Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
'Multi-national corporations back Portuguese colonialism9 By WARREN CARAGATA Herald Stiff Writer Multi national corporations are dictating policy that is keeping most western nations allied with Portugal in it's war against liberation movements in that country's African colonies. Rev. Tom Gilchrist, a United Church minister from Medicine Hat who grew up in the central African colony of Angola, made the claim Friday in a Herald interview. Speaking after an address to students at the University of Lethbridge, Mr. Gilchrist said corporations can make large profits in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique because of the Portuguese government -policy of contract labor. About black Angolans are working in conditions they don't like, "in what amounts to forced he said. While in Angola in 1960, Mr. Gilchrist said he saw several work gangs made up of children, pregnant women, and old people, under the control of a mulatto with a whip. These conditions of forced labor exist, he said, despite a statement by the Portuguese government that forced labor ended in 1930. He a statement made in .1947 by the then-chief inspector of the colonial administration that "the situation is at least as inhuman as it was in the days of slavery." Mr. Gilchrist told the students that without her colonies, Portugal is nothing, and although the country spends almost half of its annual budget fighting the various liberation movements in the colonies, much of Portugal's income conies from the African states. "Without her colonies, Portugal wouldn't he said. Angola is one of the richest countries in southern Africa, he said, with substantial deposits of oil, diamonds, rubber and iron ore. He said the multi nationals have a vested interest in the territories and pressure from them has probably kept most Western countries in line behind Portugal. The Canadian subsidiary of Gulf Oil is the major purchaser of Angolan Oil, he said, and Gulf is the largest investor in Angola. The company's oil fields are surrounded by barbed wire fences and the Portuguese government has agreed to supply military guards to help protect the fields. Other companies, such as Alcan Aluminum and Reynolds Aluminum are also involved in the colonies, he said. In addition to Canadian companies, or Canadian subsidiaries of American companies, operating in Angola and Mozambique, the Canadian government gives indirectly to the suppression of the liberation movements, through its involvement in NATO. He said there is some evidence to suggest defoliants used by the Portuguese in Angola are manufactured in Canada and there have been claims that airplane parts used by Portuguese armed forces were made here. As well, Mr. Gilchrist said, most Canadian aid to Portugal through' NATO is monetary.. While the Canadian government has said it will give non military supplies to the independence movements in the Portuguese colonies, there is now considerable pressure on External Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp to reverse that position. "While Mitchell Sharp is a man of principle, he's not particularity courageous and he's under pressure to change his Mr. Gilchrist said. Some of the pressure is probably coming from the Canadian business community, Mr, Gilchrist charged, although he said he has no evidence of that. But supplying medicines and educational material to the insurgents is not enough, he said. The Canadian government should be supplying arms to the liberation movement, he said. "Canada should realize there are two kinds of violence 500 years of deprivation and brutality, or a quick, hot war of national About GO per cent of Angolan children die before they are one- year-old, and 95 per cent of the population is illiterate, Rev. Gilchrist said. He said it bothers him to think the United Church has spent time and money in Central Africa helping the people develop a sense of dignity and then the Canadian government undoes that through it's support of Portugal. He told his audience he could keep them for hours telling them of people he knew who have been imprisoned and beaten by Portuguese authorities. One man, he said, was so badly, beaten in prison the man's son could hardly recognize him. The liberation movements in the colonies already control some territory, with almost all of northern Mozambique under insurgent control. In Angola, independence groups control the heavily forested areas in the north, and about one-third of the east part of the country. There is a general anti-Portuguese feeling in the country, he said, but most people .probably aren't aware of an alternative to white rule. Complete independence from Portugal will have to be won by the blacks themselves, Rev. Gilchrist said, but Canadians can help by bringing pressure on the federal government to support the liberation groups and stop military aid to Portugal. District The Lethbridge Herald SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Saturday, March 23, 1974 Pages 9-20 Spring swingers The seemingly endless series of snow storms Lethbridge has had may not denote the arrival of spring to most people but to these lads spring is definitely here, Robert Bate 11. and his brother Nic. 10. of 512 14th St. S., swing joyously on a tire near their home despite the thin layer of snow on the ground below. Council to tackle budget and hold regular meeting Plant evaluation urged City council will be asked Monday to provide for an independent evaluation of the city's river valley power plant. Council's power plant supply study committee says is left from the budgeted for the CH2M-HJH report and asks that his money and asks that this money and an additional be used for the evaluation. An independent assessment of the plant's worth, was one of several issues raised by groups questioning the conclusions of the CH2M-HU1 report at the power supply public hearing last month. Deputy Mayor Vaughan Hembroff says city officials will likely meet in the near future with Calgary Power to determine whether the company's offer for the city's plant is its final offer. The Local Authorities Board, which controls municipal borrowings, will also be approached to see whether or not the city would be allowed to borrow the large sums of money needed to construct a new city power plant or expand the existing plant, he said. First annual 10-mile road race April 12 What started as an idea for a "fun-thing" afternoon group jog has "gotten a little out of hand." Now it's billed as the first annual Lethbridge Ten-Mile Road Race. And although running 10 miles through city streets and parks and up a steep mile-long hill isn't an easy feat, "We still hope everyone who enters will have says one of the organizers. The race begins at 2 p.m. April 12 from the Lethbridge Community College. Runners will go over three miles of city streets, two miles through dirt roads in Indian Battle Park and another five miles to the University of Leihbridge. The biggest single challenge in the race besides finishing, says Brian Winchester, an assistant professor of political science at the university, is the hill that measures a full mile and rises 300 feet from the Oldman River Bottom to the west bank of the river. All finishers will get a monogrammed T-shirt for their efforts. Runners of all levels of fitness are encouraged to enter (the entry fee is and deadline is April S) and medals will be awarded to winners in several categories. Athletes registered with the Alberta Track and Field Association will run hi senior men's, women's and juniors' categories. Categories for non- registered runners and jog- gers include senior men's, women's, juniors' and masters' (aged 40 and Runners must assemble at LCC one hour before race time. Men's and women's lockers will be available at the start of the race at LCC. Following the race, men's and women's lockers, showers, men's steam bath and women s sauna will be available at the university. A light lunch will be served to all participants at the university after the race. Registration can be by mail or in person at either the U of L's physical education department or the LCC's intramural committee office. Mr. Winchester expects top competitive runners will run the course in less than an hour running each of the 10 miles in less than six minutes. Separate schools "inequities' will be reviewed by province HeraM Legblatvre Bureau EDMONTON Education Minister Lou Hyndman has promised a review of separate school financing inequities but has not specified exactly how tiie government will meet the problem. Mr. Hyndman tabled a short statement of the government's position on school board assessments Friday. Outside the legislature, he said the got eminent would attempt to solve inequities faced by separate boards which serve more students than their assessments would indicate. "On a phased-in basis, the corporate portion of revenue from supplementary requisitions will be moved towards greater equity and fairness by administrative changes and the injection of provincial funds, effective January 1, 1975." the position paper said. "For 1974, the province will review specific situations where the application of existing law has resulted in inequities and financial it continued. The government's goal was to move "even further" towards total equity and fairness for all students and all taxpayers, while fig local autonomy. Budget deliberations, including funding requests from three public day care centres, and the Birth Control and Information Centre, are expected to occupy most of city council's time Monday. Council will meet in committee at 4 p.m. to consider the 1974 operating budget and .will go into its regular public meeting at the usual 8 p.m. time. Representatives from the public library board are scheduled to appear before the budget committee at p.m. and police commission representatives at p.m. to explain th'eir budget requests. Representatives for three public day care proposals and one private day care operator along with the community services Advisory Committee will meet with the budget committee about 5 p.m. The Birth Control and Information Centre will make Its request for continued preventive social services funding about p.m. Council is.expected to consider several proposals to increase city revenue as well as discussing budget cuts as they seek to reduce the eight mill tax hike put forward in the preliminary budget. Among suggestions made at council's first budget meeting last Monday were doubling parking meter rates, upping bus fares to 25 cents, and increasing the eight per cent city business tax to nine per cent. Budget discussions are expected to continue until mid-April, by which time City Manager Allister Findlay hopes council to set the 1974 mill rate. On its regular meeting agenda council has six letters from residents opposed to the outdoors burning ban. most saying that their burning barrels are safe and elimination of burning will mean higher garbage collection costs. While council voted 4-2 at its last meeting in favor of a resolution calling for inclusion of the burning ban in the city's fire code, outdoors burning is still permitted until a bylaw amendment banning burning is passed. The amending bylaw is still being drafted and is not on council's Monday night agenda. A petition signed by 59 people asking city council to .put an end to heavy truck traffic on 9th Avenue N. between 13th and 23rd Streets, will also go before council Monday. The petitioners say all types of heavy trucks including semi-trailer cattle-liners, gravel trucks and cement trucks use'the street which they say is also used by many young children going to the three schools hi the area. Other items on council's agenda indicate there is some confusion surrounding a bylaw to establish special parking permits for handicapped residents at per year. A local organization. Disabled on the Move, writes hi a letter to council it has more than 600 names far on a petition opposed to the fee. City engineering director Randy Holfeld, meanwhile explains in another submission to council, that the fee permit was intended only for the handful of handicapped people who work in the downtown area and have to park there all day. The suggested fee is slightly lower than full-time parking meter fees and was never intended for handicapped people using the meters on a casual basis, he says. Gov't kikes municipalities water facilities grants Herald Legislature Bureau EDMONTON The government announced Friday it will double to its per capita grant to municipalities wanting to secure water supplies. Environment Minister Bill Yurko and Minister Without Portfolio George Topolnisky made the joint announcement. The increase was due to a large initial response to the program by more than 100 communities and because of rising construction costs. The assistance will be in the form of a 50 per cent grant and 50 per cent loan. For communities with under 500 population, a qualifying debt of per capita will be waived. For communities without any water supply at all, the program will be extended to cover a portion of the distribution system as well. The revisions are expected to cost million bringing the total cost of the five-year plan to 'million. Guaranteed annual income backed by CUPE The Alberta division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) resolved Friday at its annual convention in Lethbridge to support a guaranteed annual income. The resolution also instructed the national body to have field staff negotiate all wage settlements above the basic poverty level. It was a consolidation of two resolutions submitted by the division executive and by local 37. representing Calgary civic outside workers. Local 37 said the working poor and people on welfare are increasing rapidly, and "subsidizing the working poor at their present employment is only subsidizing the profiteering It therefore suggested employers contribute the full cost under a plan similar to workers" compensation. The resolution was accompanied by a statistics sheet which noted that 25.1 per cent of the people of Canada were below the poverty line in 190. "The acceptability of a guaranteed annual income plan to the population as a whole will depend on the extent to which it effectively replaces the many welfare and income-maintenance programs in it said. The handout also said such a plan would be a first step and could not eliminate poverty by itself. And it must provide incentives for people to increase their earnings through work, but no benefits should be paid to those above the poverty line. Delegates also supported provincial ownership of the Athabasca tar sands, a resolution by Local 37. The resolution said both federal and provincial governments have a history of falling over each other in the rush to band over technology to foreign oil firms." Another resolution by Local 37 in connection with the tar sands supported the construction trades and the Alberta Federation of Labor in their fight a no- strike, no-lockout contract. Th'e resolution said construction companies wanted such a contract, which it called a backward step and a threat to free collective bargaining." Other resolutions passed by (he delegates included: a demand that municipalities introduce foil- employment schemes, because of financial loam suffered by CUPE during seasonal lay-offs and the "get-tough" policy of the Unemployment Insurance Commission. higher provincial grants to public libraries. a request that the health minister assist municipal governments to take over existing private nursing homes.