face criticisms which would appear mutually exclusive. The policy, it was suggested, will-not work. The same policy, as viewed by another questioner, is too tough for public acceptance. On the hustings it is sometimes damned for both reasons; as an unworkable policy which is still, in some strange manner, a dire threat to the various social groups. It is impossible to freeze ev- erything; not solely for political but also for practical reasons. If a man offers to sell his house for a given price on July 30, no measure will exist to determine what he would have asked for that property had it been offered in June. Mr. Stanfield concedes that difficulty, which might not apply to new houses already advertised. The policy in this regard is being reworked, which is unfortunate at this stage in the campaign. On the other hand the Stanfield program has been criticized on the ground that it could not apply to imported goods. But this is precisely what the Conservative leader, as he insisted in both inter- views, is determined to at- tempt. During the brief shock period of the freeze, a Govern- ment under his direction would expect manufacturers, retailers, processors and supermarkets to absorb price increases at the border or the farm gate. There is precedent in Liberal oil policy and some scope for holding action in the healthy profits recorded so far this year. According to most reports David Lewis has tended throughout the campaign to concentrate his fire on the Conservatives, treating the Liberals as the secondary target. While this may be sound in political terms, it is curious that the NDP leader is mobilizing his best invective against a policy which, as ex- plained by Mr. Stanfield, would squeeze the very profits denounced as excessive by Mr. Lewis across the country. This could only be proposed as a short term measure for the obvious reason that it would tend increasingly to produce market shortages (from which we are already It is important in Mr. Stanfield's view as a means "to convince the working man that we mean business" that we're going to deal firmly on the price side of things and thus encourage support from the working man in this country." In other words the Con- servaiive leader regards the freeze as a pre-condition for success in the much more significant control period. This seems plain enough from his comments on being reminded that the unions refused co-operation when a voluntary control program was urged earlier by the Prices and Incomes Commis- sion. Outside the freeze are wage increases already negotiated, pensions tied to the cost of liv- ing index (which measures what has already taken shares on the stock market and items of minor economic importance such as art treasures. It would, however, affect wages, salaries, dividends, rents, prices, interest rates and pro- fessional fees. The control period would be a quite different and, of course, much longer chapter. Wages and prices would again be free to move but the restraint program would seek to cut back on the presently escalating rate of inflation. The talk of guidelines and consultation suggests what we have had before; some gen- eral rule, much exhortation and little else. Mr. Stanfield, apparently, with the experience of the Prices and Incomes Commission in mind is not proposing another voluntary scheme but a program backed by the force of law In regard to this phase, many questions arise; the answers presumably will depend in considerable measure on what results from consultation. Mr. Stanfield's estimate of domes- tically generated inflation more controllable 60 per cent. He makes no claim that he can deal unilaterally, in the control period, with the other 40 per cent. "Clearly we have to recognize that we're living in a real world and as long as there is inflation going on among our trading partners, we're going to import inflation. So I'm not talking about getting the rate of inflation down to zero." What he does propose is to initiate or encourage a conference to develop an international attack on a problem now alarming many countries. On this there is no difference of principle between the major parties. Some meetings have, of course, been held but it does seem remarkable considering the pace of inflation that, for all the admirable sentiments expressed at these meetings, they have achieved so little to date in effective international action Bureaucratic holdups hit Ethiopian famine aid By Ian Mather, London Observer commentator ADDIS ABABA Geography and lethargy are thwarting the relief agencies struggling to contain a new famine which has broken out in Ethiopia. It is cruelly unfortunate that the new famine area, in the remote south-east of the country, is far removed from the famine-ravaged north where up to died last year, but where the relief organizations at least now have reasonable lines of communications. The drought area, centred on Harrarghe province, has virtually no roads, and the suffering population is scattered in villages accessible only by helicopter. Both the little rains and the big rains have failed this year, and ominous reports of mass starvation are flooding into the capital from missionary stations. Emperor Haile Selassie's new government, while being an improvement on its predecessor, most of whose ministers are now facing charges of embezzlement, has yet to show itself capable of freeing itself from the dead hand of Ethiopian bureaucracy with its tradition of indifference and graft. The new government has promised a commission of inquiry into abuses by officials of the previous government. It has promised to reform Ethiopia's medievel land system under which tenants must give a large proport Jon of their harvests to already wealthy landlords. But so farm tiie reforms are still at the talking stage. An Ethiopian commissioner for famine relief now busies himself in a new office on the sixth floor of the Duke of Harrar hospital in the -apilal but there are growing doubts about how seriously the central government's writ runs in Uie remote areas. There is an ominous consistency about the reports of hold-ups of vital supplies of grain by local officials and demands for payment. The relief organizations are not exempt from these bureaucratic obstacles. Often the problem is that local officials are unwilling to make decisions without reference to the capital. Hundreds of tons of powdered milk and wheat grain have been rotting beside the runway at Kalem, near the Kenya border, since February. Father Tony Sheriden, a Holy Ghost Father and a veteran of Biafra, who returned from the area last week told me: "The German Air Force delivered the supplies to Kalem. There were five inches of sand on the runway and they had enormous problems landing and taking off. LETTER "They tried to move it into the interior, but they were frustrated by the authorities. They were able to make only four journeys, delivering 20 tons to the villages. Then they gave up. At the moment 100 tons of powdered milk and 200 tons of wheat are just lying there on the runway. "That is the situation in just one province. But it is the same all over. The food and grain for planting is just not getting through." The number of provinces declared official famine areas has now risen from two to eight, though because of the immense communication problems no one can put a figure on the numbers of suffering people. Representing summer In the June 17 edition of The Herald a series of four pictures captioned "Lethbridge Summertime" were printed. What pictures come to mind when one thinks of Lethbridge summers: Sprinklers in the parks: kids in the playgrounds and swimming pooh; people in summer clothes, riding bicycles; construction workers' suntanned backs or barbecues and air conditioners? The four pictures which The Herald chose to represent summer depicted women in summer attire crossing the street. Whal can be assumed from this? That: only women cross streets in Lethbndge; 2) all women in Lethbridge are young and attractive; 31 only young attractive women enjoy the summer sun (all older women and all men wear winter clothing and stay 4) the only summer activity in Lethbridge is crossing the street; 51 The Herald expects everyone who reads their paper will approve of these "cheesecake photos." and equate summer with "girl Proof that the last point is true is the "cute" little take- off on George Gershwin's beautiful song "Summer- tune the iookin" is easy (ogle, ogle? eyebrows are jumpin"