Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
TuMday, March 12, 1974 TMB LETHBRIDQE HERALD 8 Foreign capital unnecessary in north By Loren Hepler, chemistry department, U of L One of the most important problems facing the .people and governments of Canada is development of our natural resources, with particular emphasis now on the oil that is concentrated in Alberta. Policies of our governments in Edmonton and Ottawa differ in several respects that have been well-publicized. These important differences, mostly concerned with taxes and royalties, are worth every bit of attention they have received. But the similarities in present provincial and federal policies are even more important, and these similarities have received relatively little serious attention. Our provincial and federal governments largely share a 'belief that the huge development programs that are ahead of us are so big and expensive and complex that they must be carried out with the aid of considerable foreign capital and expertise. Both Edmonton and Ottawa agree that the total take for Canada from leases, royalties, and taxes must be considerably higher than in the past, and that there must be greater Canadian control than there has been in the past. Because we now have a seller's market, either the provincial or federal government is likely to achieve these aims to a considerable extent. When we think about all this from the point of view of the foreign investors and developers, we see that the present policy contains some possible pitfalls for us. These foreign investors are not fools. They will invest huge amounts of capital only if they can be reasonably sure of taking out more (lots more) than they put in. Further, foreign investors and managers will rightly expect to have considerable control over the industry that they build. It seems inevitable that there will be compromises leading to more Canadian control than in the past, but still considerably less control than many people in Canada want. And it is worth repeating that foreign investors ultimately take out much more money than they bring in. There are three basic arguments used by those who favor foreign development of our oil resources: the capital costs are too large to be managed in any other way; Canada does not have the technical skills required; and Canada does not have the managerial skills required for such large projects. IF (a big if) these arguments are substantially correct, we have no practical alternative to accepting foreign development and making the best bargain we can. But if these arguments are substantially mistaken, we can develop our oil ourselves while keeping both profits and control in Canada. We now turn to consideration of the three arguments above, beginning with finance. It is certainly true that rapid development of oil resources will require large amounts of capital. One way to avoid problems associated with foreign investment, ownership, and control is to opt for a slower rate of development choosing whatever rate we can manage ourselves. Slower de- velopment means that our oil will last longer, and will therefore become ever more valuable. Thus it might be both short term and long term wisdom to fit the rate of development to our ability to finance and manage it. Before making a final decision about finance, it is instructive to consider how foreign oil companies will manage large capital expenditures. Judging by past procedures, it is safe to predict that much of the capital will be borrowed money rather than money supplied directly by the oil companies. Further, much of the borrowed money will be borrowed in Canada. Thus it is partly Canadian capital that would finance foreign ownership and control of our resources. If borrowed money is to be used, Canadian companies and Canadian governments can borrow as well as can foreign companies. We conclude that there is no compelling financial need for foreign investment, with its accompanying ownership and partial control. Now consider technical skills. It is sometimes argued that the scientific and Book review engineering skills of employees of foreign companies are needed. It is certainly true that many expert scientists and engineers will be needed. It is also true that there are many first rate scientists and engineers in Canada. And it might be noted that much of the work that has already led to the successful extraction of oil from the tar sands has been done by scientists and engineers working in Canada. Much of the technical work needed can surely be done by people who are presently in Canada. For the part of the work that cannot be done by people who are here, Canadian-owned companies or Canadian governments can hire individual foreign experts as employees or consultants in exactly the same way the U.S. companies now and in the past have hired Canadian scientists and engineers. Some of these imported experts will choose to become Canadians, thus adding to the total skill of the nation. Others will work here for a time before returning to their home lands, but leaving control and profits here. Finally, we consider managerial skills. There is no compelling evidence that Canadian businesses and governments are managed very much better or worse than corresponding organizations in other countries. We might therefore expect that Canadians could manage oil development enterprises as well as can foreign oil executives. As with scientists and engineers, individual managerial experts can be hired abroad as they are needed. I believe that the discussion above shows clearly that there is no need for substantial investment from abroad. Although we are likely to need the expert knowledge and skills of certain individuals from other countries, these useful people can be employed by Canadian governments or industries as well as by foreign companies. If it becomes accepted Canadian policy that Canadian oil (and other) resources'can be developed properly without foreign investment and ownership, we should then turn to working out the best division of such development between Canadian private business, provincial governments, and the Canadian national government. Revival of interest in saint HAVE YOU WRITTEN A BOOK? A publisher's editorial representative will be in Lethbridge in April. He will be interviewing local authors in a quest for finished manuscripts suitable for book publication by Carlton Press, Inc. well-known New York publishing firm. All subjects will be considered including fiction and non-fiction, poetry, drama, religion, philosophy, etc. If you have completed a book-length manuscript (or nearly so) on any subject, and would like a professional appraisal (with- out cost or please write immediately describing your work and stating which part of the day (a.m. you wttald prefer for an appointment and kindly mention your phone number You will promptly receive a confirmation for a definite time and place. Authors with completed manuscripts unable to appear may send them directly to the representative (address below) for a free reading and evaluation. He will also be glad to hear from those whose literary works are still in progress. Please address; ALAN F. PATER 195 South Beverly Drive Beverly Hills, California 90212 Tel: (213) 271-5558 "Joan of Arc" by John Holland Smith (Sidgwick Jackson, 232 pages, distributed by Griffin Joan of Arc, who was burned to death as a heretic in 1431, was canonized in 1920. She was canonized "not because historians and theologians had suddenly proved how holy she was, but because religious and political events in France and elsewhere had shown how necessary she was." People wanted to believe in what Joan symbolized, not in what she was in reality. Not being a devotee of saints and not having made any special study of French history I was not aware of how many views there have been of Joan or of how difficult it is to get at the truth about her until I read this book. Not only were the records of the time kept selectively but they apparently have been tampered with. John Holland Smith makes a valiant effort to set out the evidence but the picture left with me is still confusing. There must be some kind of revival of interest in trying to discover the real Joan because there were at least three books on her listed in last fall's publishers' catalogues. I had hoped I might read all of them and compare their conclusions but this is the only one that arrived. Near the end of his study Smith says "the person revered in France in 1920 was not Joan from Domremy but St. Joan, Heroine not the sharp tongued, uniformly pious transvestite ultimately broken by interrogation and betrayed by her limitless faith in her own unstable gifts of precognition and second sight, but what was left after piety and political expediency had leached out the undesirable elements in her character and filled in the rather thin material remaining with' hopes, dreams, religious theorizing, political fantasies and poetic meditations." While putting no credence whatever in her claim to be guided by voices, Smith nevertheless seems to appreciate Joan as a person. He ends his book with this interesting comment: "Joan from Domremy was not a saint, or a witch, or a princess, or a protestant. Maybe she was not even likeable. But she was T, the T we fear the powers may well kill but hope they can never annihilate." Skeptical as we may be about the validity of Joan's canonization, it is likely the symbolization of what Smith refers .to is enormously appealing. It is probably at the heart of the continuing interest in the maid. DOUG WALKER Books in brief Decide how much income you'd like to receive every month. How would you like a guaranteed monthly income? Something solid, secure and guaranteed by Royal Trust Month after month, regular as clockwork. You can have this. With Royal Trust Guaranteed Monthly Income Receipts. These are 5 year term receipts that have an added advantage: interest is paid into your Royal Trust Savings or Chequing Account on the first of each month. If you don't have an account with us, we'll have to open one for you for payment purposes. There are no fees or handling charges. Your principal is returned in full at the end of the 5 year term. Guaranteed Monthly Income Receipts are for a minimum amount of (multiples of thereafter) and are for 5 years only. For example: Monthly GMJJR. 35.41 42.50 70.82 Rll in the coupon below and send it along to us. Or give us a call. We'll see you get complete details. Decide what you want We can help you. I I I I I Based on a 8 annual mleresl rale Yes, I'm interested in a guaranteed monthly income. Please send me your brochure on Guaranteed Monthly Income Receipts. There is no obligation on my part. Guaranteed Monthly Income Receipts NAME. ADDRESS. Royal Trust Member Canada Oeposi! Insurance Corp 740 4th Ave. South Lethbridge, Alberta 328-5516 Sff "THE NATIONAL DREAM" SUNDAYS ON CBC I I I I I "A Book of Grey by Grey Owl, (The Macmillan Company of Canada, 269 pages, Part of a series, A Book of Grey Owl is an informative and descriptive account of various tales concerning animals as well as children in the wilderness, well worth its price. The stories are illustrated by Grey Owl himself, and a glossary enables the reader to skim quickly over the more unfamiliar words. Grey Owl has been acclaimed a master storyteller, trapper, guide. and a blood brother of the Ojibway, and for good reason. CATHY de JONG "Between Ideas and Reality A Critique of Socialism and by Svetozar Stojanovic (Oxford University Press, 222 pages, Ploughing your way through Ideas and Reality won't be easy, but by the time you finish the last paragraph and close the bonk, you'll probably feel the effort was worth it. Because Stojanovic, a Yugoslav Marxist and head of the philosophy and sociology department at the University of Belgrade, explores some new territory and uses what may seem a surprising method to do it He takes Marxism and uses it to attack "the greatest and most influential ideological myth of the 20th century: the statist myth of socialism." His basic point is that the Soviet Union, and countries based on that model are not Socialist or Communist states their only connection with socialism or Marxism is the words they use. These societies, he says, are not controlled by the workers, but by massive bureaucracies governing in their own interest. Workers in the Soviet Union are as alienated as workers in capitalist societies, Stojanovic says. WARREN CARAGATA Taxes still aiding inflation By Eva Brewster, free-lance writer In a "Cross Country Check Up" early in 1973, John Turner, the federal minister of finance, asked for people's opinion on the shortcomings of his budget. That request prompted my column of March 13 last year entitled: "Pity the man." There was a tremendous response from the readership, all in complete agreement with my comments. This, in itself, is an unusual phenomenon since people don't normally take the trouble to write letters unless they are in belligerent disagreement with the opinion of others. It is therefore worthwhile perhaps to quote some remarks extracted from a deluge of correspondence on the subject of taxation: "Mr. Turner, along with Mr. Trudeau, are intellectuals but even they make cockeyed laws." "Both our prime minister and our minister of finance, come from the extremely wealthy class and have not seen the dilemma of the exploited middle class at close range." "The wealthy are barely touched by Uie new budget, lower income groups may benefit but the so-called higher income bracket is penalized to the point of being bled dry." There were a lot more, all in similar vein and every letter writer asked me to send Mr. Turner my column. I did, for what it was worth, and enclosed some of that correspondence, adding my own concern "the effect on our children when we can no longer compete with those on welfare or unemployment benefits. The disillusionment of our young is a predicament much worse than any hardship taxation creates for us, their parents." "Please, consider at least the discontinuance of taxing hard earned savings. The lack of incentive to work hard and save may well be one of the many reasons of continuous inflation." In a personal letter of April 5, the minister replied and, in one paragraph, commented: "You are arguing for a better balance between taxation and spending programs. 1 am inclined to feel that the existing balance, when all taxes are considered, is a good deal fairer than you contend it to be. But I think we have to make improvements in future some of them in the directions you suggest and I appreciate having your opinions." Was John Turner's request for the electorate's views merely a political gimmick or a panacea to, temporarily, calm people's troubled minds and financial headaches? It almost looks like it for now, a year later, nothing has changed. A person who. for the sake of argument, at this point in time, earns a fixed monthly gross income of only sees an approximate net of in cash after all compulsory deductions. If, out of this meagre sum, he still manages to save a little, (almost a .physical impossibility considering the spiralling cost of he is still taxed on his savings. Does that create the impression of an earnest governmental attempt to beat inflation or even a minimal consideration of the taxpayer's opinion? Should the minister of finance again go on the air this year to probe the mood of the nation, it is hard to decide whether to keep a silence of contempt or to lift the phone and simply say: "No more. We, the "silent majority." Canada's middle income group have had enough." Never very good at keeping quiet when faced with an injustice, I would probably opt for the latter and hope that enough people would follow suit to force some radical changes in out tax laws, at last. A single woman's club? By Joanne Grover, Herald staff writer "In education, in marriage, in everything, disappointment is the lot of women. It shall be the business of my life to deepen this disappointment in every woman's heart until she bows down to it no longer." "Do we fully understand that we aim at nothing less than an entire subversion of the present order of society, a dissolution of the whole existing social Now who but a 20th century dissident woman, would make such revolutionary statements? Contrary .to the opinion of many smug men and women today, women's liberation is a far cry from being a new movement in society. Those two leading statements were made by Lucy Stone, in- 1835 and Elizabeth Oakes Smith in 1852. In Canada today, the movement is much less militant than the American version. Women's centres, magazines, and information groups are being formed all across the country, but as far as I can make out are still looked on disdainfully by both men and women. Married women consider women's rights solely the concern of single women who have nothing better to do with their time. Little do they realize that the single woman used to be much better off than the married woman, especially under the law. and only with continued lobbying from the feminist movement in past years has that situation become more equal. Excerpts from the History of Women's Rights in Canada, by Margaret E. Maclellan, reprinted in the Status of Women News back this up. "In .accordance with the social and religious mores that pioneer men upheld the security of a married woman was vested by law entirely in her husband. She had no right to property in her own name. Her only- basic legal right was the right to support by her husband with the necessities of life according to his means. 'Under common law, a woman's independent existence was terminated by marriage, when her husband assumed control of her person, all her property and her earnings." Under English common law in the 19th century, women were entitled to no power, "only reverence and respect" (Sir William Blackstone. 18th Women could not vote, or stand for election, and had no more legal relationship to her children than a stranger. "If she committed adultery she was not even entitled to see her children after her husband died, she could be ousted altogether by a guardian appointed by the father in his will." (Canadian Status of Women However, at this same time "unmarried women over 21 had the same personal and property rights as men. Apart from certain civil disqualifications and professional exclusiveness, the old common law imposed no disabilities on single women (although these rights) were forfeited on marriage Today, through the efforts of such women as Nellie McClung, (MPP for Alberta 1921- the situation has changed somewhat, but I believe the women's movement is trying to extend the old rights given to women, to fit the modern day woman. For example, although the percentage of women in the labor force increased by six per cent between 1961 and 1971, the percentage of women in management increased by only two-tenths of one per cent during the same period. The men have the money too, as an analysis of the 1967 individual tax returns showed. Florence Bird, in a 1973 address to the Canadian Guidance and Counselling Association, Winnipeg, said that "for all age groups in Canada the average earnings for men with some secondary schooling were 114 per cent higher than those of similar women The earnings of men with university degrees were 84 per cent higher than those of similar women for all ages." Mrs. McClung had something to say "way back then" that still fits the circumstances today very well: "These tender-hearted and chivalrous gentlemen who tell you of their adoration for women, cannot bear to think of women occupying public positions. Their tender hearts shrink from the idea of women lawyers or women policemen or even women preachers: these positions would rub the bloom off the peach, to use their own eloquent words. They cannot bear, they say. to see women leaving the sacred precincts of home and yet their offices are scrubbed by women who do their work while other people sleep poor women who leave the sacred precincts of their home to earn enough to keep the breath of life in them, who carry their scrubpails home, through the deserted streets, long after the cars have stopped running. They are exposed to cold, to hunger, to insult poor souls is there any pity felt for them? Not that we have heard of. The tender-hearted ones can bear this with equanimity. It is the thought of women getting into comfortable and well-paid positions which wrings their manly hearts." Train revival needed By Norman Smith I've been on several trains lately and want to raise again a plea I've written off and on for 20 years that this country should make more and better use of its train system. With gasoline shortage the question is now not so unusual but back there a bit I was regarded as a freak. I like trains! I like the noise pattern of the wheels which Gordon Lightfoot put so well to his guitar; I like their old fashioned habit of not dropping your baggage at another city, and of leaving and arriving more or less when they say they will; I like the way their windows let you look out on Canada and how if you look out a while, and quietly, you get to looking at yourself in perspective and where your life is going in good or ill; I like seeing people on a train loosing their tie or dress belt and settling down to read or snooze or work at a briefcase or pick up a conversation with a stranger in which each finds a fresh outlook on things. And I remember seeing Eleanor Roosevelt on a day coach out of New York writing away on a clip-board and pausing once in a while to muse smilingly out the window as a person who was enjoying her never-ending work and who enjoyed peeling an orange for a little negro girl in pig- tails who cruised up and down the aisle as happy as a puppydog let out of a kennel. But I like trains also because in a country like ours with the population we will grow into we most have trains, else we'll slit the country into ribbons of throughways and life will become all exits and entries and fender- to-fender speedways. As usual. E. B. White put it better when he wrote his year-end recommendations for 1974: "Passenger service in the United States should be nationalized. Mouth-to-mouth resusitation of dying railroads is not going to work and what the country must have is a sensible rail system designed not for corporate profits but for the transit needs of the people." We have in Canada a reasonably nationalized rail system but we are letting it go to pieces, even planning its disintegration as a public service. Such deliberate stupidity not even Pau! bad to suffer.