Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 3, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 IHt IETHBRIDGE HERAID Friday, Maict. 3, 1972 Hutchison The consumers' friend The Consumers' Association of Canada is now in its thirty-first year and its contribution to consumer pro- tection has been growing steadily with the years. The association had its origins dur- ing the Second World War when the women's organizations from all parts of Canada were nsked by the federal government lo help maintain price ceilings. Since that time the CAC has become a strong voice in consumer matters. It has a lengthly list of goals it has achieved sometimes with the co operation of industry and manufacturers, sometimes only afler considerable pressure has been ex- erted by unrelenting CAC members. In recent years consumers have been paying closer heed to the qual- ity and price of the merchandise they purchase. They are not afraid to complain if advertising is false or misconstrued. However. CAC has many objectives ahead of it still, in- cluding: improved credit regulations; improved safety standards for vehi- cles and tires; prohibition of candy- flavored ASA; label products wiih country of origin and many more. March 1 to 7 has been set aside as CAC week. This year the theme is Recycle and Renew, with special em- phasis on how the householder can assist in the pollution problem. In- formation on this subject can be re- ceived from CAC headquarters, 100 Gloucester St. Ottawa. One major goal of the CAC is to develop constant and co operative liaison with the federal department of consumer and corporate affairs. While the latter department is young in years compared with the CAC, co- operation between these two groups should, in the future, be able to deal constructively with all consumer complaints, in this way they will be able lo weed out the impractical, un- safe, and unnecessarily costly pro- ducts on the market today. Who was the winner? Rejection of the scorecard ap- proach t o President Nixon's China visit by Foreign Policy Adviser Hen- ry Kissinger in his press conference iii Shanghai has not prevented its use. Such an approach is almost im- possible to avoid; as is the conclu- sion thai the Chinese were the win- ners in the short run at least. It is hard to detect any real con- cession that was made on the China side. Certainly there was nothing comparable to the "capitulation" fas William F. Buckley, the conservative columnist, sees it) on the Taiwan issue. The U.S. agreement to with- draw all forces and military instal- lations from the island may be an extension of existing American pol- icy, as Mr. Kissinger stated, but it represents a shift in the sight of most of the rest of the world. The Washington Post says the U.S. did make a concession at this point. It represents the price that has to be paid for the excesses of American foreign policy in the past quarter of a century. More concessions will have to follow. The downgrading of U.S. obligation to Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan cannot be squared with the protective attitude toward President Thieu of South Vietnam, for in- stance. William F. Buckley says that as a result, of the change in American policy it has been shown that the U.S. has lost its sense of moral mis- sion in the world. While he laments this, a great many people will sigh with relief. Subscribing to "peaceful coexistence" with China will seem in- finitely better than the attempt to contain China resulting in the un- happy involvement in the war in Vietnam. In the long run the victory may be seen as one for the U.S. and for the world. President Nixon has changed his mind about a stance of rigid anti communism being in the way to a healthy world. He is gamb- ling on that change being the road to peace. If he is right, his comment about his visit to China being a week that changed the world will be vin- dicated. Only the passage of time will for the toting of the scorecard and the declaring of the ultimate winner. A bland speech The session of the legislature which opened yesterday has been antici- pated with excitement by most AI- bertans. It is the first in 37 years under a new government, the first ever under a Conservative govern- ment. The Lougheed administration has given every sign of being un- afraid of change, indeed of being an- xious to change. The Speech from the Throne, which traditionally gives a peek at the gov- ernment's legislative program, was somehting of a let down. It por- tends little of substance, even little of excitement. But that is not to the government's discredit. It will be judged on its per- formance, not on the biandness of its Speech from the Throne. The poten- tial for a vigorous, profound and far- reaching legislative program still re- mains. Bigot Country? pRIME Minister Trudeau of Ottawa has called Premier Bennett of British Co- Jrnnbia a bigot. Mr. Trudeau called Mr. Bennett a bigot, becauhe he (Mr. Tnireau) has the impres- sion that he (Mr. Bennett) thinks there are too many French people in Ottawa and that he (Mr. Bennett) has called them (the French people) "the Quebec Mafia." Corning right on top of Mayor Tom Campbell's calling paople "hamburgers" who don't have a university degree, Mr. Trudeau's remark has complicated the epi- thet scene in the West, Sorr.e of our most distinguished politicians are or may be big- otted hamburgers (or ground round ra- It depends on whether they lack both a university and a taste for escargots. In the interest of national unity I should like to dispel some of the confusion that underlies Mr. Trudeau's calling Mr. Ben- nett a bigot. None of us who lives on the west coast wishes B.C. to stand for Bigot Country. First, it should understood that if Mr. Bennett feels that there are too many French people in Ottawa, it U not because be wants to see more of them in Victoria. He is entirely unselfish in this regard. Vic- toria has never been as ''a little bit (jl old and there has been no agi- tation among government members to change the image of the provincial capital whose legislature takes its ethnic flavor from trie watercress sandwiches served at the Empress. No, if Mr. Bennett deplores the number of French people in Ottawa it is because he would like to see that city populated by a larger representation of people from Victoria, or Kclowna, or in a pinch from Vancouver. In particular he regrets the demographic conditions on Parliament Hill, v.-hich seems to support Gallic life much better than it does the west-coast species. To put it another way: the French Ca- nadians may be the white niggers of Amer- ica, but Ihe people of 'British Columbia have also had a bellyful of watermelon. Or, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, unless it is B.C., in which case it gels the shaft. Having these sentiments if indeed he has them at all does not make Mr. Bennett a bigot. He merely reflects a feel- ing widespread in the province he governs. Race and religion hardly enter into it. Bri- tish Columbians feel much the same way about the number of Ontario people in Toronto. Ours is the kind of bigotry that embraces all mankind or at least that part of mankind fortunate enough to live within a 500-mile radius of Ottawa. In Canada bigotry is measured in dis- tance from the trough. Victoria is the capi- tal farthest from the grits, and the miles are not ihortaied any for this little piggy that voted Social Credit. Perhaps wo should also remember that both Mr. Bennett and Mr. Trudeau will shorty launchs election campaigns. They are getting an early start on their name- calling, before it attracts summer flies. So close your ears, children, till the mas- ters of our fate have done with beating one another over the head with their blad- ders of air. Better close your eyes too Mr. Tnideau is pretty good at mouthing a whap. (Vancouver Province Features) Parties face murky terrain in election Kwn tlw (Icvin-.i; visitor u> tins i-npital siv at OIKV tlint llio ivlitii-s of Canada .no iwl llii-y ap- pear In lv 15m ivursi-. is nonnal. In the .ui of dnmv- cratic j-overumcnt surUi-e seldom ivsfinWfs tho inio i'on- tenU. Tims tin- Liberal party plunges into LUI elec- tion campaign uitli nn oi'lor air of sublime confidence which il docs not feel Inside, and claims of victory which the po- litical map denies In fact, (ho government knous that a na- tional vote tomorrow probably would not give it. or any alter- native, a working majority In the next Parliament. The old spectre of the 1000s quar- relling minorities, unstable poli- tics a'nd sudden elections has returned to tiaunt the 1070s. But the vote will not be he'd tomorrow, and before it is held many tilings will bo ctitmcal by Ihc governments stnilcyy or mistake, by Hie. opposition parlies' recovery or decline, and most of all liy the unnrc- dictahle mood of a confused and worried nation. For the, time being tliat mood holds no comfort for the Li- beral, Conservative or New De- mocratic parties. Like most peoples everywhere, Canadians are dissatisfied with their lead- ers, their propects and them- selves, though Canada is per- haps the most fortnnalc nation in the Morld, envied even by its rich American neighbor. How can the national mood be best exploited in the grimy but essential business of parti- san polities? The best brains of the three parties are working hard on this familiar question am! the government, at least, thinks it has a possible an- swer. As future events will show, the Liberal party does not In- tend to fight the election as anything like a re-play of 1968, on the human glamor of Pierre Trudeau, because sueli a Prince Charming act. cannot be repeated. Nor will it fight on any specific issue, if divisive is- sues are avoidable. The whole, strategy assumes, too hopefully, that the real issues can be postponed blurred and faced at last in a new Parlia- ment and a new mood. So the Liberal party will right the election on a different and Intangible proposition that no other party can come near a majority, that none offers a practical alternative and that Mr. Trudeau, with all his seal's and fading personal magic, is still the only leader capable of governing the nation. in short, (he government hopes that before election day the, public ivill revise the pre- sently chaotic map and. lacking a belter option, will give Mr. Trudeau a second chance with- out knowing, in more than the broadest generalities, what he actually intends to do (if, in- deed, he knows To put the thing bluntly, the gov- ernment counts on Mr. Stan- field to re-elect it. All (his may sound pretty vague, and even arrogant bnt the Conservative party is in as deep (rouble as the govern- ment. To begin with the official Opposition cannot and, private- ly, does not claim a majority iii the next Parliament. Its highest hope is elect the lar- gest minority a brave and wistful hope at best. In Uie sec- ond place, the Opposition has framed no understandable pol- icy on the nation's basic prob- lems, contrived no specific is- sue and relies, so far. only on "I hafe Jo criticize honest effort but LIP service never cured a malignancy." the government's unpop a negative and dubious as- sumption. To be sure, Mr. Stan field (a man of the highest character whom no one can possibly dis- like or distrust) may be wait- ing for the right moment, may then frame a policy and pose an issue, but he has not done so up to now. The nettle at the Canadian economy, with its built-in, guaranteed inflation and its endless spiral of wages, strikes and prices, is there for him to grasp, but, like the gov- ernment, he fears to grasp it, and time runs out. The task of the NDP is much simpler if more discouraging. With no hope of winning the election, of forming the official opposition, or making more than peripheral gains here and there. David Lewis has only to cry a plague on both the old Canadian houses and, above all, on the American house next door, without any known architecture for the house of socialism at home. That will be good enough for the election, if not for the nation's future. Such is the murky terrain im- mediately before us but one- gleam of clarity should not be ignored. As the public has yet to realize, the power struc- ture of the government, the in- ner anatomy of the Liberal party, has shifted drastically not in a mere game of cabinet musical chairs but in the eleva- tion of young John Turner to the second highest place in our politics, a place that no other man has occupied since 1968. Unannounced but quite clear, tiie old ar.d only reliable meth- od of Canadian government. a partnership between a Que- bec and an English-speaking leader is re-established and from it remarkable results will flow later on. But not now. The election comes first and afterwards the test of Mr. Tur- ner as the fulcrum and deter- mining factor in an economic dilemma daunting even to a man just as tough-minded as Trudeau and with a longer political life in front of him. Henceforth Mr. Turner will be man to watch because he already is a potential prime minister, because the next few years will make or break him, because he obviously under- stands his new power, intends to use it and has no illusions about the depth of his prob- lems, even if they can blurred until the polls close. In a word, then, the election will settle nothing but the par- tisan arithmetic o[ the new Parliament unless, meanwhile, someone raises an inescapable issue and upsets the Liberal strategy of postponement, That possibility, too, will bear watching. (Herald Special Service) Tim Traynor How controls are working in the U.S. economy WASHINGTON: The U.S. has now been living wilh a controlled e cono rny for ha If a year. It is appropriate to ask how the situation is regarded by the public- and what is the likely political effect of the wage-p rice control system whi ch has been 5 n opera t ion since November, when the ini- tial freeze ended. As of the early weeks of 1972, polls were showing that a ma- jority of the public were dis- sa tisf ied with the way t he Phase 2 control syst em wa s working. Some 55 per cent of those responding in a Gallup poll express dissatisfaction, and' the commonest complaint was that the small man was being hit harder than big inter- ests. The prevailing tendency wa s to seek st i f f c r con t ro! s. There was particular doubts as to the effectiveness of the com- plex and variable price-control apparatus. While skepticism about the effectiveness of Pha.se 2 is widespread, them is a tendency to blame the system's difficul- ties on factors other than the president himself. Indications at this point are that (he lablushrnenl of controls is likely (o be to the advantage of the Nixon candidacy for re-election to November. Clearly working for Mr. Nix- on bas been the evident impact of the strong measures of last fall. From August through De- cember during most of which time prices anrl wages were frozen, the consumer price index rose at an anmnl of 2.4 per cent recorded in the six months. In- creases in the hourly aver ago payment to workers were much less in the fourth quarter of 1971 than earlier in the year. Compared with that picture, the Phase 2 scene bas lacklustre. The pay board was born arnirl a clnmor of talinr protest against the shape of Hie control structure. To mollify the labor movement, the board took a soft line on major con- tracts which quickly came up for consideration. This posture was justified as maintaing the tra- ditional equilibrium with con- tracts in other major industries which had been settled earlier in 1971. Labor is adamant that East and West Coast dock set- tlements should be covered by this formula. It was foreseen that the early actions of the pay board would result in a large "bubble" of wage settlements, with mem- bers of some of the nation's strongest unions benefiting. In the view of some, having got this out of (he way, the pay board may he able to bear down and really contain wage increases within the- 5.5 per cent target figure. It may be, however' that the "bubble11 has already put an intolerable strain on the system. Certainly there is evidence of strong re- sentment about the trend, es- Letter to the editor Httlf Irulh T would like to take issue with one of the headlines in a recent issue of The Herald Trudeau swears at Stanficld. Swearing, in the general use- age, means speaking against CocL I would suggesl that the question, ami the way il was manipulated by the Opposition, was Gnrl damning. Any half truth made lo look like, the whole 11 u t h. however, and whenever, is God damning. This method of electioneer- ing, whether done in, or out of the House, is no more healthy for our country than for God. J hopo people will be able lo sort out the important things in the coming weeks. FLORENCE WILKINvSON. Lethbridge. peciaUy among non-unionized workers who see themselves as having been given harsher treatment than unionized work- ers. .Resentment of a similar kind has been aroused by the price commission. Once it had bean decided that no vast "new price- control bureaucracy would he established, t h e commission had little choice but to evolve on the basis of broad guide- lines, with direct review of only the odd case. In early action, it laid oul broad requirements for relailers with a view to es- tablishing a basis for public judgment of price increases. Large firms were given wide latitude for averaging price in- creases across a range of pro- ducts. According lo the commission, up to mid-February the aver- age increase granted by Ihe commission, weighted to re- flect the total revenues of Ihe companies involved, was I .B per cent. The average increase granted on the portion of Ihe companies' sales for which the price increases were requested was 3.1 per cent. What the public appears to have perceived, however, is not the effect of averaging but the flimsiness of restraints on re- tailers and the possibilities for big firms to exploit loopholes in tho complex and hastily-con- structed framework. To some, it appears tho controls bear less heavily on big indnslry (ban on small businesses. Con- sumer groups have romplairrd Hi at. the system is (oo ill-rip' fined to allow them to make clear judgments on the merits of price increases by retailers. This theme is strongly echoed by labor unionists, and frustra- tions about the workings of the price-restraint system cannot hut reinforce union resistance to the workings of liie puy board. Union leaders are pre- paring a frontal attack on a re- cent board ruling against eligi' bility for special wage in- creases of workers making above per hour. The unions insist that workers mak- ing up to per hour or more should bo considered low-paid and accordingly given special treatment. Mr. Ntxon and his advisors have shown an increasing awareness of the public discon- tent, and there has been an ef- fort to encourage Uie impres- sion that business and labor are obstructing the working of the system. Public thinking on thi.s and other aspects of the conlrols were recen t ly ex plored i n a survey for the Wall Street Jour- nal. Among economists there was considerable confidence that the administration's goal of cutting inflation to the 2 to 3 per cent level by the end of 1972 would at least be ap- proached (though ihcre was doubt ns to whether much of the gain would be due to Phase 2 Among the public- almost 50 per cent said wage controls were not working and about 55 per cent said price controls were not working. Only 25 per cent of those who thought that controls weren't working blamed the president. Some 24 per cent blamed busi- nessmen, about 17 per cent blamed program administra- tors, and alwut 16 per cent blamed the unions. What remains to be seen is whether tins pattern will hold amid mounting discontent and at a time when political rivals will be attempting (o put Mr. Nixon in a bad lighi. If the dis- content is deflected toward the president personally, it could play an important part in the political drama of the months to come. (Ileratrt bureau> Looking backward THROUGH THE HERALD 191Z Lethbridge, Cal- gary, Edmonton and Bassano are the cities in a new baseball league organized Saturday. 1922 The Western Canada Coal Operators' Association thi.s afternoon turned down the miners' demands in a labour dispute. Seven hundred bush- els of grain donated by Gra- num farmers, has been shipped to Calgary, and through the courtesy of Spillcrs Ud. was milled free of charge for the relief of the needy. 1912 _ The organization of an Air Raid precaution squad in (lie city under the leader- ship of fire Chief Robt. Lind- say is planned. The LetlUnidge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lclhbrirlge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published by Hon. W. A, BUCHANAN Second Claw Mall Regtslralion No. 0013 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers' Association and the AudJJ Bureau of CtRO W. MOWLRS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H- ADAMS, General Manager DOM PILL IMG HAY Managing Editor EtJilor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER Atfverfioing Manflyor Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE: SOUTH"