Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE HERALD-Thursday, Junt Signs of desperation enter campaigning How can the West be kept strong? "Keep the West Strong" is the slogan of the Progressive Conservative party, at least in Lethbridge constituency. That slogan prompts some interesting lines of inquiry. First, it assumes the West is now strong. Little argument there. Who is responsible for the West being strong? In this province has it been the federal PC party, which in the last Parliament held all of the 19 Alberta seats? What has the federal PC party oeen able to do for Canada and the West since 1963. when it was thrown out of office? Or is the strength of the West due in any measure to the Liberal party which has held office since 1963 and more particularly to the Trudeau government of the last six years? (Many Lethbridge people have said the Liberal government ought to get more credit at the polls for the great amount of federal assistance to new industry in this area. We disagree. The day of voters being grateful for government assistance is long past, and the day of governments expecting repayment on election day ought also to be long past) How, then, can the West be kept strong? If it is strong now. and has been strong under a Liberal government, can it be kept strong by defeating that government? On the other hand, if the West is now strong under a Liberal government which lacks support in the West, why should it be necessary now to give it support? If the West is doing well from a Liberal government while itself voting overwhelmingly Conservative, why not continue voting Conservative? In this riding in particular, why change the voting pattern if is going so well now? Why not continue to enjoy the benefits of a Liberal government and at the same time continue to indulge local} emotions by electing the Conservative candidate? So how best can a continuation of the Liberal government be assured? By voting against it? Environmental cheer The world of the environmental conservationist is usually a gloomy one. He always seems to be fighting a losing battle against overwhelming odds. The fight may be courageous but the odds are economic. It is cheering to learn, therefore, that major pollution problems have been solved in the area of Newport, England, and by private industry at that. According to the BBC. South Wales has just acquired a new industrial plant, beautifully landscaped, with immaculate buildings, no smoke or odor, no unsightly heaps of sludge, which will dispose of all the industrial waste within a radius of 60 miles. And that is no small chore since this is one of Britain's major industrial areas, containing British Steel's giant works, a British petroleum refinery, and pharmaceutical, chemical engineering and other factories. The waste which will be disposed of reads, in the words of the BBC, like an environmentalist's nightmare liquid cyanides, fuming toxic and corrosive chromic and hydrofluoric acids, carcinogenic asbestos waste, polychlorinated biphenyls (believed to have maimed and killed much plating solutions full of zinc and copper, and thousands of gallons of oily sludge drenched with lead and hopelessly mixed with water and rust and scale chipped off refinery tanks. The incinerator at the plant, which runs on the oil in the wastes it consumes, can. in one hour, reduce two tons of waste to air, ash and water which meets strict pollution standards and can be run off into sewers or out into the air. Eventually it is expected that about 10 per cent of the wastes can be reclaimed as useful raw materials, mostly copper and zinc from plating solutions. Although the plant will derive a certain income from sale of re cycled materials, its main income comes from the industries it serves and whose waste it treats. So successful has the operation been that the consortium which built the first is planning five more. This will mean a waste disposal plant for each of Britain's other major industrial areas. This success story should be welcomed by all the optimists who have always maintained that environmental problems would be solved as soon as someone found a way to make money out of cleaning up the environment. The method is feasible, however, only when strict standards have been set and it becomes necessary for all polluters to abide by them. This is the battlefront. THE CASSEROLE With all the price increases in the food stores, it is encouraging to read about a new type of foil pouch that can be used to package everything from nuts to liquid drinks, and is expected to cut conventional packaging costs by as much a: 50 per cent. The Doy-N-Park. as the pouch is called, is another attempt toward flexible packaging, and away from the rigid hard-to-dispose of container. Besides the cost advantage it is also com- pacted, burned and disintegrated more easily than traditional containers, and keeps the product, especially fruit juices usually sold in cans, fresher for a longer period of time. at a hospital in Eastern Canada recently. Ac- cording to a National Research Council engineer, the standards provided for a type of installation and a testing system that would have avoided any possibility of confusing different gases. Unfortunately, even though the code was drawn up and offered in 1963, the provincial government had not got around to adopting it. It is depressing to realize that standards proposed in 1963 by the Canadian Standards Association would have prevented the tragic medical gas mix-up that took a score of lives Canadian Football League owners set a price of for a new franchise in Lon- don, but at the same meeting declared they couldn't afford to pay the players what they're asking. Strange, that an outfit that says it can't pay its wages still thinks it's worth millions to get into the business Sounds like the kind of thing Beryl Plumtre's Prices Review Board might understand. By W.A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator signs of desperation but precious few of success are starting to creep into the efforts of the nation's political leaders to change the basic divisions of outlook which persist among the Canadian people. The polling done by the Gal- lup organization three weeks before people vote shows how little had been achieved by the election campaign up until very expensive promising for the next minister of finance to cope with and not much more. The results of this poll, based on questioning done on June 13- 15, are very close to most of those which have reflected the political complexion of Canada since the Trudeau government lost the popularity the prime minister's personal appeal once brought it. Robert Stanfield and the Tories, up to that point at any rate, have had little success in their attempts to bite into the hard core of support that re- mains with the Liberals. Unless Liberal support either is eroded through some unforeseeable development in what is left of the campaign, or falls in such a lopsided way that marginal seats go to the Tories, it seems now that Trudeau and his men will go on forming the government. It appears certain that if they do, it will be on the basis of minority support in Parliament and with well under half the popular vote. There has never seemed to be much doubt that the next government would, like the previous one and four others in the last 17 years, be based upon a minority position in Parliament. The question has only been whether the Tories could take enough from the Liberal position, especially among closely contested Ontario seats, to emerge with a parliamentary edge. It is always possible that Stanfield's dogged persistence in attempting to sell price and wage controls as he beats his way back and forth across the country will win out in the end. It is fair to say, though, that by June 13-15 it had not done so. The Tories are fond of accusing the Liberals of arrogance. There is either a' good deal of sheer arrogance, or complete ineptness, in the approach by Stanfield and the Conservatives to their proposal for a program of incomes controls. They have given that their control would be "flexible." There are only two obvious ways in which a system of in- comes controls can be made flexible. Provision can be made for across-the-board rises to catch up with prices. Unless it is felt by the administrators that incomes have already kept pace with rising living costs. (If that were so, it would be difficult to find the basis for the complaints of hardship stemming from Across-the-board wage increases, however, would be likely to put fresh pressure on prices, controlled or otherwise. "Go tell your master Vern's in Nuclear power for Middle East peace By C.L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON When President Nixon made the decision to sell nuclear fuel and power plants to Egypt and Israel the outstanding commitment of his Middle Eastern trip he was in part carrying out a policy originally conceived by President Eisenhower and his former atomic energy chief, Admiral Lewis Strauss, in 1967. during the Lyndon Johnson administration. The latter policy hoped to facilitate peace by developing the barren borderland between Egypt and Israel and (in the extreme Jordan and Israel. The recommended means of carrying this out was to establish three large nuclear plants in those areas, providing ample power for, among other things, mass desalting of water to irrigate the desert. The original blueprint was drawn up by Admiral Strauss right after the June, 1967 war in which Israel defeated her Arab neighbors. Eisenhower immediately sensed the plan's peace- making possibilities. He drew it to the attention of President Johnson and he suggested Johnson raise the subject with Kosygin. There is no sign this was done. The logic developed by Eisenhower from the Strauss draft was that both Arabs and Israelis would gain something tangible from the proposal, thus removing fundamental causes of tension, not only new sources of power but vast quantities of fresh water would be made available to an area which could then prove capable of absorbing the entire population of unhappy Palestinian Arab refugees. As Eisenhower thought, the Italian trouble an object lesson for all to see By Bruce Wnitestone, syndicated commentator Bankruptcy is all too familiar in our modern business world. Only rarely, do countries become insolvent. Now. however. Italy is on the verge of financial ruin. If no improvement occurs soon. Italy could lack the hard cash to pay for her necessary imports: the oil it. needs to keep her industry operating or the food necessary to feed its population. An economic collapse could have profound social and political implications, not only for Italy but for other countries as well. This explains in part why other nations have come to Italy's rescue- the International Monetary Fund has just accepted her billion gold reserve as collateral for a loan. Even then. Italy has no more than one year's grace because of her billion monthly trade deficits. It is vital now to understand what went wrong in order to see if the situation can be righted Otherwise, the spreading problems of Italy could drag down other nations. After all. it was the collapse of Austria's principal bank in 1931 that turned the 1929 slump into the Great Depression of the 1930s. Italy's most notable political characteristic in the last decade was one of indecision. Major problems were left unresolved, and crucial legislation was postponed endlessly. Tax reform was never tackled aid avoidance was commonplace. Inadequate revenues prevented the government from maintaining even its primary functions such as the postal service and customs. which became elaborate jokes. Italy's budget was heavily in the red and money supply expanded faster than anywhere in Europe to meet these deficits. Government operations entered almost a scandalous stage too when the Italian version of its development corporation, the IRI. wasted huge resources. It purchased companies at inflated prices which sub- sequently functioned an a most inefficient manner. More and more parts of the Italian industry fell under the swav of the IRI with a consequent loss of productivity throughout the Italian economy. Italy started on the road to bankruptcy, paradoxically, as it emerged from its 1969 recession, when unions were able to win big pay increases. Industry, because of its inefficiency, and lack of capital was unable to meet those payments or to modernize and install iabop- saving machinery. Italian wages kept going up by an average of more than 50 per cent between 1971 and 1973: industry costs soared, but productivity did not keep pace. Consequently. Italian goods went up sharply in price, not only fueling domestic inflation, but the price of export goods as well. Italian clothes, cars, and refrigerators were no longer as inexpensive as they used to be. so Japanese and other competitors were able to undersell Italian exporters. Italy's balance of payments went into a deficit and continual injections of foreign credit 5 billion in Oie last two years alone i were needed 1o keep Italy's economy eome. Meanwhile. Italy's balance of payments deficits, the difference between cash outflow and income from abroad, led Italy to frequently devalue her currency. Hence, imports cost Italy more, inflation was further fueled, and the downward spiral began in earnest. On top of these calamities. Italian agriculture deteriorated rapidly. Again, because of inefficiency, inadequate machinery and lack of productivity, farms became less productive and the nation had to import such typically Italian products as cheese, vegetables, and fruits as well as grains and meat. The rising food imports absorbed what the country earned from its tourist industry and receipts from migrant workers elsewhere in Europe. Meanwhile, because the economy was not functioning satisfactorily, Italian based multi-nationals and weal- Ihy private individuals transferred billions of dollars out of the country. Not only were these funds lost to the nation, but also because of the stagnant economy, savings and investment funds were not generated in anything like sufficient quantities to fund an expanding economy. The final blow to the Italian economy occurred when its balance of payments, was tilted even more heavily into a deficit by the world energy crisis and rising oil prices. Italy depends more on imported oil than any other Western European country. Thus, government, weak and out of control, was unable or unwilling to cope with inflation. A development corporation aggravated the trends to government ownership. Finally an apathetic public and insufficient incentives for domestic savings and investment completed the bleak picture. Italy's predicament contains many object lessons for other nations. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that anyone anywhere is paving heed, even though the writing is on the wall for a31 to see. United States should take the lead in facing the "real issues" of the region, shortage of water and the question of refugees. Two or three large nuclear plants were required with the idea of generating between 750 million and a billion gallons of sweet water daily. He added: "The bigger the plant, the more economic the operation. This water would cost more than the price of New York city water but it is cheaper for a country that doesn't have water at all. And Syria. Jordan, Israel and Egypt would all profit so much from such a plan that the people couldn't permit their governments to refuse participation. Unfortunately, that chance was never officially presented. As far as I have been able to ascertain. Johnson let the idea drop. Although the Eisenhower Strauss project envisioned two nuclear plants on the Mediterranean (in the area contiguous to both Israel and Egypt) and a third at the head of Aqaba Gulf (contiguous to Israel and Jordan) nothing ever materialized. The Nixon-Kissinger policy that has been broadly depicted by the president (who, after all. was Eisenhower's No. 2) will serve as a viable if delayed substitute to the still- born original. It contains some of the same essentials aimed at helping and also pacifying both Arabs and Israelis and at creating the human and economic climate for peace. No commitment seems to have been made on the Jordanian Israeli area of Aqaba. Nor can one yet formally link the two halves of the and Israeli or analyse financing problems and economic implications. Yet nuclear power for desalting water was specifically discussed in Israel by Nixon and more generally reviewed with President Sadat in Egypt. The Nixon-Kissinger approach clearly seeks to create necessary political and human conditions for peace before constructing its economic basis; and this may prove to be sensible. Either way. the goal is the same: a durable settlement in the Middle East and (as the first Strauss draft "The beginning of a new life in the lands of the oldest civilizations." The alternative is to establish a sizeable administrative structure, capable of studying economic and regional groups and deciding on the permissibility of wage or other income rises. It would, at the least, take a good deal of time to get such a piece of bureaucratic machinery set up and functioning, a matter of many months, rather than weeks. One of the great weaknesses of the Stanfield approach ha been the Tory leader'- resolute refusal to offer am specifics about his proposal Anyone interested in examining it and its possible application is left with unanswered questions such as these. The Tories must have some idea which approach they would take but they have appealed to the public to be taken on faith. A harsh man might say that is a bit of a con game. The public must feel some frustration in looking at pos- sible alternatives to the Liber- als because it is no accident that, for the first time since Stanfield became Conservative leader, John Diefenbaker is back campaigning nationally. The party seems to have sensed, as it sought to pour on the gasoline at the peak of the campaign, that it did not haw a very inflammable mixture in its tanks. Diefenbaker is a great parliamentarian and in the past a formidable campaigner. He still has political coat-tails in Saskatchewan to which other men may cling and the Tories clearly hope he has in other parts of Canada as well. He had told friends that he had re- ceived upwards of 40 invitations to speak outside his home province. He assured these friends that he had turned all of these requests down unless they were cleared with his successor as party leader. In the end, Stanfield tele- phoned, asking him to accept any campaign invitations. Few men can have enjoyed the sweet taste of satisfaction more than the former leader as he saw his party swinging back towards him, looking for a helping hand in a flagging campaign. Diefenbaker's greatest achievement in politics was not the formation of a government. It was the restoration of the Conservative party, after dec- ades of weakness, to a position where it could effectively challenge the Liberals for power. The Conservatives seem to have remembered that in this campaign. The most objectionable part of the Liberal campaign is the resurrection, apparently by a tiny policy-making cabal, of proposals that had previously been considered and rejected either by the cabinet or its committees. LETTER Solution to problem 1 resent Joseph Fielding Fox putting me on record as being anti-Indian. (The Herald, June In this he couldn't be more mistaken. He probably presumed that due to my experiences with these people in Gait Gardens I automatically would be anti- Indian, but f don't happen to be that narrow minded. My previous letter from which Mr. Fox derived his conclusion was strictly in defence of Gait Gardens and nowhere did I say that I was against Indians in a genera! and total way. Any other ethnic type behaving badly in public would be entitled to the same criticism. Incidentally. 1 rather like well-behaved Indians for there is much of the spirit of "nature boy" in me also. Really good looking Indian maidens have a charm like no other, enough to make many white men want to marry them. The problem of the Indian drinking within 1he white man's communities is a unique one due to the fact that many Indians leave their homes on the reserve, go to towns and cities, purchase and consume alcohol at these points of distribution then soon find themselves incapable of good behavior due to the effects of the alcohol. This is stupid not only on the part of the Indian: but on our part also. No doubt it is considered non discriminatory to give Indians full liberties in this matter, but in the Indian situation it is simply not realistic when they live on distant reserves. For one thing, impaired driving on the highways is a certain consequence. The remedy as I see it is to confine the drinking Indian to the reserves, and there only, for those who live there. If the Indian chiefs do not want this and choose to bounce the problem back to us then we should have the wisdom and courage to shut non resident Indians off entirely for our protection and theirs. L. REGINALD WEIGHTMAN Ivcthbridge The Lethbridge Herald SCW Si S Alberta 1ETHBWDQE HERALD OO 1TO Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration Ho 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor aid DON M PILUNG Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager BOY f Mli.CS Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E SAftNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"