Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 17, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta
.Wednesday, March 17, 1971 - THE lETHBRIDGE HERALD - 5 Nora Beloff Britain's new immigration law TONDON - The Common-wealth, which comforted Britain for its loss of empire, is taking a long time to die. This is the principal lesson to be learned from the highly controversial Immigration (or rather, anti-immigration) Bill, which has just started its tortuous way through Parliament. Contrary to earlier expectations and declared Conservative intentions, and even though the Commonwealth Office and the Foreign Office have been merged for over three years, there is still to be a discrimination between foreigners and Commonwealth citizens-now to be compounded by discrimination between categories of Commonwealth citizens as well. After the First World War, Britain restricted the right of aliens to settle and these restrictions have continued ever since. For Britain the world was divided between foreigners and those subject to the king or queen, wherever in the imperial territories they might reside. In 1948, when the Empire was officially replaced by the Commonwealth, the At-tlee government passed a British Nationality Act transferring this distinction from Empire to Commonwealth. And even now passengers arriving at British ports are separated into two blocks: British, Commonwealth and Irish (who are a special case) in one and foreigners In another. As international mobility has increased, residents of the underdeveloped and primitive communities in Africa, Asia and the West Indies massively took the opportunity for moving themselves and tbeir families into Britain, where the standard of living, prospects of employment and the welfare services were so much higher than at home. In 1962 the Con- servatives passed the first Act limiting Commonwealth immigration and in 1968 labor passed a further measure limiting even the access of Afro-Asians who held valid British passports: for example, the Asians who had migrated under British protection into East Africa and retained British citizenship when their adopted homelands became independent. By now, the influx of immigrant workers has been reduced to a trickle of about 4,-000 a year, of whom half are professional people, mostly doctors and nurses. But there are over a million in Britain already with the right to bring in their dependants (about 20,-000 or 30,000 are coming in under this category each year and last year, according to a Conservative Member of Parliament; William Deeds, about "40,000 Commonwealth babies, about 10,000 of them from mixed marriages" were born in Britain. The Afro-Asians are heavily concentrated in the major industrial centres and although Parliament has voted anti-dis- crimination measures, inter-racial tension, occasionally erupting into violence, has become a hot political issue. After sharp internal fighting the Conservative party turned down Mr. Enoch Powell's extremist solution of encouraging the repatriation of immigrants and refusing to allow dependants to join those already here. All the party leader, Mr. Edward Heath, and his friends would promise at the last election was that immigrants would be deprived of their automatic right to settle once South African snoopers' charter CAPE TOWN - The public outcry against censorship in South Africa has been rising to such a pitch lately, particularly among film-goers, that it was becoming obvious that the Vorster Government would have to do something about it. Recently it did it - it gave the censorship screws an excruciating and astonishing turn. It introduced in Parliament the Publications and Enter-tainments Amendment Bill which, when it becomes law, will empower the Publications Control Board (the 12-member censor board) to appoint super snoopers with amazingly wide powers of entry into private premises, including homes, and of seizing publications or objects on suspicion. The measure allows a snooper to enter "any place" where, on reasonable grounds, he suspects that any undesirable publication or object is being printed, published', made, produced, exhibited, sold, offered or kept for sale. Having entered the premises, the snooper is empowered to examine any publication By Stanley, Uys or object, and if it "appears to afford evidence of a contravention of the Publications and Entertainment Act" to seize it. No qualifications are specified for a snooper, but the board may appoint "general" snoopers - who will be authorized to raid any premises at their discretion - and "special" snoopers - who will have more limited powers to raid specific premises. Another provision of the bill reads: "No person shall publish any particulars about any film which has not been approved by the board" - "publish" means even to communicate anything to a second person verbally. No publication containing any reference whatever to any film which has not been approved by the South African censors will be admitted' to South Africa under this provision. It does not matter whether the film is an international hit, or whether it is still in the making - all reference to it will be forbidden until the local watchdogs have cleared it. Under this provision, almost every newspaper, magazine or general journal in the world will have to be banned (or mutilated). South Africans will be kept in total ignorance of what is happening in the film world until the fihn concerned has been cleared. One of the purposes of this extraordinary provision is to protect the censors from criticism - of which they have been getting a lot lately. A film critic, for example, will not be able to compare a cut film with an uncut film, and thereby hold the censors up to ridicule for their deeds. Nor will he be able to write about films which he has seen outside the country, but which have not reachei the country yet and been cleared. South Africans have suffered many cultural atrocities at the hands of the Nationalist Government in the 23 years in which it has been in office, but the new censorship powers are among the fiercest and weirdest. They make the mind boggle. 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Teleshop 328-6611. they arrived and would henceforward be treated in the same way as aliens. With what many people regard as almost indecent haste, Mr. Heath's government has now introduced a bill carrying out his pledge. It was thrown together so fast that it was obvious in the House of Commons debate that Ministers themselves had not fully mastered its implications. Now, the Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, who has a liberal reputation, has given an assurance that he will be ready to amend it. Since both the Labor and Conservative parties have agreed that Britain's future lies with the European Economic Community, it might seem logical to wind up the whole idea of Commonwealth status and follow other European countries by distinguishing only between nationals of the home country and the rest. The traditionalism of the Conservative party ruled this out. And under the new bill there is still no such thing as a "United Kingdom citizenship;" special rights are still accorded for non-naturalized Commonwealth immigrants, who can vote and be elected in British local and central government from the moment they arrive. Furthermore, the right to reside will be restricted exclusively to Commonwealth citizens who can claim at least one grandparents bom in Britain-a category which has been given the new name of "patrial." This was manifestly a device to favor the white Commonwealth (Canada, Australia and New Zealand), although it has been calculated that it also includes a million or so Anglo-Indians of mixed descent. Both the government and the opposition agree that the real test of the bill is not whether it slows down immigration (the government has the power to do that already) but how it affects relations between the different races already living in Britain. Although conceding that it will not have much effect on the number of immigrants, Mr. Maudling and his friends claim that the clarification and consolidation of the law will reassure nervous whites who are irrationally scared1 of being crowded out by Afro-Asians. The new bill imposes heavy penalties on people who help smuggle in immigrants and extends from six months to three years the period in which illegal entrants can be booted out. The opposition view was best expressed by Deputy Leader Roy Jenkins who said: "This unnecessary bill picks away with a sort of horrible precision at the delicate and thinly-growing skin of good community relations in Britain." The basic objection of the critics is that it is pernicious to a p p 1 y the regime now extended to aliens (and which includes registration with the police, and work permits attached to specific jobs) to the visibly and vulnerably colored immigrant. Social workers envisage harassment of these immigrants by the police (though it can be argued that searches for illegal entrants makes this possible already) and, even more serious, exploitation by employers - on whose goodwill the helpless immigrant depends for an annual renewal of his right to stay. A new immigrant who loses his automatic right to be naturalized after five years continues indefinitely to be liable to a deportment order and, under the new bill, if he is expelled his family must go too. Perhaps most painfully for the Afro-Asians, the right to come to Britain, of which they are now to be deprived, will continue to be automatically extended to the "patriate," likely to include most of their fellow immigrants from the white Commonwealth. It is too soon to know which side is right on the effects of the bill, or how many amendments the government will still accept. But Mr. Maudling is surely right when he says that the problem of new immigration is "secondary and ancillary" to the basic problem of race relations. And it looks as if the government will have to allocate far more men and money to education, welfare and housing in the areas of high immigrant concentration and put a stop to rising unemployment too, if they are to avert the dangerous tensions in the big cities where the immigrants live. (Written for The Herald and The Observer, London) So They Say The one great problem of marijuana is that it might lead to cigarette smoking. - Peter H. Rossi, professor of social relations at Johns Hopkins University. Rising costs of sickness The Hamilton Spectator A MONG the biggest increases in statu-tory payments in this year's federal budget estimates is that for medicare. The leap - and that seems the appropriate word for it - is $110 million, or 25 per cent. Medicare will cost the federal government $550 million. This figure is, of course, only a fraction of the total spent in Canada on all forms of medical, para-medical and hospital care in a year. If the costs of prescriptive drugs and patent medicines were included, the result would be positively terrifying. In the last four years, the cost of hospital services alone has been rising at an annual average of 16 per cent. There are hopes that in the 1971-72 fiscal year, the increase in these costs, with federal-provincial co-operation, will be held down at between 10 and 11 per cent. But this will only be achieved by chopping down the hospital building program by $60 million. A postponement of a necessity. No one who values a vote or a friendly greeting dare suggest that a single penny of this should be cut. To do so would lay him open to charges of cold-heartedness, cruelty, inhumanity or "re-actionarism." So the furnace, as it were, must be progressively stoked every year and no one must remark: "Surely, Canada cannot be as sick or hypochondriacal as that?" Perhaps it is time more attention was paid to preventative medicine, and not only on the grounds of saving money, but of sickness and suffering, which is much more important. It is a well-known fact that a great many of our young people are far from healthy; they do not express the vivid vitality, the joie de vivre that used to be associated with youth and abounding health, the glowing skin, the bright eyes. Those who look at these matters objectively with minds that have not accepted, holusbolus, all the cliches, must say emphatically something must be wrong. The favorite pegs are "stress", and, latterly, "pollution." Some terrifying figures on sickness among young people have been published from time to time in the last decade in the United States. These are linked, not entirely to poverty, but to malnutrition. Nor does this unpleasant expression mean that young people are being deliberately starved. Millions of them come from "good homes", but their nutrition is so defective that they can be said to live mostly on "rubbish," a lot of which is consumed while looking at the fishy-eyed monster in the living room. The body rebels. A first step to improving the nation's health should be nutrition instruction, not only for young people, but for older folk who dig their own graves by eating tasty trash, masquerading as food. It must be obvious to thinking people that real instruction in health are the bases of living. Without good health, nothing is worth while and even the richest countries become poor. Surely, there must be a better way than automatically pouring more and more millions every year into curing sickness, much of which could have been easily prevented at no cost to anyone. Forty TV Channels? By William H. Stringer, in The Christian Science Monitor WOULD you like a television set with 40 working channels? The mind boggles! But as Editorial Research Report says these are on the way via Cable TV. You'd pay for what you got. But a dozen channels would offer entertainment programs. Others would regularly show meetings of city council and school board (applause within the hall!), high school sports (aside from dean-baiting), lectures from a nearby university, courses in automobile repair (got a TV in your garage?) and language lessons. One channel would show nothing but stock quotations (with soothing music no doubt during recessions). Another would display continuous weather information. But this isn't all. The report also suggests that the same cable would be used to send and receive telegrams and mail, pay electric bills, order groceries and do one's banking. Okay for the banking; one day we're all likely to have bank accounts geared to a master credit card and any purchase we make will immediately and automatically be deducted from our credit balance. And okay for paying the electric bill (which will be a lot higher with all this gadgetry). But there's another item where somebody sensible has got to draw the line. The TV viewer, we are told, "by turning to a newspaper channel, scans the latest headlines and presses a button to order a printout of stories he wants to read." I am fed up with media stories about how we are each of us, a few million per city, going to have facsimile machines in our homes which will run off the morning or evening paper. In the first place I don't want this gadget clacking and humming away like the background noise in the local newscast. In the second place, I don't want to have to keep a supply of newsprint rolls in the basement; I have enough trouble keeping a supply of paper kitchen towels. And in the third place, how do I know which news stories I want to read until I've seen them, which you can do very simply by scanning the pages in the daily newspaper. I want to see all the news displayed, and I don't want to have to be on hand before the TV set at precisely 6:30 or miss the headline news. In other words, there's a lot of enjoyment - and much less fuss and gadgetry, sitting down with the evening newspaper which the newsboy or mailman has just delivered. I'll get my headlines via radio or TV. But it is just possible that the homeprinting of millions of daily papers, via costly facsimile or mechanical reproduction, is one of those unnecessary, expensive electricity-using, clutters that civilization can do without. Cable TV is worthwhile. And so will be these wonderful things now called by the jawbreaker name of "audiovisual playback devices" - which means the apparatus by which you can play in the home, over your TV set, television programs that you buy, like stereo cartridges, in some stores or rent from libraries. So that you can see and hear, via your own screen, "The Sound of Music" "Romeo and Juliet," the Godkin lectures, or a documentary on drug abuse. You yourself decide when you want to view and what you'll view. French unilingualism By Claude Ryan, in Montreal Le Devoir TN certain circles, well-intentioned but cut off from economic life, people talk more and more as if French unilingualism were soon going to become a reality. It is only necessary to stay close to everyday life to determine that we are as far from a real solution to Quebec's language problem today as we were yesterday. The recent Parti Quebecois convention brought to light the traps of an intransigent unilingual policy in the teaching field. The difficulties will be no smaller when the PQ decides to examine the concrete implications of its language policy in economic matters. One can already guess the obstacles un- ilingualism will raise in commerce. In this world where the customer is king, what legislator could decree, with any hope of being heard, that anyone will have to be served in anything but his own language? What enterprise enamored of good business will want to deprive itself of a client for the sole pleasure of giving satisfaction to a legislator who has little respect for reality? What is true for commerce, however, is less true for industry, some believe. Let's ensure, they say, that the big manufacturing enterprise functions in French; the rest will come by a natural progression. We wish things were so simple. Unfortunately, they are not. Canada, a double dealer! The Board of Evangelism and Social Service of the United Church of Canada IT's not pleasant to think of Canada as a double dealer in the field of international politics, but when it comes to a question of oppression in southern Africa there is little doubt that our government speaks with a forked tongue. We say we deplore apartheid yet we pour investment dollars into the country and even spend public money to advertise the opportunities for capital gains in Namibia. Similarly we are horrified at the tales of atrocities in Angola and Mozambique but are easily fobbed off with the excuse that these are internal maters between Portugal and her overseas provinces. And so we sit at the NATO table with the aggressor and remain silent. Our prime minister has made representations to Mr. Edward Heath deploring the fact that Britain sells arms and frigates to South Africa to defend the Cape Sea route against Russian warships." Yet Canada herself sells parts for repairing guns to Portugal. Mr. Trudeau admits that Canada's policy is inconsistent and says: "we should either stop trading or slop condemning." Recently four Canadians authored a Black Paper and made constructive suggestions for the improvement of Canadian policy towards southern Africa. They are Prof. Cranford Pratt of the University of Toronto, Dr. Garth Legge of the United Church, Board of World Mission and two former CUSO volunteers, Richard Williams and Hugh Winsor. So far their suggestions have had a disappointingly cool reception in Ottawa. There are many non-military ways for Canada to help the oppressed countries. The Black Paper, for instance, suggests an investigation into the economic involvement of our country with southern Africa, with a possible termination of present trade agreements - even at the risk of reciprocal treatment for Canadian goods. We may not be the biggest or most influential nation in the world but it's a sorry day for Canada if we can't survive without such doubtful favors.