Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 29, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERAID Monday, June 29, 1970 Anlhonj Westell Canada's postal service is intoler- able. True, some of the mail still gets through quickly, but the service is erratic, unreliable, unpredictable, lindepemlable. If it cannot be counted upon, that makes it iniolBrabie The people will have to find other means for moving their messages. (One official has suggested that telegraphic or electronic transmis- sion of the written message, rather than physically moving it from Point A to Point B, is one of the possible innovations. And another official has said that Canada's telegraph service lias deteriorated even more than the mail service, and ought to be investi- gated. It is indeed difficult to express anything but dissatisfaction with the telegraph service.) Some of the trouble with the postal service is the rash of rotating local strikes. On any given working day perhaps no more than five or ten per cent of the postal employees are on strike, but they are able to cut the efficiency of the department a good deal more than that. The department is paying 90 or 95 per cent of the total wage bill but getting perhaps only CO or 70 per cent production. In a private business that would call for a lockout. Mr. Kierans lias said there will be no lockout. But he has acknowledged the danger to the whole postal department by the pub- lic's increasing disgust with the ser- vice. Mr. Kierans took over the post of- fice department with firm intentions to bring it up to date. The union of postal workers complained that his changes were for the worse, not the better. It is obvious management did not have the workers' support, even before the current strikes. How can it be ended? How can morale be re-established consistent with the rights of management and the public? What ground is there for hope? Almost daily, events and attitudes strengthen the case for making the post office department a separate corporation, perhaps owned by the state, perhaps sold to private enter- prise. Management independent of government would certainly help to rationalize the irrational. Inexplicable And Inexcusable The White Paper on Foreign Policy is strangely silent on what could very well be the most urgent of all con- cerns: population control. Few prob- lems on the world scene are not made more vexing by the ominous mushrooming of people in the poorer countries in particular; none are un- affected. Recently a report was carried on this page of the Second World Food Congress in The Hague. Gerald Leach, the science writer for the Lon- don Observer, said that every one of the delegates seems to realize that the human race is plung- ing toward disaster. Optimism about being able to feed the hungry hordes through improvements in agricultur- al production is diminishing. Western Canadians are apt to ex- press bewilderment about predictions of imminent starvation when farm produce sits stockpiled on the Prair- ies and non-production is officially encouraged. There is a tendency to think this is the result of poor sales- manship somewhere. In actuality, however, people in many parts of the world are growing less and less able to buy what Cana- dian fanners have to offer. The dis- maying fact being faced by dele- gates to the food congress is that un- employment in some of the poorer nations has reached catastrophic proportions and grows worse as the populations increase. Without money received from employment the pro- duce from abroad cannot be secured. When External Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp was pointedly asked about the absence of any statement on population control he came up With the lame old excuse that Canada could not morally speak on an issue such as this until there was a policy for Canada itself. Rubbish! Canada does not yet face the problem in any degree of urgency; some other coun- tries obviously do. What is the point of preparing a policy statement for the seventies if it does not consider this issue for the world and for Can- ada? It is inexplicable and inexcusable that Canada is still pussyfooting around this problem. The presence of a prohibition on birth control infor- mation in the Criminal Code was for long an embarrassing inhibition but that has now been removed. When Mr. Robert McNamara, President of the World Bank, announced a policy a couple of years ago of tying devel- opment funds to serious attempts to control population growth he set the precedent that the world community needed. Canadian foreign policy does not necessarily have to follow such a lead but if it is to be rejected let the policy statement say so openly and receive the disgust such a position deserves. The chances of being able to re- cover our ecological balance keep diminishing as time goes on. The demands of nature are non-negoti- able If the ecosystem goes, so will General Motors. Barry Commoner of Washington University, St. Louis. Cities should be designed by people for people. Most of our major cities today have been designed by the au- tomobile for the automobile. of Housing and Urban Development George W. Romney. Exploiting The Apocalypse From The Wall Street Journal IS an era of doomsaying. The end of the world is in vogue. There are the ecologists, of course. If their more pessimistic visions are to be believed, most of the major issues of the day, except their own, are grossly irrele- vant since the very existence of man is in danger; we may have no more than a few decades left. Even if they are wrong, there is still plenty of reason to worry. In the past few years in many areas, human confidence and moral commitment seem to have eroded sharply, threatening the most basic fabric of civilized life. Millions suddenly are vulnerable to the casual violence of hijackers, street criminals, political kid- napper- and terrorists. Whole segments of humanity are fearful, alienated and con- fused. So it seems hard, in 1970, lo look ahead even as short a distance as the year 2000. Will life in that year be in any way plea- sant or tolerable? Will civilization survive until then m sny recognizable form? Will human life? After considering these prospects our- selves for a couple of years now, we have recently been overtaken by a sense of mis- giving about them. It is not that things might not be so bad after all; they prob- ably are. Rather, we are increasingly persuaded, there is a point where doom- saying however valid it may be passes from usefulness to destructivcness. These thoughts are brought to mind by a recent article in Newsweek by movie critic Joseph Morgenstcrn. He is disturbed at the recent rash of movies which pander to the visions of a chaotic, disastrous fu- ture currently popular with the young. "The prospect of a climax lo the whole human drama has its own deadly fascina- tion." Mr. Morgenstcrn says, but Iliose who seek to exploit it commercially have certain re; possibility. When so powerful a process as that of producing and pro- moling films "is brought to bear on such solemn themes as these the breakup society, the possible end of life on earth the bringers-to-bear had better damned well know what they're doing, and I think they generally don't." Though some films with apocalyptic themes do have artistic merit, he asserts, youthful moviegoers are all too often "systematically conned." The movie men know "that youth is rebellious, irreverent, frustrated, anxious to break up the estab- lished order, and smoking a lot of pot. The most desirable merchandise, therefore, ii a movie that deals with rebellion, disloca- tion and disorder, and that looks better or at least no worse viewed through a grass haze." Many young people still arc capable of a sense of wonder at the world, despite its problems, Mr. Morgenstcrn remarks. More important, perhaps, "precisely because our times are so grave, precisely because the disease we're all suffering from is an apparent failure of the future, it's pre- posterous to sit still for movies thai prat- llc about chaos or cackle over it Instead, he says, "I'd hope for movies that make allowance for a future, if only by taking the present seriously enough to re- mind us from time to time thai we people arc worth loving and worrying about and preserving, though we're not necessarily wise enough to preserve ourselves. "plvcn .so deeply despairing a humanist as biologist Albert Szcnt-Gyorgi Mill gives the species a 50-50 chance of survival." Mr. Morgenstcrn writes. "That's not so bad. I'll take that." And so will we, de- pressing as it may seem. For however dis- turbing loday's unprecedented threats to men may be, they are still no reason for giving in lo irrationality, and disparaging Ihe dc.sire lo make Ihe bc.st of whatever is to be. LeDain Report: Confused As Any Parent LeDain Commission was set up 13 months ago mainly because a lot of Cana- dian parents were worried sick about their kids experimenting with drugs. The commissioners were giv- en broad terms of reference to explore the problems associa- ted with non medical use of many kinds of drugs from diet pills and glue for sniffing to speed and heroin but the immediate concern of most fam- ilies was with pot. This drug, in the form of mar- ijuana or hashish, was widely available in universities, school and streets, advertised by pop music stars and extolled in the underground press. More and more kids seemed willing to try it, almost as casually as their parent s had rcbelleu against abrupt rules by smoking behind the barn or buying a bot- tle under age. To adults who got most of their information on drugs from crime books and movies in which the (lope fiend was in- variably a villain with dilated pupils or a sinister Chinaman puffing opium, this spread of drugs among the young was horrifying. But when the kids argued back that pot was, in fact, no more harmful than al- cohol, it was hard to find evi- dence to prove them wrong. And when enforcement of the law against drugs meant hav- ing your own kid, or perhaps his friends at school or the neighbor's kid, thrown into jail, the problem for parents be- came even more completing. A good deal was said about the breakdown of v a lues among the young in the .hippy culture, or on its edges, but there was also a great confu- sion among parents. The task of the LeDaiu Com- mission, in the eyes of many Canadians, was to sort out the facts from the myths about drugs and to provide a ration- al basis not only for making law but also for the parent- child discipline. Dean LeDain and his col- leagues were asked, ill effect, to serve as referees in the dis- pute between the generations by providing impartial and con- vincing answers to some fairly obvious questions: Is pot harmful? Or, at least, any more harmful than alco- hol? Does it lead on to the use of other, more dangerous drugs? If there is no evidence that pot is harmful, why not make its sale and consumption legal? If it is harmful, how can the law be made more effective? Regrettably, the commission has answered none of these questions. Despite the impressive weight of its 000 page report, the cool, judicial tone of its prose and the scientific detachment of its method, the commission in fact winds up just as confused and uncertain as any parent. "Good grief! What kind of example are we gonna set same again, son for our young The commissioners have as- sembled a mass of evidence, much of it from previously pub- lished sources, but have been unable as yet to arrive at any major conclusions. Their proposals arc just the sort of agreements that wor- ried parents seek to negotiate with rebellious teen-agers: com- prises designed more to save face and avert a head-on colli- sion than to be realistic in prac- tice. Thus possession of pot would continue to be a criminal of- fence, because the commission- ers cannot quite bring them- selves to accept the weight of their own evidence that it is rel- atively harmless. But penalties for possession would be so light that enforce- ment of the law would be vir- tually impossible, because the commissioners obviously don't fancy the idea of giving crimin- al records to thousands of peo- ple who insist on using a drug which cannot be shown to be any more harmful than alco- hol This c surely a confirmation of the hypocrisy of which the young accuse their elders. It is an evasion of the basic ques- tion about pot: either it Is, or it is not, a socially acceptable drug. (There is much less of a prob- lem in laying down generally acceptable rules for other drugs where there is convincing evi- dence that they are dangerous or outright harmful. As the commission notes, youngsters in the drug cult tend themselves to make sharp distinctions be- tween pot, LSD, speed, heroin and To be fair to the commission- ers, this is an interim report winch they were under orders to produce, and they are at pains to explain that their ideas are tentative, open to de- bate and subject to revision as their inquiry continues. Why in the circumstances they chose to propose changes in the law, in- stead of waiting until they had completed their study, is an in- teresting question. But the cab- inet will probably be wise to shelve the specific proposals un- til the fir-1 report is ready. The commission, meanwhile, has probably worsened, rather than improved, the problem of parents who were looking to it for guidance. Youngsters who wade through the report will find plenty of evidence to support their view that pot in moderation is harm- less. Parents looking for the con- trary view will have to rely mainly you the commission's recommendation for more research into the the research, in fact, which we hoped Dean LeDain and his colleagues were going to pro- vide. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Maurice Western, A Major Re-Structuring In Whitehall? T ONDON: Some aspects of the incredible political story unfolding here have been just like old times in Canada. First, there was poor old Ted Heath, plodding along, sincere but misguided, down at the polls, written off as a political leader. Now that bachelor Ted has moved into 10 Downing Street and the serious pundits are busy explaining themselves, the light entertainment is guessing who the hostesses will be. Poor old Robert Stanfield, they used to say in Canada, he is so sincere, so honest. Too bad he compares so unfavor- ably with Pierre in his rapport with Ihe crowds. He would prob- ably be a great prime minister if ever he could be elected. Well. Robert Stanfield, wher- ever he is, can take heart to- day because those are exactly the sentiments expressed over and over again about Ted Heath until Thursday, June 18. Of course, wise old politician that he is. lie will pause to take account of the peculiar circum- stances, even good luck, that contributed to the move from a bachelor flat in Piccadilly to Downing Street. Who is to say, for. instance, that the precise timing of ad- verse trade and unemployment figures near the end of the elec- tion campaign, didn't provide Mr. Heath with the credibility he needed to put over his case? And the record of the Wilson government had something to do with it. But the fact remains that Ihe British electorate put their trust in this supposedly shy, colorless bachelor. A report supplied by a British election service in Fleet Street during the cam- paign says that ho has drive and l.ilont but. alas, no chaiis- niii. "He has failed abjectly to transmit his personality In (he it says. Canadians will appreciate that charisma was Pierre Tru- deau's gift to politics. It was to expose the prime minister's charism a t i c qualities to as many Canadians as possible that his 1968 triumphant elec- tion campaign was planned. Harold Wilson would never admit to taking leaves from North American books about campaigning, preferring to ap- pear to be a master in his own right. He is certainly no Tru- deau. The term "swinging" is not among the many applied to him over the years. He is no bachelor and that, too, was supposed to be a bless- ing here. Pundits argued seriously whe- ther the British people would stand for a bachelor prime min- ister. And Mr. Wilson made the most of the difference by mak- ing his wife Mary his chief cam- paign prop. Tnideau had his kissing. Wil- son 'iad his Mary. She trotted around faithfully at his side, even in potentially dangerous crowd situations. She was both lost and injured slightly during the campaign. "Well, friends, Mary and I he would say. It was a "ordinary folks" image. Maximum use was made of television to record their pro- ce.ssion around the country. But it had little to do with govern- ment, much less the future of the country. Instead Harold Wilson emer- ged as a show business star. As the campaign opened there was a memorable scene of Wil- son singing "cockles and mus- sels" with the stars of Britain's most popular television serial. Actors and pop singers were on Wilson platforms during Ihe campaign. He had assiduously cultivated their suppoit by in- vitiiiR them lo parties at Num- ber 10 during his term of office. But unlike Trudcau, Wil son failed. He had been in office for six years of many unhappy memories. And he offered dur- ing the campaign nothing to challenge the minds of the Brit- ish people. There was no great issue germaine to the nation's future like the "deux nations" issue of 1968. While both the Trudeau and Wilson campaigns were largely devoid of policy discussion, at least Trudeau offered some- thing fresh and futuristic. His previous six years had been spent in challenging sac red cows and in that he more close- ly resembled Ted Healh. But if the campaign has any special interest to Mr. Stan- field, Ihe Heath record in of- fice will be even more vital. !f he proves to be a good mime minister the example will be complete. Good polls, personality and a television im- age will finally have been knocked on their heads as the prerequisites for modern demo- cratic leaders. Tile Brilish press has been so wrong about Heath that one hes- itates to accept any further judgments about him. As a bachelor, he is expected to be closer lo the rather dour prede- cessor Sir A'rlhur Balfour than lo the man in Ottawa. But who knows? He deserves to be left free to develop his own styles as he goes along. all, he is only two years older than Mr. Trudeau and lie did win the Sydney to Ho- bart yacht race, a feat requir- ing great physical stamina, last January. If he keeps up his yachting there may be hope for him yet. But where Mr. Heath really docs share an affinity with Mi'. Trudeau is in his interest in the machinery of government. Un- der his guidance the party has formulated plans which would revolutionize Ihe civil scM'vicc, greatly strengthen the prime ministers' office and change the role of the House of Commons. Among the major changes in prospect for government under Heath is a budget and manage- ment bureau, involving a shake- up in the treasury in such a way that the prime minister's personal controls over depart- mental spending would be greatly strengthened. The party has been talking in terms of recruiting 20 or 30 whiz kids from high managerial lev- els of business to carry out spe- cific projects, which might take priority over or cut across de- partmental lines. They are also looking for managers lo take over agencies now under depart- ment control. Instead they will be "hived off" from direct gov- ernment control. All of these changes would in some ways raise the problem of control over spending. It would also involve the whole doctrine of ministerial respon- sibility. It is quite possible that backbench members would be put to work on watchdog com- mittees. Until Mr. Heath plays his hand there is no telling to wiiat extent he will put theories into practice. r But given the work already put into them and t'he Heath de- t e r m i n a t i o n to see things through, it is a fair that Whitehall will be following Ot- tawa through a major restruc- turing. Only that will satisfy the Heath intention to streamline the machinery of government so extensively that it will last into the 21st century. (Herald London Bureau) LOOKING BACKWARD TIIUOUGir THE HERALD 11120 The hundredth di- vorce bill of the present session of Parliament was formally put through by the private bill committee today. 1930 The French army marching out of the Rhinelaud, today turned back to Germany full control of the occupied ter- rilory. 1911) General Charles de Gaulle, former French under- secretary for national defence, has formed a new French gov- ernment in London and has is- sued a call for "all free men'" to rally at Ihe side of England. 1950 President Truman to- day authorized the use of American ground troops in Korea under the command of General Douglas MacArlhur. lOlin Reports from Havana said that the government tool- over American-owned Texaco company's oil refinery in Ha- vana after the Americans re- fused to refine Soviet oil. The Letltbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethfcridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905 1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration Nnmbcr ooia Ucmbcr ot Tno Canadian and the Canadian Daily Neivspapw Publishers' Association and Hie Audit Bureau of CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor nnd Publisher THUMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA WILLIAM HAY Managing 1'ililnr Editor ROY F MILES DOUC.LAS K WALKKH AOvertiMng Manager Editorial Case Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"