Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 4, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD _ Thurtctay, March 4, 1971 EDITORIALS Maurice Western A contest of wills Britain's tug of war between the labor unions and the Heath government's determination to push through the Industrial Relations Bill which would eliminate wildcat strikes has developed into a full - fledged battle. The losers are millions of Briton's caught in the middle and they are just a little more than fed up with the whole thing. To date the list of tribulations seems endless: a postal strike in its sixth week; a wildcat newspaper strike; threats of a railway strike, plus hike in transportation costs; 21 Ford plants out on strike; the collapse of the nation's second largest automobile insurance company; over a million non - striking workers laid off without pay. Members of Prime Minister Edward Heath's government see the upheaval as but one stage in the fight against wage and price inflation plus reform of the labor union system. Union officials claim the Industrial Relations Bill is unduly restric- tive and deprives unions of their rights. In the meantime, concerned Britons are sharply aware of their economic position, and the urgent need for British industry to remain competitive abroad. They are not amused at the cavalier way union leadership announces the closing of car plants, newspapers and other enterprises, even for a twenty - four hour period. They are aware also that there has to be some control on irresponsible labor demands. It is reasonable to suppose that responsible union leaders realize the need for controls too, if the country is to survive economic ruin. In the meantime, the contest of wills goes on, the government unbending, the unions holding fast and calling for continued opposition to the Industrial Relations Bill from all members. Who'll give in first is a matter of conjecture, but anxious citizens will be happy to see both sides arrive at some sort of a draw. On delaying justice "Kangaroo" justice is not justice. If the accused is rushed through court without time or opportunity to get a proper defence, the people's sense of fair play is offended and they will not stand for it. The opposite is also dangerous. Unnecessary delays in the judicial process can also pervert and even deny justice. The feeling is very popular that it is often cheaper and much more convenient to plead guilty, even dishonestly, than to go through the protracted process of disputing the police. The courts are never hesitant to express outrage at that attitude. To plead guilty just for convenience is an affront to the judicial system, they insist, and they will not knowingly tolerate it. That, then, puts some responsibility on the judicial system, and especially on the courts, to minimize the inconvenience of pleading not guilty. The courts,must be ready to submit to a little inconvenience themselves to spare the accused (and others involved) great inconvenience. When the accused and witnesses and solicitors have already put themselves out for the disposition of justice, it behooves the courts to be willing to do the same. Otherwise the judicial process becomes too expensive for the average person, and he is "punished" less by pleading guilty in the first place than by trying to establish (even successfully) his innocence. Ugliness in Lethbridge The city has a long-term policy of removing utility poles and wires from the streets and alleys and putting the services underground. All new areas are being serviced underground, and each year there is some money for moving the old services. Consideration should be given to speeding up the schedule. The forest of poles and canopy of wires on so many city streets is one of Lethbridge's major blights. Removing the offence to people's eyes is worth something. And then, against the cost of accelerating the change, should be put the cost of the annual butchery of the trees perpetrated for the protection of the wires. Matriculation malignancy By Ed Ryan /"\NE of the greatest obstacles to pro-gram change in high schools is the "Matriculation Malignancy." It's a malignancy that has divided the high school student population into two classes - matriculants and also-rans. It's a barrier that has relegated those students who are either unwilling or unable to meet its demands into second - class educatiomship. It's a straitjacket that stresses competition and emphasizes grades above all else. High schools have become so preoccupied with matriculation that their aim is no longer to provide an education for all, but to get some of their students into university. In their concern over some of their students meeting university admission requirements, they have overlooked the average students - and they make up, by far, the largest proportion of the student population. The belief that high school is for everyone is a myth. It's mainly for the student planning and preparing to go to university. The justification for matriculation is that it is supposed to better prepare students- for their forthcoming ordeal at university or college. It's a screening device, we're told, that is supposed to work to the ultimate advantage of all students. It's supposed to select those students who can succeed in, and profit from a university education. At the same time, it's supposed to "weed out" those who can't or won't. In doing so, it's supposed to reduce the number of potential failures and thus, save the taxpayers countless thousands of dollars. I wonder. Are students who earn a "solid" senior matriculation standing better prepared for successful work at the university level? Well, not according to a recent finding of Robert Young, school superintendent in New Jersey. He found that students "who departed from typical college preparation (we call it matriculation) did as well, or better than those who had rigidly conformed to it." In other words, not having a senior matriculation is really no handicap at all in terms of doing successful work at university. And, in case you think that this is an isolated and unexpected finding, let me point out that it merely confirms similar findings which go back some 30 years ago. And, how well - prepared for university are those students who obtain a senior matriculation standing? Rather poorly, when you look at the drop - out and failure rates at the university level. It has been estimated that about 40 per cent of first-year university students fail one or more courses. In the freshman year alone the drop-out rate is between 15 and 20 per cent. And, in some faculties such as engineering the failure rate in the first year is a staggering 50 per cent. Only about two - thirds of those admitted to university may be expected to graduate with a degree. And.this, remember, is happening to students who have been "prepared" to succeed. They all have a senior matriculation standing. Yet, we continue to insist that high school students drive themselves to master a foreign language, mathematics, science and English to ensure their admission to university. We intimate that if they take these courses for some three years and succeed in them that they're well - educated. Moreover, we lead them to believe that they're ready for university. We do this in spite of abundant evidence that motivation and not specific course preparation is the key to success at university. Still, most high schools take it upon themselves to decide which students can prepare for university and which students can't. What makes them think that they are so clever that they can make these far - reaching judgments with 15-year-olds. The truth of the matter is that we don't know yet who can be educated to a relatively high level because we haven't really tried. We merely think we can. It's high time that high schools began to take a greater responsibility for the education of their students instead of being "weeding - out" factories for the so-called higher institutions. In time we might be able to change high school from an animal farm to a centre of all - around learning. Shades of blue By Doug Walker had a visitor at our place recently. Looking out the window at our car, she remarked, "I thought your car was a darker blue." Elspeth quickly responded, 'it usually is." Then she explained that Judi had had to wash it when she painted it for the college carnival. Although that bright comment was made for my benefit, I plan to ignore it - I have better things to do with my time than be a nurse-maid to a car. Problems in selling CDC to public /YTTAWA: The government is experiencing some difficulty in making a persuasive case for the Canada Development Corporation. It is one thing to find the right procedure for dealing with a "hybrid" bill but another to sel] the hybrid now that it is properly before Parliament. Unhappily for ministers and their supporters, the CDC on its face is an attempt- to reconcile irreconc i 1 a b 1 e s. On the one hand it is supposed to be an agency of national salvation safeguarding our future by ensuring that Canadian firms do not slip into American hands. On the other it is supposed to operate as a private corporation in anticipation of profit: Thus it must not be a purchaser of last resort which would be almost bound to lose money for the shareholders. If the CDC is to be a private corporation operating - despite the presence of government as a major shareholder - like any other private corporation, what is the point of it? Finance Minister Benson is keenly aware that the bill must be set in the context of the foreign ownership policy now being developed by the government. In his speech on Monday, a masterly demonstration of the art of walking on eggs, he said: "It should be regarded as only one of the measures to promote greater ownership and control of our economy by Canadians. But I am confident that the role it can play will make a very important contribution to our efforts to deal positively and constructively with these concerns." Barnett Danson, the prime minister's parliamentary secretary, devoted most of his speech to the larger problem. "It is the first time," he said, "that we have really begun to come to grips with the owner- ship and control of our industry and our resources." He added, with a mixture of boldness and caution: "I use the word 'begun' advisedly as 1 believe it to be the first substantial legislative step to help us 'tip .toe' through the intricacies of maintaining a substantial inflow of investment capital, still essential in the view of my party to the dynamic growth of the economy, and the imperative of assuming an increasing degree of control over the business and economic decisions which very much affect our sovereignty and our development as a more distinct Canadian social and political identity." But how does the government know that the CDC will do these things if it is, in fact, to be a private corporation operating, in Mr. Benson's words, "free of pressure by departments of the federal government7" It must, for purposes of the present ar- gument, be independent, for otherwise it might be considered "socialism," a charge which has been brought and which Mr. Benson did his best to refute. What will happen if the CDC does respond to signals from Parliament Hill and in consequence loses money or earns less, say, than the yield on savings bonds? Presumably private Investors will entrust their funds to some other corporation with a decent rate of re-tarn. In that case the government will be left with the CDC. Will it then be socialism or will it be accorded some more respectable designation meaning the same thing? The CDC is a child of government and must have a role that will appear important to the public. Mr. Benson was fairly clear on what it would not do. Obviously, however, he could not be in the position of handing our marching orders "Daddy says he refuses to get out of bed till they get rid of pollution, unemployment, pot-holes, crime, traffic jams . . ." Letters To The Editor Truth of Feminine Mystique demonstrated In your "Carl and Betty" editorial (Feb. 27) you use a well-worn technique of making a personal attack rather than applying yourself to an honest rebuttal of the person's ideas. Many women will not miss the point that you are against them. We all know that Betty Friedan is a strident, hateful woman, and I understand that all women's liberation groups, including her own, do not want her in their organizations. Is it not true that in many cases the value of a person's work is enhanced rather than demeaned by knowing the conditions that fostered it? Betty had many strikes against her. Libraries form of insurance Two items in your issue of Wednesday, February 24, were designed to draw comment from this quarter. The excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor headed "Reading holds its own" (against TV) is strongly supported by Lethbridge Public Library statistics for 1970 which show that the number of books borrowed by adults for home reading have increased by eighty-five per cent over the past ten .years. Over the fifteen-year span, roughly since the inception of television in Lethbridge, the city's per capita use of books loaned from the public library has increased from 5.04 volumes to 9.68 volumes. In the matter of lifelong education and the substance of Mr. Mower's speech, the public library was seen to be a primary agency in continuous learning over a hundred years ago and has fought ever since to fill this role adequately. I use the word fought because there has always been a "more practical" user for public money, such as parkades, sewage systems and curling rinks. Nevertheless the public library has helped teachers to become plumbers, laywers to become wood-engravers, housewives to become historians and everybody to become politicians or anything else according to interest and aptitude. In contrast to the provincial government's pride in its educational spending is the notable reticence on its financial support for public library service, probably because it knows that, at the last count, Alberta easily retained its position as a very poor last among the provinces with its nearest competitor contributing half as much again per capita. If we regard expenditure on public library service as a form of insurance on our massive education investment, Alberta's policy in 1968 cost one tenth of one per cent, our nearest competitor, Quebec, insured for twice as much; Saskatchewan and New Brunswick seven times as much. Any business man would conclude that Alberta assumes considerable risk with a policy that can only be described as plenty-deductible. <5. F. R. DEW, LIBRARIAN, LETHBRIDGE PUBLIC LIBRARY. 'Crazy Capers' You stupid clot, can't you get it into that thick skull that you're as good as the next man? She was intellectually brilliant, a woman, Jewish, physically unattractive, and socially ostracized by the people in the small mid-west town of her childhood. Having suffered these unfortunate intersections she was well equipped to analyse her plight and in doing so exposed what must be the outstanding defect of our society. Your advice ... "don't marry a women's lib activist" is directed at men and carried the unspoken assumption that marriage in its present state is good, ... for men. But is it good? For the past couple of years, surveys have been coming out that indicate that, on the average, single men and women are happier than married men or women. The advantages of marriage do not seem to outweigh the disadvantages. Marriage is perhaps too confining an arena for "the battle of the sexes" which is a main cause of frigidity, impotence, prostitution of both men and women (whether married or not), and in the extreme, of homosexuality and lesbianism. (You further your attack on Betty Friedan by telling us that she associates with lesbians.) Perhaps we ought to assert that non-marriage is good for people, or better yet, good for some, bad for others. Your advice is not needed because everyone knows or should know that a man considered normal for our society should not marry someone who cannot follow the cultural rules. A "normal" woman should not marry a revolutionary man or one who believes that man's life should be devoted exclusively to generating hallucinatory knowledge, I could advise women to not marry a man who devotes himself almost exclusively to generating material possessions, but then that aberration is culturally sanctioned. I interpret your advice as being a put-down for women in general. I believe that Betty wants "to free man from the 'inequities of alimony'." I'm not sure, but I think that alimony is for tha maintenance of the children. You put them together. It is for the latter that she wanted three times what the courts awarded. Maybe the courts, controlled by men, were biased against the women's liberationist Mrs. Friedan, as I submit that you are, and that she was "perhaps awarded only one-third of what she should have gotten ... for the children. Why did not the courts award custody to Mr. Friedan? As for alimony you cannot expect women to give it up before they get their freedom. I do not contest that she is most of what Carl says she is but perhaps your paper should also print her side of the story, an attack on Carl and men. You have not given ... "a kind of coup de grace for the Feminine Mystique"; you have demonstrated its truth. JOHN MacKENZIE, Lethbridge. to a supposedly independent corporation. He met this difficulty, more or less, by employing such phrases as. "We anticipate" and "it should." Thus: "It should concentrate the exercise of its own direct entrepreneurial func t i o n s In those areas of particular promise and interest to the Canadian economy where there is not otherwise likely to be a sufficient degree of Canad i a n participation." (Why not* Do Canadian Investors think they can make more money somewhere else?) "It should emphasize areas involving the development and application of new technology, those which involve the exploitation and utilization of Canadian natural resources, those which have special relevance to the development of the North and those in which Canada now has or can develop significant comparative advantages by international standards." This is too general to mean much. The individual decisions will determine the success or failure of the CDC. Mr. Benson then said that significant steps must be taken to rationalize and improve Canadian industry and that these will involve mergers, amalgamations and other corporate arrangements designed to strengthen the competitiveness o f Canadian industry. "The CDC' should be in a position to play an important catalytic and facilitating role in making such changes possible and reducing the risks of an undesirable degree of foreign control of the industries concerned." Some businessmen who attempted a catalytic role have been charged in the courts with offences against the Combines law. The government proposes to change the combines law but Parliament has yet to see the new bill, much less approve it. So the CDC is to serve by facilitating changes which, under the law as it stands, might impel the combines people to recommend prosecutions. What is perhaps to be anticipated is not government direction but government influence in the event that Parliament (and the majority caucus) becomes worked up about another Home Oil case or the fate of a book publisher. We know that, in the beginning - and during any period in which the government's vot-. ing shares exceed 40 per cent- the deputy ministers of finance and industry will be, ex officio, non - voting members of the board. Will they be free of government influence? Who will they in turn seek to influence? With what probable results? The government, according to Mr. Benson, will always wish to hold at least 10 per cent of the voting shares. "Thus it will always be in a position to exercise the degree of influence on the over-all policies of the corporation which would be appropriate to its shareholding at any given time." Now we see the influence and now we don't. It is very much like the experience of Alice with the Cheshire Cat. But at least it will be there in strength at the outset when the CDC is acquiring Crown corporations. Will it be free to say yes or no in bargaining with the government? If it says no, it will make a mockery of Mr. Benson's speech. For he closed with the assurance that "it will enable cert a i n government owned enterprises to grow and develop as full - fledged members of the business and industrial community." It will be independent and, if it knows what is good for it, will say yes. This will be the problem for the investor. The more the CDC says yes to the government, the greater the risk that it will lose its shirt- and ours. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - The Western Dominion Railway, which has created some stir in southern Alberta through rumors of its building, is again asking the house of Commons for an extension of time. The line is to start at the boundary and run through Cardston to Pincher Creek thence north to Calgary. 1931-Southern Alberta is experiencing its first blizzard of the winter, following a day of high winds which filled the air with clouds of dust. 1941-Awarding of contracts for the construction of the new bombing school at Lethbridge was announced today. Bennett and White of Calgary will build four hangars, a drill hall and two large buildings. The contract price is $300,000. 1951 - The cost-of-living index rose 2.7 points in January to 175.2, the biggest monthly jump in two years. The index is based on the average of 1935-39. 19B1 - Alberta's minimum v/age will be increased to 85 cents an hour for both men and women June 1, Labor Minister Raymond Reierson announced. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No. 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager JOE BALLA Managing Editor ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager WILLIAM HAY Associate Editor DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"