Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 16, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THI LITHMIDGI HERALD - Tueiday, March 16, 1971 EDITORIALS Carl Rowan Buying Home Oil Company The Canadian government is re-ported to be seriously considering buying Home Oil Company of Calgary, the largest independent operating in this country. The reason is the public outcry over the already overwhelming "ownership" of the Canadian oil industry by foreign capital. Those who are overly concerned, unless they are socialists, should appreciate that Canadian government ownership is not an acceptable alternative to ownership by private foreign investors. The only remedy is ownership by private Canadian capital. That remedy has been unworkable for two reasons: Canadians are not as willing to invest in their own country, and secondly, they haven't enough capital, no matter how willing they might be, to develop the country at the rate they seem to want it developed. If the people expect the govern ment to fill the gap they themselves will not or cannot fill, they are bound to be disappointed. The government cannot do it either, without imposing economic tyranny on the people. The Soviet Union has a good deal of state capital now, but look at the price the people paid. Are Canadians prepared to put up with the oppressive labor conditions and low standard of living endured by the people there for so long? The Canadian government is a major shareholder, with private capital, in Panarctic Oils, a consortium exploring for oil and gas in the Arctic Islands. That is not the same as owning one Canadian oil company in competition with a number of privately - owned companies. If the government buys and operates Home Oil, its position as arbiter and as guardian of the people's interests will be compromised. Where will it end? How could the government avoid being expected to bail out other Canadian companies in trouble, or other Canadian companies presented with attractive offers from foreign capital? Canada's problem cannot be resolved this way. Only a different attitude by the people can do it. And we don't mean simply signing petitions advocating "Canadian independence." New stance One of the most familiar stances in the world over the past twenty years is undergoing change. This is the posture of absolute non-accommodation on the part of the United States toward The People's Republic of China. Lifting the ban on the travel of American citizens to that country will have no practical consequences but it is of obvious psychological importance. The Chinese are not apt to permit an influx of American visitors but they will be aware that President Nixon is shifting the American position. At long last it appears that it has dawned on top Americans that it doesn't make sense to try to pretend that the Asian giant doesn't exist- or won't cause any trouble if ignored. One by one the U.S. allies have been deserting the position as untenable and have been working out their own adjustment to the Chinese reality. It is no doubt a shock to the exiled Nationalist government on Taiwan to have the U.S. begin to alter its stance. The very fact that President Nixon, in his State of the World address, referred to Communist China as the "People's Republic" was enough to cause anguish to President Chiang Kai-shek. In the United States the powerful China lobby that has so successfully held the country to an undeviating opposition to any kind of accommodation to the mainland government must be shattered. That it is President Nixon who is overruling the lobby must be nearly unbelievable. The world is too threatened to allow the unrealistic and dangerous ignoring of The People's Republic to continue. Mr. Nixon is smart enough to know it and is trying to do something about it. The pay-off By Joyce Sasse If OREA - I wasn't going to fall dupe to the pay-off racket. I was above such indecencies. When the time came, I'd tell them. Well, the time came! And I didn't tell them. I couldn't. It happened like this. I was shopping in downtown Seoul-in a hurry as usual. I stopped in to buy a few groceries at one of the stores that sell cheese and coffee and powdered milk and the like to people who have passports and American dollars. The main street in front of this commissary is being widened, and since no street - building crew was evident. I decided to pull over and park on this new, yet-to-be-paved section, between a couple of cars whose drivers remained at their wheels. You guessed it. By the time I got out, there wasn't another parked car in sight. Furthermore, caught under the windshield wiper was a pretty little pink paper. "Blast it! A parking ticket." I snarled under my breath, and looked around for a policeman who might interpret what all the scratches and figures on this ticket meant. (Because Korea uses Chinese characters for writing as well as the Korea alphabet, most foreigners are quite illiterate). Not one was in sight. Oh well, I'd take it to Mr. Kim, our mission office secretary. He could tell me what to do next, and would probably handle the whole proceedings himself. "Where's your license plate?" he querried as he glanced quickly from the paper to the car. "License plate? On the car, I . . ." The look in his eye was enough to tell me this was no mere ticket. When it's a really big parking offense, they do something more drastic. They take your car license plate, and where ours was were only the empty holes where the screws should be. "Have you got time now to go see about this?" Both Mr. Kim and I knew how foolhardy it was to drive around the city without a plate. On the way down town, I filled him in on the background. "Parked in front of the commissary . . . didn't see a 'no parking' sign . . . gone about fifteen minutes." We returned to the scene of the crime, as the ticket advised, and Mr. Kim went in search of the man in blue. He advised me to pull over to the side of the street-equally as illegal as before - and wait. I did ... for what seemed like an hour. At last, amidst a flurry of horns and squeaking brakes, Mr. Kim made his way back to the car. He'd found the policeman in his little office, explained the situation and now I had to speak for myself. I followed, made my bows when I was introduced to the officer, banded him my driver's license, and mumbled my most humble apologies. "Hmmm . . . three years here . .. missionary ... up from the country . . .!" "Sir, I'm sorry about the parking." I spoke in my most humble Korean. "I looked, but didn't see a sign. I've looked again now, and I still don't." "No, those are main streets. The law was made long before you came here. People just know they aren't supposed to park there. We are sorry to inconvenience you." He turned to Mr. Kim. "My parents are both Christians. We don't like to do this to someone who is trying to help our country," implying that he was going to give back our precious little white and blue plate. "Yes, yes," Mr. Kim replied. And turning around, took a couple of bills out of his pocket. The exchange was made subtly, but with the parties on both sides knowing the intent. "Why," I asked after we had again stopped all six lanes of traffic so we could cross to our illegally parked car, "did you do that?" As an elder of the church himself, were his ethics no better? "Because of all the trouble and money it would cause to do it any other way. Most of our laws are made to be interpreted in this way." I sighed. Something inside me rebelled. But I continued to listen. "You are going back to Chongju tomorrow. That means that our mission driver would have to go to court for you. It would take a couple of days before he could get the matter jleared up, and cost you at least three to four times as much money. You would get a black mark on your license and so would he. This way the policeman did you a favor. I just gave him: some money for his extra work. Besides," he flashed me his biggest grin, "he knows you and your car now. You can park here anytime." I threw the car into gear and set off. I wanted to flee from the scene of the crime. But how? The payoff. That was my guilt as much as the original offence had been. My hautiness got tramped on. Is corruption the Asian way of life? Does it have to be? Subtle reminder By Doug Walker INHERE is a story about a joker who sent a post-card to a little girl. The card bore the picture of the famous piece of statuary called Venus de Milo which is that of a woman without arms. On the back the joker had written the warning: This is what will happen to you if you don't stop biting your fingernails. The people at the Ali-Frazier fight TV E W YORK - My bon-vi-vant agent, Lester Lewis, clutched his $150 ticket so hard his knuckles looked like eggshells as he waded through a labyrinth of cops to make his way into "the fight of the century." But when he got to the gate, someone had managed to snatch away that prized paste-board. Which reduced said agent to doing what any true fight fan would do: he took back the ticket he had given his lawyer, leaving counsel to listen to radio summaries of the Muhammad Ali - Joe Fra-zier classic. The man who later claimed a seat beside Lewis with the stolen ticket said he had "paid It is possible that Jane Huckvale had a motive in choosing a picture of a Mayan pot shaped like a rotund person to accompany her book review on page five of The Herald recently. She may have intended it as a subtle reminder to Margaret Luckhurst and her friends at the "flab lab" of the horrible fate that awaits them if they cop out. $50 for this ticket and a pocket-book copy of "The Godfather,' " the novel about the Mafia. "Do you think that tells me something about this society?" my agent asked in disgust. If that ticket episode didn't, the crowd watching that celebrated exercise in mayhem did. As the fops, dandies, celebrities, and would - be luminaries paraded into Madison Square Garden, wrapped in as exotic an assortment of glad rags as you'll ever see, one woman flicked cigarette ashes on her sable coat as she observed: "All the talk we do about poverty and hunger and economic woes in this society, and here we are in the worst possible display of waste. This society is going down like the Titanic." There were, of course, reasons of society and prestige for so many people to pay such ridiculous prices to see the fight. But you did not sit in that' crowd long without realizing that the politics of race and of the Indochina war motivated thousands even more than a yearning .to be seen, or a sportsman's lust for blood. When 242 - pound Paul Si-monetti defeated 202 - pound John Clohessy in a four-round preliminary, a half - drunk from San Francisco would bellow: "Hey, Ralph, a dago won. They ain't supposed to be fighters, they're lovers!" And that would,be the mildest of many racist expressions that pierced the smoke-stench of the Garden as the two main gladiators beat each other into bloody stupors. "White men can fight for their country, but that black bum, Clay, is a draft - dodger. Kill him, Frazier!" shouts one man. This booze head observes spectators eyeing him with contempt and slurs an explanation: "I hate draft-dodgers." It says something, surely, about the universality and the absurdity of bigotry that the man he was asking to kill the "black draft - dodger" was' the blackest man in the ring; or that even as that foul mouthed fan screamed, All was shouting "nigger Uncle Tom" at Fra- "You claim I'm never interested in public affairs - so let's discuss minimum pay, birth leave, hours of work, statutory holidays . . ." zier by way of contending that he is blacker inside than Joe. Frazier's victory was cheered lustily by those who seemingly came just to announce publicly, as a few did 'several times, how many thousands they had bet on Smoking Joe. But cheering more lustily were those who came to assert their patriotism by berating Ali for refusing to go to war. "We all fought for our country, but not that guy. I used to like him and his poems till he refused to defend his country." "Okay, super - patriot, why didn't you wear your medals tonight?" Yes, the best and the worst of a troubled society kept popping up - first a worm called hatred crawling from under a rock, then a gesture as fresh as a spring shower. When they introduced Sugar Ray Robinson and the mob roared, you knew it was not politics, not racial chauvinism. It was the fight fan's respect for class, for the man who, pound for pound, may have been the best fighter of them all. When Joe Louis got an even louder ovation, you knew it was a tribute to boxing greatness, too - but also nostalgia, and sentimentality for a nice guy who had run into hard time*. "If old Joe bad ever leaned to use a two - iron, he'd be a millionaire today," observed a spectator, alluding to stories of Louis's sizable losses betting on golf. When Ali first walked into the ring and his backers roared, you sensed they were cheering, more than boxing skill and showmanship; they were applauding his defiance of an establishment from which many in that crowd felt bitterly alienated. When it was over, and All had tasted the bitterness of first defeat, and Frazier told the press of being goaded to greatness by Ali's racial insults, you trudged into the windy, biting night, wondering what the sociologists would make of it all. Ten blocks and 15 minutes later, a spectator pausing at a Broadway stoplight says to his companion: "Did I get a lot off my chest tonight! I used to think I hated nothing more than a braggart who made good on all his boasts. But now I think I hate even more a braggart who fails." (Field Enterprises Inc.) Charles Foley Californians have to live with threat of disaster T OS ANGELES - For thous-ands of Californians, repairing shattered homes last month after the worst earthquake experienced by Los Angeles in its 100 - year life-span, the big question is: when the next one hits, shall we be so lucky? Experts say there is no historical parallel for the disaster that would occur if a quake the size of San Francisco's 1906 catastrophe struck any of the state's great cities today. "It's almost impossible to imagine the effects on Los Angeles, with its seven million people, or the San Francisco-Oakland area, with five million," says Dr. Mary Hill, a leading geologist. And most scientists agree that the great quake is overdue. The tremor that took more than 60 lives and did damage estimated at around $500 million in southern California last month measured a modest 6.5 on the Richter scale, compared to the 1906 rating of 8.3. If a shock of Magnitude 8 hit now, damage at points as much as 200 miles from the epicentre could be catastrophic, for both San Francisco and Los Angeles have been built over a maze of known faults. There is the Hayward Fault, one of the most active: sitting right across it is the huge new Alameda County Hospital. Or the Newport - Inglewood fault, which caused a 1933 killer quake in Long Beach (120 deaths): today the buildings are crowded along it more tightly than ever. And the heart of the trouble: the great San Andreas Fault, which runs the length of the state for 650 miles, passing only a few miles from the business section of San Francisco, with its glittering new skyscrapers, and 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The movement of this fault, geologists believe, was probably responsible for splitting the long arm of Baja California (in Mexico) from the mainland eons ago. A report of the Federal Council for Science and Technology says an earthquake of 1906 proportions today would cause damage of around $2,600 million. One or more skyscrapers would topple, freeways would buckle or vanish beneath landslides, dam bursts could take hundreds more lives, the injury figures would be in the thousands. Naturally, precautions have been taken - but not enough, many scientists feel. Arrangements have been made for emergency mortuary accommodation in the funeral parlors, and frozen food warehouses of the great cities. Supplies have been laid in, emergency water lines and stores set up. A plan exists to convert buses into ambulances. Fine, say Californians, but can the architects really assure us that their skyscrapers will not "snap right off" in an 8.3 quake? Will the oil companies now stop drilling offshore on a sea-bed that is criss - crossed by a dozen fault lines? Are the state's nuclear power stations not merely earthquake - resistant, but earthquake - proof. It is doubtful, to say the least "The authorities must plan to handle a really great quake in greater detail than ever before," says University of Cali- 'Crazy Capers' I'm afraid you can't sue your teachers for defamation of character just because you .Sot a bad xenort. card. fornia seismologist Dr. K. Steinbrugge. "A big one in L.A. and San Francisco would destroy many of the schemes and plans now set up." In the major population centres, says Steinbrugge, thousands of old brick and mortar buildings would collapse in even a moderate quake. As for those brand new steel and concrete edifices, the high-rise towers that have sprung up in recent years all over Los Angeles and San Francisco, geologist Dr. Hill points to what happened in Caracas, Venezuela, years ago: "Many modern skyscrapers collapsed in their quake. People say they weren't built to Californian standards, but they were." Back in 1906, virtually the entire business district of San Francisco was wiped out-30,-000 buildings were destroyed, with the loss of 500 lives and damage estimated at $1,200 million. Fire caused by breaking gas mains raged through the city for three days, and one Los Angeles newspaper carried the headline: "San Francisco Punished!" This time, most experts believe, the punishment is eom-ing to Los Angeles. Major quakes occur roughly every hundred years along the San Andreas fault. And although there have been literally thousands of minor tremors, not since 1857 has the fault given a really huge twitch in southern California. Then it did heavy damage to Los Angeles -what there was of it. At that time the city had a population of less than 10,000. (It was only with the coming of the great railroads in the 1880s that today's millions began to arrive). So we have the sage of state seismologists, Dr. Charles F. Richter, 70-year-old inventor of the Richter Scale, warning: "I don't believe anything can stop a major earthquake." Some of his colleagues cheerfully point out that by the 100 - years rule, Los Angeles' great disaster is now 14 years overdue. Research aimed at under- standing and predicting earthquakes has been hampered by lack of funds. Several hundred thousand dollars are required, experts say, to set up a worthwhile program. But California is in the red, and Governor Ronald Reagan is slashing costs everywhere. Some progress has been made. A computerized seismograph network in the San Francisco Bay area provides valuable data. Los Angeles has nothing comparable. A detailed survey of California's major faults began in 1959 and some clues were obtained about the possibility of future quakes. But this program has been virtually abandoned. A number of universities and public agencies are study i n g earthquake prediction and pre- vention. One possibility Is lubrication of the San Andreas fault's danger points by pouring millions of gallons of oil and water into holes, so that the rocks might slide past each other rather than buckle the earth. But no one knows if it would work - or where the money would come from. "Maybe the federal government would pass us a little from those billions it is Spending on collecting moon rocks," says one seismologist. "There seems to be something wrong with our national priorities when the federal government spends only $8 million a year on research that might save so many lives, and thousands of millions on space." (Written for The Herald and The Observer, London) Looking backward Through the Herald 1921 - An increase of about 25 per cent in the cost of farm machinery will mean that farmers wil have to pay $350 for a binder as against $280 last year. All implements are up in proportion. 1931 - Distribution of the gas from present independent operators, whose flares are burning up a surplus in the Turner Valley field, may be piped to Montana and the possibility of extending a line to the Trail smelter is also being considered. 1941 - "Drop your scrap iron on Berlin" will be the slogan of a drive sponsored by local grain elevator agents in different towns throughout southern Alberta. 1951 - The CPR gas-electric train service now operating daily between Lethbridge and Coutts, will likely be withdrawn shortly and replaced by a triweekly mixed train, according to officials of the railway. 1961 - CPR workmen are demolishing a section of the railway's freight sheds. The job is part of a $15,000 project, which will create more paved yard space for the manoeuvring of trucks. 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 snd 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"