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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 13, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta The LetKbtridge Herald VOL. LXVII-76 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 1974 10 Cents 56 Pages Energy company bill introduced EDMONTON (CP) The provincial government introduced Tuesday the legislative framework for the Alberta Energy Co., a joint government investor company that will allow expanded citizen participation in resource development. "This company will play a major role in future opportunities for Albertans to participate in the resources of the Don Getty, federal and inter- government affairs minister, said in introducing the 32-page bill. The government, which announced last September that the company would be informed, has said the first share offering of million, to be split evenly between the government and investors, will be made this year. "It probably won't be be- fore summer and we are Steel shortage slows plan Planning of the provincial building, that will be part of the downtown redevelopment project, has been slowed by a shortage of structural steel, a public works spokesman in Edmonton said Wednesday. The building, which will house court facilities and offices for prosecutors, probation officers and provincial judges, is still in the design stage, the official said in a telephone interview. Because structural steel is in short supply, serious consideration is being given to pre-tendering the steel. This means the steel would be obtained before blueprints are drawn up. The amount of steel available would in part determine the design of the building German protocol to be signed BONN (AP) The West German government announced today it will sign a long-delayed agreement with East Germany Thursday for the first exchange of permanent representatives between the nval states. Inner-German Affairs Minister Egon Franke told parliament the cabinet approved today the text of a protocol on quasi-diplomatic representation between the two Germanys, which are regarded in Bonn as independent states that still form part of one German na- tion. The cabinet also approved the draft of an ordinance covering the quasi-diplomatic status of future relations between the two Germanys. "Points at issue have been satisfactorily Franke told the Bundestag. Senior chancellery aide Guenther Gaus a few days ago completed months of bargaining with Deputy Foreign Minister Kurt Nier of East Germany in East Ber- lin. The protocol, to be signed by Gaus and Nier in Bonn Thursday, will form part of the December. 1972, agreement ending a quarter- century of cold war hostility between the nval Germanys. targeting for Mr. Getty said outside the house. Mr. Getty estimated the initial price for shares will "range from on the low side to on the high side." The exact price would depend on a number of factors, including market conditions. Previous government announcements indicated the province will sell to the company the Suffield natural gas reserves and its 20-per- cent option in Syncrude Canada's million oil sands extraction plant in northeastern Alberta. Sale of shares will be restricted to Canadian citizens or residents. The company has the option to give Albertans preference in purchasing shares. All 12 directors of the company must be Canadian citizens and at least nine must be Alberta residents. 'A director who ceases to be a Canadian citizen will be dismissed. The provincial government must hold at least 50 per cent of the voting shares at all times and can hold a higher percentage. Mr. Getty said the government does not intend to hold more than half the shares for lengthy periods of time. Any individual or corporation is restricted to holding not more than one per cent of the shares. Judiciary committee backs off WASHINGTON (AP) Democrats on the House of Representatives judiciary committee backed away from an immediate Confrontation with the White House ove; impeachment evidence today, but kept the possibility alive. At a meeting to the Demo- cratic members, Chairman Peter Rodino (Dem. N.J.) persuaded them to await further talks about the furnishing of evidence between White House and committee lawyers. The meeting was a response to the remarks of two White House aides Tuesday indicating a hardening line against co-operation with the committee. At immediate issue is a committee request for tapes of conversations between President Nixon and his top aides covering six periods early last year when the Watergate cover-up was coming apart. The White House has said the request amounts to 42 tapes and suggested it is too broad for Nixon to comply with unless the committee is more specific about what charges it might bring against him. Taking a breather A fireman leans out of a window fighting a blaze in Chicago. The fire damaged two buildings Monday and the resident of one building died of an apparent heart attack after fleeing the fire. t Arah ministers begin oil embargo discussions TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) The Arab oil conference opened here today and sources said the Arab oil ministers would agree to end the embargo against the United States. But the sources said that the Arabs would agree to a strong reaffirmation of the right to use oil as a political weapon in the event Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai and disengagement of Israeli and Syrian troops from the Golan Heights does not take place. The Egyptian sources said the conference here would Fog pile-up LONDON (Reuter) At least five persons died and dozens were injured today in a multi-vehicle pile-up in thick fog on Britain's main north- south highway. translate into acceptable diplomatic language a po'itical agreement worked out in Algeria last month at a meeting of the chiefs of state of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. Oil Minister Belaid Abdesselam of Algeria presided over the conference, attended by representatives of nine Arab countries. Just prior to the start of the conference all line commu- nications between Tripoli and Europe were cut by a Mediter- ranean storm. After brief greetings to his fellow ministers, the Algerian official convened the meeting behind closed doors. Meanwhile in Brussels the 12-country group of major oil consumers, meeting in here to prepare plans for a conference with oil-producing countries, has made rapid progress, reliable sources said today. The sources said close agreement on most issues and the speed-at which accord was being reached could make the conference possible as early as June. The 12 were meeting within the co-ordinating committee set up by the Washington energy conference in February. The countries represented at the two-day session, which will continue Thursday, were the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway and the Common Market bloc except France. The French have% refused to attend, claiming that the work might be interpreted by Arab oil producers as an attempt to set up a consumer cartel. They said West Germany was pushing for an early meeting with producers, possibly before June, while the U.S. favors a slower approach. Western crude oil price may jump per barrel come April thaw to By JEFF CARRUTHERS Herald Ottawa OTTAWA The latest development in the "fluid" oil price situation could see western crude oil prices jump to a barrel on April 1 and then go higher, perhaps to or even a barrel, a few months later. Classified....... 30-33 Comics...........28 Comment.......... 4 District........ 15. 18 Family.........35-38 Local News 13. 14 Markets...........29 Sports..........23-26 Theatres........... 7 TV.............. 6 Weather........... 3 LOW TONIGHT M, HIGH THURS. IS; COLD WINDS, SNOW No! You be Sir John A and 111 be Pierre Such a development would in turn mean more price increases for consumers in Eastern Canada, including Ottawa and Montreal, later this year. Western prices are frozen at a barrel and eastern prices are in effect frozen by a federal subsidy program at a barrel. Energy Minister Donald Macdonald revealed Tuesday he is now considering the possibility of having the price of western crude rise to a "temporary" price of about a barrel, effective April only for a few months. This, he suggested in an interview, would give Ottawa and the two oil-producing provinces more time to work out details on tfce industrial development "quid pro quo" that Alberta and Saskatchewan want in return for setting a single domestic oil price below the world price. Mr. Macdonald said outside the Commons that if Ottawa and the oil-producing provinces fail to come to an agreement on the oil price issue by March 31 the date when the current a barrel price freeze on western crude ends, then the "further stay" at the higher oil price might be needed "while the in- dustrial quid pro quo is worked out." Senior government sources agreed Tuesday that the chances are slim indeed that such an agreement can be reached during the few scant weeks before the current oil price freeze runs out In a subsequent interview. Mr. Macdonald stressed that Ottawa is not considering an extension of the current oil price past March 31. At present, western crude oil is frozen at a well-head pnce of about a barrel for the western Canadian market, including most of Ontario. At the same time, prices for the eastern market, including Ottawa are hi effect frozen at about 16.90 a barrel via a federal oil subsidy. The latest development sug- gests that Ottawa is prepared to compromise by allowing the planned single domestic price to climb to or even a barrel within a matter of months, instead of years. Under the original federal proposal presented at the energy conference of first ministers in January. Ottawa suggested oil prices for all Canadians be pegged at about a barrel plus transportation costs for 1974, with a step- up a year later in 1975, and perhaps another step-up in 1S76. Ultimately, the pnce would be about a barrel, plus transportation costs, all across the price level needed to develop the Alberta tar sands, according to energy experts. Ottawa now seems prepared lo aliow the price to escalate much more rapidly. This in turn would mean that revenues from the federal export tax on difference between domestic and world drop much more quickly than originally planned. It would also mean a sooner- than-expected price hike for eastern Canadian oil consumers. Budget socked in breadbasket Grocery prices rise 2.6% M By NEIL GILBRIDE OTTAWA (CP) Another sharp rise in grocery prices led a one per cent rise in living costs in February, escalating the inflation rate to an increasingly faster pace than last year's 22-year record, Statistics Canada reported today. Groceries climbed 2.6 per cent last month, and included sharply higher prices for beef, potatoes and sugar products, it said. All other major price clothing, transportation, health- personal care and recreation- five-tenths of one per cent higher, the report said. The latest increase pushed living costs 9.6 per cent higher than a year earlier, approach- ing the 10 per cent inflation rate that many economic analysts have predicted for 1974. Living costs rose 9.1 per cent in all of 1973. The February increases brought the government's con- sumer price index up to 159.2 from 157.6 for January. The figure means it cost per. week last month to pay for typical family living costs. That was more than the month before, more than a year earlier and more than the 1961 period on which the index is based. The value of the 1961 dollar has declined to 63 cents in the 13-year period and six cents of the decline has been in the past year alone. INCREASE CONTINUES February's one per cent rise in over-all living costs followed an increase of eight- tenths of one per cent in January, and if that rate of rise continues for the balance of 1974 it would total 10.8 per cent by the end of the year. February's grocery price rise was more than doable January's increase and brought food prices up 17.2 per cent more than a year earlier. "The index for meat, poultry and fish rose 2.9 per cent as beef prices went up, on average, seven per Statistics Canada said. Poultry prices rose 1.6 per cent, sugar climbed 17 per cent and potatoes jumped 29 per cent, the report said. The only declines noted in the report were 1.9 per cent for pork and 4.8 per cent for eggs Over the year, beef prices were up 34 per cent, poultry 25 per cent, eggs 26 per cent and sugar almost 60 per cent, the report said. CEREALS UP Cereal and bakery products increased 1.4 per cent in February, cheese prices were up seven per cent for the month and fruits and vegetables averaged 4.7 per cent higher, it said. Alcoholic beverages rose 2.5 per cent in February and were four per cent higher for the year. Housing costs rose six- tenths of one per cent in February because of increases for new houses, mortgage interest, home repairs, rents, electricity rate in some areas and furniture prices. Housing was seven per cent higher than a year ear- lier. Clothing prices increased five-tenths of one per cent in February and were up 8.3 per cent for the year. Last month's increases were due to higher prices for synthetic fabrics, cotton and wool. Statistics Canada said. Transportation costs rose two-tenths of one per cent in February, including rises of 3 4 per cent for auto insurance and 1 3 per cent for motor oil. Gasoline declined slightly and a drop in train fares reduced public transportation costs six-tenths of one per cent Over-all transportation costs were up 7.7 per cent for the year, the report said. The increase for alcoholic beverages was mainly doe to higher beer prices, the report said Food prices skyrocket Grocery prices rose 3.9 points in February to 177.9 from the January level of 174.0, Statistics Can- ada reported Wednesday. million tag tied on expansion Inflation and addition of facilities has added several million dollars to the cost of the Lethbridge Research Station expansion since the project was first announced. Tuesday, Eugene Whelan, federal minister of agriculture, put the figure at million in announcing final authorization of funds for the project. He was speaking in Lethbridge to a meeting of some 60 key representatives of the agricultural industry in Southern Alberta. When initially announced in mid-1972, the expansion program, which will make the station the largest information and research centre in Canada, was expected to cost million. According to research station officials, final plans for the expansion were completed this month and tenders will be called before the end of the month. About nine tenths of the project will be paid by Ottawa and one-tenth by Alberta, Mr. Whelan said. The agricultural minister said both the federal and provincial governments feel it is desireable to consolidate Alberta and Canada department of agriculture services and programs at the research station. Better federal provincial liasion and co-operation and centralized agricultural services for the community is the aim of the partnership. Voter qualifications eased at civic level EDMONTON (CP) Relaxed voter qualifications and increased emphasis on aiding the handicapped to vote are in store for next October's municipal and school board elections in Alberta. Municipal election and school election bills introduced in the legislature Tuesday would allow an Alberta resident to vote in his municipality even though he moved there within a year of the election. The proposed uniform voter qualifications for both school board and civic elections provide that a person who has lived in Alberta for six months, and lives in his municipality on nomination day can vote in that municipality. The current requirement is that the person is to live in his municipality for 12 months before voting. Requirements that the and Iward About town A waitress at the Liberal fund raising dinner solving a dilemma for waistline- conscious Walter F. Boras and Archie Marptiy by removing a -.tempting seafood cocktail at a vacant seat beside each Ralph Effler getting an extra sip of wine during the toast to the queen by honoring PriRcess Margaret. voter be at least 18 years old and' a Canadian citizen or British subject are not changed. Dave Russell, municipal affairs minister, said the new voting requirements could not be passed for use in next week's plebiscite in Edmonton on the city's share of capital costs for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. The new provisions allow a municipality to pass a bylaw to allow for travelling deputy returning officers in a civic election so the physically incapacitated can vote at home. If a municipality adopts the idea, a handicapped person could apply to a returning officer to have the ballot box brought to this home at the time of the advance poll or some other time before election day. New voter qualifications also lead to slightly relaxed requirements for individuals seeking office as mayor, alderman or school board trustee. The proposed regulations are that the individual has to reside in Alberta for 12 months before nomination day and be a resident of the municipality or school district in which he is seeking election for six months prior to nomination day The current requirement is that the individual must live in his municipality, for 12 consecutive mont1-. ;