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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 19, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 20 - THI UTHBRIDGE HERALD - Friday, March 19, 1971 Alarm expressed on wheat export overflow at port VANCOUVER (CP) - With the Canadian wheat board predicting record wheat exports of 700 million bushels this, year, alarm is being expressed that tbe poet of Vancouver, in line to i a large percentage of the U.K. jobless passes 750,000 LONDON (Reuter) - Britain's unemployment figures shot up today above the 750,000-mark, one of the worst totals since tbe Second World War. Government statistics showed tbe number of jobless March 8 was 754,810, representing 3.3 per cent of the work force. This was 32,960 more than in February. Only twice since the war has tbe 750,000 figure been exceeded In one month. This was during the exceptionally fierce winters of 1947 and 1963. Tbe news was especially gloomy because March usually shows tbe beginning of a drop in the winter unemployment levels. It underlined the fears expressed by labor union leaders that Britain could have one million jobless by the end of 1971 unless tbe Conservative government decides to expand the economy. The jobless figures were par-tiadlly explained by a postal strike, which ended last month, and a continuing strike at Ford of Britain. Spring Thaw show ends tradition TORONTO (CP) - The 1971 Spring Thaw has arrived, and with it the end of a tradition. For 26 y e a r s, Spring Thaw had been a satirical revue, a program of skits and songs that aimed at humorously reflecting the Canadian scene, and taking particular de 1 i g h t in putting down Canadian politicians. This year's Spring Thaw, which opened an eight-week To-ronot run Wednesday night, is a musical comedy dealing with the social problems of the North American middle-class family. Canada wants change in oil pipeline route OTTAWA (CP) - Another chapter in the international saga of an Arctic oil pipeline is tentatively scheduled to open in Canada's capital next Wednesday. Federal ministers hope then to meet senior executives of oil companies behind the projected Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. Energy Minister J. J. Greene said the United States oil executives will be asked to drop the Alaska route in favor of a line from Alaska's North Slope into Arctic Canada, along the Mackenzie River Valley and eventually into the U.S. Middle West. "We'll urge them to consider that alternative and to make an application for that alternative," Mr. Greene said when he and Northern Affairs Minister Jean Chretien announced the invitations last Friday. With a week to go before the proposed Ottawa meeting, senior officials in both departments said the March 24 date is tentative and they did not know the names of oil executives who would come Norway plans oil takeover in N. Vietnam OSLO (Reuter) - Norway's new Labor prime minister, Trygve Bratteli, announced that his government plans to recognize North Vietnam and to take over the country's oil industry. Bratteli's announcement, in a policy statement, was expected to stir a conroversy here and strain relations with the United States. The 61-year-old premier, who succeeded a coalition headed by Per Borten, also announced he would push for Norwegian membership in the European Common Market. Bratteli took over after Bor-ten's government fell in a scandal over the revelation of secret government documents dealing with Norway's application to join tbe EEC. outflow, is not up to the task. Walter Nelson of Avonlea, Sask., president of the Palliser Wheat Growers Association of Saskatchewan, says that the port facilities are inadequate. "A s i t u a t ion where ships wanting to load our grain must wait for weeks before being filled simply cannot be tolerated or explained away as a normal course of business," Mr. Nelson said following a recent inspection of the port. "Grain terminal facilities and trackage are totally inadequate to meet today's needs and un-� improvements are made, future pUe-ups of ships are inevitable____" For the seven-month period which ended Feb. 28, a total of 121,498,021 bushels of grain had been shipped through tbe port. This compares with 84,338,396 for the same period during 1969-70. GRAIN PILES UP Vancouver port terminal elevators have a maximum storage capacity of 25 million bushels. However, for efficient handling, the capacity is closer to 18 million bushels. Statistics stated by the Pal- liser association indicate that the 18-million bushel figure has not been attained during a five-month period beginning last October. The association said that in October, a total 11 million bushels of grain were in storage hi Vancouver, including 5.4 million bushels of wheat. This was followed by 15.4 million bushels in November, with 6.2 million bushels of wheat; 15 million bushels in December (6.5 million wheat); 10.7 million bushels in January, (3.4 million wheat), and nine million bushels in February (4.1 million wheat). Orville Reber, a director of the Palliser association, said that when the group visited Vancouver 19 grain ships were in the harbor-five being loaded and 14 waiting. , "Nine ships waiting for wheat were told there was not enough wheat in storage, while there were 1,200 box cars of grain waiting to move into position at the time," he said. SALES LOST Mr. Reber said conversations with Japanese importers during the Saskatchewan group's visit revealed Canada lost sales of 300 million bushels of grain. Mr. Nelson said track space in Vancouver is limited to 1,200 cars, equivalent to two days of unloading; Thunder Bay, Ont., has space for 4,000 cars on she days of unloading. He has a solution: "One cannot help but conclude that if grain were cleaned, graded and inspected at inland terminals and shipped in uniform trainloads, the throughput of this port could be increased two- to three-fold." But the cost of these cleaning facilities would run into millions of dollars and private companies are worried about returns on such- investments in times of lagging wheat sales. Industry officials say new terminal facilities will have to be built-within 10 to 15 years. One Winnipeg executive put it this way: "Let's face it, if these terminals aren't built, we won't stay competitive i n international markets. "However, if we do build them, we will have to face the prospect at some time or another of not earning anything on these facilities." 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