Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 10, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THI ICTHBRIDOE HERALD - WaclnMday, March 10, 1971 IIMIOKIAIS Maurice Western A teachers9 strike? A teachers' strike in southern Alberta, perhaps in the whole province, is reported distinctly possible. Needless to say, the public is deeply concerned because the major victims would be the children. Money apparently is not the issue. The teachers claim that under new legislation or new regulations, the school boards are now reserving to themselves, without consulting with the teachers, certain decisions affecting how the schools are run. They claim that the trustees are reducing teacher authority and teacher responsibility, and they don't like it. To the public, as the case is now understood, this is a childish dispute that does no credit to either side. Both sides have rights. The teachers are the professional people and surely ought to have a strong voice in how they do their work. And the trustees have a mandate from the people to run the school systems and the power to tax the people to pay for them. Obviously their responsibility is m u c h more than rubber - stamping the opinions of their employees. When the public gets the information it requires and if it finds the trustees are merely trying to "put the teachers in their place," then it will not hesitate to deal with the trustees at the next election or before. In being adamant to the point of inviting a strike, the trustees must have the public behind them. Similarly the teachers need the support of the people. There is no doubt that the people have been fairly good (compared with other provinces) to the teachers, nor is there doubt that the people are getting worried about what appears as a "public be damned" attitude in some parts of the teaching profession. So let's hear no more strike talk. Social slumber The phenomenal popularity of Love Story (it isn't even necessary to offer any identifying comments) is provocatively probed in the article by Flora Lewis on this page. It is suggested there that it is not necessarily a good sign that the values expressed in the story seem to have nearly universal acceptance. Excepting perhaps the profanity and pre - marital sex, the-values set out are those of the old competitive, consumptive and comfortable (for those who succeed) order which had been so severely critiziced until recently. To be sure there are a couple of novel twists to the Horatio Alger scenario: the hero has to sever the umbilical cord to the family fortune in order to follow the pattern of rags to riches on his own; and the heroine died at an early age. But the savoring of satisfaction after struggle is basic - made attractive through romantic love. It has been a kind of relief to respond to the simple story of two young people in love with each other and with life. There has been a surfeit of hopelessness, of joylessness, of hatefulness, of unattractiveness. But in the relief rests a danger. It may be escapism. It could represent flight from the real challenges of the time. It could be a sinking back into social slumber - tranquillized by the illusion that there isn't much wrong with the world after all. Many things are wrong in the world: racism is rampant; poverty is endemic; war and the threat of war persist; nature is being ravaged to the point where all life is threatened with extinction. Man must not become content again with allowing these things to go unchallenged. The relief at the relative absence of demonstrations of protest should probably be a cause for worry. Apathy may be setting in. Discouraged at not being able to effect change- or to effect it fast enough - people may be willing to forget the future while grabbing whatever calm there is before the storm breaks. ART BUCHWALD TtfASHINGTON - I don't mind the Pen-" tagon lying to me on a large scale such as when they flatly stated a few months ago that they were not keeping any files on civilians. But it's their little lies that get me down. For example, the other day it was revealed that a rusty piece of oil pipe Secretary of Defence Melvin Laird snowed to newspapermen and implied had been captured during the Laos offensive turned out to be over a year old and had nothing to do with the recent Laos incursion. Secretary Laird was trying to use the pipe to prove the South Vietnamese were making great headway and had managed to cut the North Vietnamese oil supplies in Laos. When the truth was discovered, the Pentagon naturally protested; they never said it was this year's pipe. Well, it doesn't take much imagination to realize what some future Pentagon briefings are going to be like. I can just see us all filing into the Pentagon briefing room where Mr. Laird, wearing his usual ebullient smile, welcomes us. Besides the usual maps, a display of weapons and supplies are on the tage. Mr. Laird says, "Gentlemen, I am happy to report that the South Vietnamese have just captured a large cache of weapons in Laos." He holds up a rifle. "Is that one of the rifles captured, Mr. Secretary?" a reporter asks. Mr. Laird smiles and says, "Pardon me.' I didn't understand the question." "I said, is that rifle one of the weapons captured in Laos?" "Well, yes and no," Mr. Laird replies. "This rifle actually was found after Custer's last stand at Little Big Horn. But our intelligence indicates the weapons discovered look just like it." Mr. Laird picked up a frozen chicken. "The ARVN found 12,000 chickens just like this one on Route 9." "Is that a Laotian chicken?" "Would you please speak louder?" "Is that a chicken from Laos?" Mr. Laird confers with a general and then smiles and says, "No, this chicken comes from Belleau Woods. It was captured at the end of World War I. But we wanted to give you some idea of the success of the ARVN mission. Are there any questions?" "What are those ration cans over there, sir?" "Oh, yes, we captured five tons of those two days ago in Cambodia." "But there is German printing on the labels." Laird confers with the generals. Then he smiles and says, "I erred. These cans come from the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. But we wanted to give you some idea how sneaky the enemy really can be. "Mr. Secretary, where did the sandbags come from?" "These are the types of sandbags the North Vietnamese have placed around their anti-aircraft guns." "Did you fly the sandbags all the way back to Washington?" He confers with the general again. "No, not exactly. These sandbags were captured at the Battle of Iwo Jima. We thought you might be interested to note how far behind the enemy was in sandbag design. Are there any questions?" "Is that everything that was captured?" Mr. Laird smiles. "Except for one small surprise." He presses a buzzer. The large doors of the briefing room open and a Chinese tank rumbles into the room." "What do you think of that, gentlemen?" "Where did you get it?" "We captured it at Inchon during the Korean war. Let this be an answer to those who say Vietnamization isn't working." (Toronto Telegram News Servicc) Trauma revived By Doug Walker TUDI arrived home recently with the �* car liberally splashed with paint ready for the cavalcade in connection with the college winter carnival. There was some consternation as a consequence - an old trauma had been revived. A few years ago we possessed an ancient automobile whose paint had pealed in various places leaving black spots in the green. Once when we were visiting my mother in Eegina she took it upon herself to improve the appearance of the car by painting over the spots. Unfortunately the paint dried a much lighter shade than the original color with the result that the car looked as though it had been bombed by some big birds. It pained us to have to ride in the thing. Fortunately the latest paint job washed off. If it hadn't, Judi would have found herself the owner of a car and a much-depleted bank account. Problems the CDC will have to meet fkTTAWA - The minister v of finance has brushed wide criticisms of the Canada Development Corporation with the observation that Panarctic Oils Limited, the consortium in which the government has a 45 per cent share, has proven a profitable venture. It is unquestionably true that Panarotic's holdings in the northern isjands are much more valuable than they were in December, 1967, when Arthur Laing announced the arrangement. Apart from the corporation's own gas discoveries, the situation in the Arctic has been transformed by the development of a major field on the Alaskan coast, an event which could not have been foreseen in 1967. The trouble with Mr. Benson's argument is that it does very little to help the case for the CDC. In the first place, no CDC was required for the Panarctic venture. In the second, it is at least questionable on Mr. Benson's theory whether a development corporation with the peculiar credentials of the CDC would have invested so heavily in Panarctic. As Mr. Laing explained at the time, Panarctic was a "unique project". He was speaking, of course, in the Canadian context, because governments for various reasons had participated in such consortia in other parts c)? the world. But it was a new type of undertaking for Canada and the participation of government was justified by considerations going well beyond the usual calculations of profitability. In the wider sense, however, Panarctic was the latest in a long series of government interventions in the economy dictated by national considerations. One of the earliest was the Pacific Railway; others include the Crown companies which it is proposed to sell to the Canada Development Corporation. In each of these eases, the government - since it was the government and not bound by ambiguous terms of reference - had a free hand to deal, with particular situations. It did not have to worry, as the CDC, if it gets that far, will have to do, about anxious shareholders. It relied on the tax power. On the other hand, it was answerable to Parliament. The CDC will not be so answerable because the theory is that it is to be proof against political pressures. The government, accordingly, went ahead without benefit of a development corporation. Some of its ventures proved sound and others are still supported, not always with enthusiasm, by the nation's taxpayers. Mr. Benson, however, looks forward to a quite different situation, hopefully, because, in his view, one swallow does make a summer. The CDC will be very unlike Panarcitc. It will not represent a single investment. It will be expected "to invest in the shares or securities of any corporation owning property or carrying on business related to the economic interests of Canada." It may, in fact, "invest in anticipation of profit in a business carried on outside Can-, ada." In any given case, therefore, the CDC will have, to balance the prospects and risks of one investment against those of others. This will not be easy because the directors, unlike those of ordinary corporations and unlike the government, are supposed to think in terms of profit and of national benefit at the same time. They may also, if there is a public offering of shares, have to consider the reactions of many small holders who feel that government par- "I suppose YOU'LL be a draft-dodger . . ." ticipation guarantees them a return of their money. On the doubtful assumption that the corporation will be immune to political pressures, would it have been the answer to the problems faced in 1967 by Arthur Latag? As that minister, with characteristic frankness, observed at the time: "This is a risk venture. There is no certainty oil will be found. It is certain no oil will be found unless' exploration is carried out. This announcement signals.the beginning of search, not certain success." Only recently, Panarctic itself reported, as a result of a research project, that an average 88 dry wells are drilled . for each major oil field discovery in sedimentary basins comparable to the Sverdrup Basin in size. The government, as noted, was not risking shareholder money. Even so the impression in Ottawa at that time was that Mr. Laing had encountered much skepticism and opposition and had carried his p r oj e c t only after a difficult struggle in cabinet. The CDC, in such a situation, would be risking shareholders' money. Would it - if genuinely independent - be bolder than ministers with resort to the public purse? Mr. Benson's problem Is that his creature is janusfaced. On the one hand, it looks to potential investors, promising to put their money to the most profitable use. The CDC will operate on the best business principles being directed by outstanding men whose judgment cannot be influenced by governments, deputy ministers or parliamentarians swayed by normal money-losing considerations. On the other hand, it looks to nationalist sentiment, suggesting - albeit vaguely and warily - that it will keep Canada Canadian through rescue operations where those guided by the best business principles have failed to rush in with funds. Which is the true face? Probably the latter, since the corporation at the ou t s e t- and possibly for some years to come - will be a government venture and thus subject to the pressures which daily beat upon government. The critics- who suggest that Mr. Benson will have difficulty in finding directors are probably wrong; the government can usually find directors if the price is right. It may be more difficult to keep them if the corporation reaches the point at which it must justify the faith of its sponsors by making money for the shareholders while pursuing its loftier objectives. (Herald Ottawa Bureau) Does 'Love Story' signal a dangerous retreat? By Flora Lewis, in The Winnipeg Free Press TVEW YORK - The surprising thing about the film Love Story is not its extraordinary success. It is sweet, sentimental, prettily photographed, a classic formula ever since women's magazine fiction was invented. It is what the French call "Bibliotheque Rose," after the pink covers on the undying collection of nice novels for nice young girls. But it has turned out to be sharply controversial, and that could never have been predicted from the bland, unpretentious text. I-suspect that a key reason for the controversy is precisely that Love Story isn't only playing to the ladies from the garden club and the PTA. There are moccasins and long-hairs and ponchos and blue jeans in the lines at the box office. So it raises the question of youth fashion. Have cynicism and hippiedom and surly rebellion met their match in old-fashioned violets and lace? For all its furious advance, is the "counter - culture" losing ground to the "mass culture" after all? Nothing in the story is new or disturbing. A boy and a girl in college fall in love. He is rich and she is poor. He doesn't get along with his parents and is ashamed of being rich. They marry, his father cuts him off, so they are both poor. But they, are beautiful and intelligent, so they succeed. She dies of a tragic illness (Camille). In suffering, father and son are reconciled. (In the book, not the movie.) Success in the bourgeois world, fidelity, hard work, the warmth of family ties and the pain of their severance, the old joys and the old sorrows and the old values are apotheosized. "It is refreshing," said a tousle-headed girl in a sheepskin coat as the audience strolled out, really strolling like people who have just lapped up an ice cream sundae and forgotten to feel miserable for a time. "I had Elemental triumphs By Don Oakley, NEA service ANCIENT man recognized four "elements" - earth, air, fire and water. A century and a half ago, man was concerned with obtaining less than a score of chemical elements to survive and to support his industries. Today, notes William L. Newman, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, we must locate sources for more Ihan 80 elements, many of which are needed in large quantities. In the past decade alone, 16 elements have been added to the list required to nourish the industrial sinews. They bear such exotic names as palladium, ruthenium, pra- seodymium, ytterbirum, thulium and erbium. Many of these elements attained commercial use during the past few years because of new developments in color television and lasers. A total of 104 chemical elements are now recognized. Many are short - lived radioisotopes created in reactors and not found in nature. "But by the end of the 1970s," predicts Newman, "I suspect that man will find important uses for nearly all the known elements." And God gave man dominion over the earth and flvAn/iw*"* in it . . . a good cry." The people looked different from the way they looked coming out of Joe or Easy Rider or Alice's Restaurant. They hadn't been shocked, exhorted, aroused; no guilt nor fear nor consciousness was raised. As the New York Times' critic Vincent Canby put it, the film is straight "second-rate escapism." Its success is bound to set a trend, and that, says Mr. Canby, "is the most unfortunate result of the movie." The reproductive rate of second-rate movies has always been prodigious, and no law obliges people to go see them. But there is a fuss, among critics, students, intellectuals, of such an intensity that it makes an innocuous Love Story sound like the opening barrage of the counter-revolution. And that, I think, is why the film is being taken as a milestone rather than just another cornucopia of cotton candy, for those who happen to like cotton candy. Coming along just now, and with such triumph, it suggests that all the agonies of the generation gap, the life-style revolt, the upheaval of conscience, were in vain. It suggests that the tortured awakening of the 1960s was but a passing nightmare and that in this decade it will lie all right to sink back into snug, smug social slumber. Certainly, the reception of both the book and the film does show how tired we were of being summoned to the fray and how we yearned for something soothing. That is what many people voted for and thought we were getting when Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968. A new administration hasn't provided it. So the quest is back with the arts, where the malaise and the fanfare for alienation started in tlie first place. Of course, a film, or even a series of films offering Love Story Revisited and Daughter of Love Story and Love Story Goes West, is even less able than a government to create the safe serenity for which we hunger. But it can, if it signals a national mood, herald a flight from the challenges which are just as real as young love, no less real for being set aside. There is a danger, sensed by the critics, that in its fatigue and bewilderment the country is getting ready to tranquilize itself with fluff just when it had gone through the torture of diagnosis and was learning what kind of horse - medicine is required. True, self-flagellation and self- abasement went too far. Equally true, apathy and escapism are no cure for our recognized ailments. There isn't any barm in taking a little time off for self-assuagement, but a society's entertainments do reflect its attitudes. So long as escapism is confined to the silver screen, it may be a good, cooling draught for overheated fears and angers. But too many imitations will be a serious warning. Arnold Toynbee has shown that the cycles of history are not just repetitive - they go in a spiral of mounting intensity. America can't afford to doze off again as it did in the 1950s. The next awakening jolt might be too much. Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - Canadians visiting the United States will be obliged to pay an added charge in accordance with an order issued by the board of railway commissioners in an attempt to boost a "See Canada First" campaign. 1931 - Gas production in Turner Valley is likely to be restricted to 40 or 50 per cent of the present open flow in the near future. 1941 - The special dye for coloring gasoline for use of Al- berta fanners for agriculture cost $15,000, which has covered by the issuance of a special warrant. The plan for coloring gasoline will be used instead of the old coupon system. 1951 -Grade Fields, "the lassie from Lancashire" will be in the city March 21 to give a concert. 1961 - The green and gold of Alberta's new tartan dominated the legislative assembly as the provincial secretary presented each member with a tie in the distinctive plaid. 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 Dally 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"