Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 20, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Cabinet piqued by being in dark on fertilizer plant By AL SCARTH Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The Alberta government appears to be largely in the dark about the "biggest fertilizer plant in the world" proposed for Southern Alberta. The plant has not even been discussed by the cabinet. Apparently piqued by a lack of consultation on the part of jUberta Ammonia Ltd., which announced plans for the plant last week, the government more about the proposal and without delay. In reference to the enormous amounts of natural gas the plant would use and other matters concerning the province, Deputy Premier Hugh Horner said, in an interview, "The company has to start sitting down with the government and looking at these things. Anybody who is building a fertilizer plant here had better appreciate the ground rules." But the cabinet, intent on having a say in the project, will delay its own decisions until the Energy Resources Conservation Board completes an assessment of energy needs later this year, a cabinet source said. Dr. Horner said the propsal has not been discussed in cabinet and that he only had sketchy details of the four-unit complex. Opposition members questioned the government about how the plant intended to meet Alberta needs. The vast amount of the anhydrous ammonia to be produced in the million complex would be, shipped to the mid- western United States. Dr Horner said no plant would be approved that did not -meet Alberta agricultural needs first. Outside the legislature, he said the plant and other proposed for the province could meet the need easily. Fred Peacock, minister of industry and commerce, had revealed in the legislature that "in the neighborhood" of a dozen plants were being propsed for the province so the government faces the problem of the gas to make ammonia. In announcing the project at a Calgary press conference last Friday, Alberta Ammonia and the giant American co- operative Farmland Industries Inc. said they had received all necessary approvals for the project from both the Alberta and federal; governments. Only water supply and a few other areas remained to be worked out, the companies said. But they have not yet applied to the Alberta department of the environment for clearances under the Clean Air and Water Acts, according to Bill Yurko, minister of environment. Questions were also being raised by observers about the enormous amount of natural gas the companies said has been reserved for the project by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board. "It surely is a tremendous amount and will require some negotiations with the government for its use." Dr. Horner said. He said he was not opposed to 1's use if processed in Alberta into anhydrous ammonia and then exported if Alberta needs and Canadian needs for gas and fertilizer were met first. The supply required by the company would be 2.6 trillion cubic feet over a 30-year- period. That's more than half the natureal gas said to lie within the giant Suffield gas reserve. That reserve estimated at 4.1 trillion cubic feet would meet the needs of residential gas users in Calgary lor the next I 200 years, according to a statement by Premier Peter Lougheed. Presumably then, the amount required by the fertilizer complex would meet that need for at least 100 years. While it Was not clear what the energy board has done on the matter, its decisions are still subject to cabinet approval. New Democrat leader Grant Notley charged in an interview that the province's thinking on providing adequate fertilizer supplies is "extremely fuzzy." He said a giant Imperial Oil plant at Redwater was still exporting fertilizer when Alberta farmers were screaming for supplies. He wondered why no requirement had. been made that a million federal grant to the plant only be granted if local markets were served first In the case of the Lethbridge area project, the provincial government did not seem to know whether to get involved or not, he said. Mr. Peacock had earlier told the legislature the government had no plans to "interfere" with the company's choosing of one of four sites near Lethbridge as it was the concern of free enterprise. Meanwhile, Dr. Horner told the legislature that fertilizer prices had climed five per cent since the fall and were still on the way up. The Uthbridge Herald VOL. LXVII 82 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 1974 10 Cents 56 Pages Moscow reports helicopter crew missing in China MOSCOW (AP) The Soviet Union announced today one of its an emergency landing in China and the craft and its three- man crew have not been returned The Soviet news agency Tass said the Chinese have been asked "to see. to it that the crew and the helicopter be found and returned to the Soviet side." Bakers 'need one more cent' OTTAWA (CP) The Bakery Council of Canada, representing most major bakers, says profit margins are so thin that bakers no longer can afford to hold back price increases. In a brief to the food prices review board today, it said the price of a 24-ounce loaf must be allowed to rise at least another cent, to an average of 35 cents Most bakers raised prices by two cents a loaf earlier this month, but agreed to a request from Consumer Affairs Minister Herb Gray to stall another further increase until after today's meeting with the board. The council's brief says the prices review board, by agree- ing that a two-cent increase was justified, recognized that bakers had been absorbing higher costs for months. It states that the board also acknowledged that another one-cent increase was possibly justified. The council says it believes a minimum three-cent increase is fully justified now. Leger to visit HeraM Legislature Bweav EDMONTON Governor- General Jules Leger will visit Alberta April 18 and 19. the Alberta government announced today. Accompanied by Madame Leger, he will spend one day in Edmonton and one day in Fort McMurray before returning to Ottawa. No farther details were immediately available. "But the Chinese authorities have not so far produced any reply to the statement of the Soviet Tass said. Tass said the landing was made March 14 and the incident was reported to a Chinese frontier represen- tative the same day. Tass said the Soviet helicop- ter flew into an area south of Beleshi in the Altai region to pick up a sick serviceman but lost its bearings in "difficult meteorological conditions." When the helicopter's fuel was exhausted, Tass said it made an emergency iSBIng- "near the frontier on the terri- tory of the People's Republic of China and this was radio re- ported by the crew to the air- port." Tass did not say which'air- port But it said the landing was reported to a Chinese bor- der representative and the next day a statement was made to the Chinese ambassador in Moscow. The incident had the makings of a diplomatic row between the two Communist countries, locked in an ideological war and disputes about their common border The Altai region of the Soviet Union lies just west of Mongolia across from China's westernmost province of Sinkiang. There was no immediate elaboration on the Tass dispatch. It created the impression that the Soviets waited five days for a reply to their request and then decided to announce what happened. The area where the helicopter landed was in the northern tip of Sinkiang province. It is about miles southeast of Moscow and miles west of Peking. By all indications, relations between the two countries have sunk to their lowest point since the fighting on the border in 1969. There have been several reports ot border clashes in recent years. In January, the Chinese ex- pelled five Russians from Pe- king on charges of spying and the Soviets retaliated by ex- pelling a Chinese diplomat from the Soviet Union. The Tass report indicated that the helicopter may have belonged to the Soviet border troops who maintain surveil- lance of all Soviet borders and are part of the Soviet security police. Subsidy has beef market in turmoil Man and nature Engineering feats of man and nature compli- ment each other in this riverbottom study. For this unusual shot. Herald photographer Rick Ervin used a fish-eye lens which captures a 180-degree view in a round image. Sirica refuses to hold up report WASHINGTON (AP) United States District Jjidge John Sirica refused today to hold up transmission of a secret grand jury report on President Nixon's role in Watergate to the House of Representatives judiciary committee. Sirica denied a request to delay giving the House the report until the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on a petition to reverse his decision. But Sirica did give lawyers for former White House staff chief H. R. Haldeman 24 hours to ask the appeals court to de- U.S. has surplus Classified........21-31 Comics............26 y- Comment...........4 District............15 Family..........33-35 Local Markets........27, 32 Sports...........21-24 TV.................6 Weather............3 IOW TONIGHT 5; HIGH THURS., 91; MOSTLY SUNNY. WASHINGTON (AP) -The government reported today that the United States had a 1973 surplus of billion in its basic balance of payments with other countries, an improvement of billion over a year earlier and the first surplus in the history of the basic balance index. The U.S had a deficit of billion in its basic balance in 1972, meaning substantially more U.S. dollars flowed out of the country that year than were returned to the U.S. Administration officials fear the U.S. foreign payments position will plunge back into deficit in 1974 because of the sharply higher cost of importing foreign oil. lay transmission of. the report. Lawyer John Wilson said he would ask the appeals court for a stay before the day is out Wilson also said be would ask the court to restrain Sirica from sending the report to the House before the court reviews his decision. Special Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski opposed any further delay in transmission of the report to the House. Sirica ruled Monday that the sealed report and a satchel filled with evidence should be turned over to the House judiciary committee. Sinca gave parties in the case until 2 p.m. MST today to appeal his decision. Haldeman was one of seven former Nixon administration and election campaign aides indicted by the grand jury for allegedly trying to block the investigation of the Watergate break-in. All pleaded not guilty Haldeman's petition argued that transmission of the sealed report to the House committee "creates a risk of exposure before trial (of the seven) that cannot be guaranteed against" "Public disclosure of the evidence upon which they were indicted will provoke widespread comment in the news media which will not hesitate to evaluate for public consumption the alleged facts behind the indictment the petition said. "Thus, the defendants will stand convicted before their stories are toW." Alberta liquor board profits advance 15% EDMONTON (CP) Despite only a moderate" increase in the volume of beer, wine and liquor sold, the Alberta Liquor Control Board Tuesday reported a 15.8-per-cent increase in net profits on sales. The board's annual report for the period between April, 1972, and March, 1973, showed government- operated liquor outlets distributed more than 31 million gallons of alcohol, an increase of more than 765.000 gallons from the previous year. Profits were million, million more than in 1971-72. Price increases accounted for the steep climb in revenues shown in the report tabled in the legislature Tuesday. Liquor outlets sold enought beer, wine and liquor to provide 20 gallons for every resident of the province. A year earlier, the figure was 19.7 gallons. Per-capita spending climbed to from Beer consumption remained steady, but there was a 10-per-cent jump in consumption of liquor and wine. The Westmount store in Edmonton was the most profitable with a net profit of million. Chaos in the cattle market since a federal government subsidy was announced has left Southern Alberta cattlemen with lots of animals and no buyers. Eugene Whelan, federal minister of agriculture, announced a subsidy of seven cents per pound for Grade A cattle marketed for domestic consumption Whelan hoped the move would tide cattlemen over a period of high costs and lower prices and assure Canadian consumers of a continuing supply of beef But cattlemen claim the subsidy has caused so much confusion the entire beef industry is in a turmoil. Roger Holt, nutritionist for Hi-Way (52) Feeders at Raymond, said this morning cattle prices have dropped so much in the past five days, he is out lieating the bushes trying to sell more than 100 choice steers. He said one packer buyer from Lethbridge bought similar cattle laslt Thursday for and since" the drop in the market, "he wanted to go back on the deal." Dick Gray, president of the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association and co-owner of Valley Feeders Ltd. west of Lethbridge, said he has managed to sell a few heifer cattle this week. But the price was per hundredweight lower than the previous week and "there's no damn reason for it." -He was to offer more cattle this afternoon to see if the price was continuing to drop. Packers in Lethbridge said this morning the way the government has set up the subsidy program which makes the slaughter house responsible for paying the producer subsidy and then collecting it from government will put an economic strain on them. One packer said be might have to wait a week to 10 days to be reimbursed after paying the producer subsidy, a direct charge to the packer. The' Calgary livestock exchange suspended trading Tuesday afternoon amid beef industry uproar over the government subsidy, i Roy Jilkes, exchange vice- president, said the exchange will not resume trading "until there is a clear indication from packers and buyers to the resumption of normal trading." Buyers, reacting to a federal seven-cent a pound subsidy, refused to bid for the second consecutive day Tuesday at the exchange, sending beef prices on a downward spin lower a hundred than last week's trading price Arthur Evans, Canada Packers Calgary manager, said packers were reluctant to bid because of "the danger of losing a bundle." "The situation is just -too confusing at this point. We are supposed to pay out a subsidy to producers on a liveweight basis and recover that subsidy on a dressed basis and we're worried that the difference between what our buyer sees at the auction and what it dresses out to be could be a bundle In Ottawa, Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan hinted that the government might raise the subsidy to beef fanners to from the current He told reporters the government is looking at all aspects of the four-day-old program in an effort to make it work smoothly. One way or the other, he said, the 'government is determined to "get the confusion out of the market.'' The government 'imple- mented the subsidy to help domestic cattlemen through a period of depressed beef prices, driven down from record levels by volumes of cheaper U.S beef. Personnel office to open house Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON A provincial government personnel office will be opened soon in Lethbridge, Bert Hohol. minister of manpower and labor, announced today. In a release the minister said the office would provide better service for Southern Albertans seeking employment with the province. Nixon tries to sooth Europe HOUSTON, Tex. (AP) President Nixon says he be- lieves the United States and its European allies will "work out the differences that we have in the economic and political fields." Nixon's tone at his Tuesday night news conference was more conciliatory than his warning last Friday that transatlantic cooperation "is not a one-way street" The president said he will continue to oppose unilateral U.S troop cuts in Europe, which he had posed as a pos- sible threat daring his appear- ance in Chicago. Speaking at a convention of the National Association of Broadcasters, Nixon also made an indirect appeal for Soviet help in settling tensions in the Middle East. ''There cannot be permanent peace in the Middle East if the Soviet Union is against the president said. The president said that motorists in the United States will continue to face a gasoline shortage and win pay' higher prices for fuel, despite the end of the Arab oil embargo. Nixon, opening the news conference, said- "We still have an anticipated shortage of perhaps five to eight TCT cent in the United States.' The return of Arab oil. Nixon said, will not dose the gap completely, although he said it will rule out rationing and mean the end of the Sunday ban on gasoline sales. It will be necessary to continue our voluntary program of car-pooling and also of slower Nixon said of the anticipated shortage. The president continued a drive to rebuild Watergate- eroded public confidence in his leadership with his appearances in Texas. He firmly rejected a call by Senator James Bocklev that he resign for the good of the presidency. About town Teenager Tom Mauley asking barber Richard Fmkawa to transplant some of his shorn locks to his chest. Jerry Moral proudly displaying his new set of false teetli in the lobbv of a local theatre.