Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 4, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, May 4, 1973 A new direction for Japan Although Japanese politics can be volatile, with bitter and sometimes violent confrontations between ex- tremists of opposing factions, the Japanese labor scene is usually tran- quil, remarkably so by North Amer- ican or European standards- Gener- ally speaking, the attitude is one of close co-operation between manage- ment and labor in the pursuit of joint goals. Unions are strong and well organized, and present their demands forthrightly enough, but the import- ance of the common aim has been great enough that strikes, when they do occur, are usually token affairs lasting a half day, or even an hour or so. It must have been startling, then, for observers of Japanese labor to hear of serious strikes involving more than three million orkers, and even more so to see televised scenes of riots in Tokyo, Osaka and else- where, by thousands of commuters, angered beyond the breaking point by work-to-rule and slow-down tactics of dissatisfied railway workers. This change in attitude on the part of the working people has come quite recently, and probably has very sub- stantial causes. For the past quarter- century it has been the over-riding policy of the Japanese government to accord top priority to industrial de- velopment, so as to efface the de- vastating effects of the Second World War. and recapture Japan's previous proud place among the in- dustrialized nations of the world- How well that policy succeeded is clear from the various indices that conventional economists use to mea- sure national wealth: by these, Japan is now the second richest nation in the world, and if all present trends continue could move past the U.S. into first place in the early 1980s. But the cost has been considerable, in human terms, and while the Jap- anese people have paid it willingly and for the most part happily, there have been ample signs recently that it might be time to look anew at na- tional priorities. Such disturbances as the ones mentioned above are among those signs. It should not come as any sur- prise, then, that the Japanese govern- ment has set new objectives for its national economic policy, and that from now on the greatest emphasis is to be on domestic public welfare, rather than on industrial progress. It seems likely that the timing of this change in approach was influenced, at least in some degree, by the pres- sures that were generated by the international economic crisis that oc- curred earlier this year. At that time Japan was strongly urged, especially by the U.S, to revalue the yen up- wards and to modify the commer- cial policies that have led to huge trading surplusses year after year. Japan agreed to re-examine her trad- ing practices, but it would be a mis- take to think that it was this pres- sure that brought about the recent change in economic goals. It may have helped the government to make up its mind, but the real pressure was internal- Building public trust Confidence in the electoral system has been badly shaken by the Water- gate affair in the United States. It may be abused even further before the investigation is completed. While most of the attention has been focused on the bugging of the Democratic headquarters and the degree of White House complicity in the sordid business, the scandal of the financing of the re-election of President Nixon is only beginning to unfold. Tliis may prove to be messier than what has already rock- ed the nation. Surely what has happened m the United States should prompt the leg- islators in Canada to take the nec- essary steps to halt the slide of public trust in the electoral process here. The few moves that been made in this direction to date have been too timid; a bold revamping of the election act is required. Too much money is being spent on elections. Influence peddling becomes too tempting when big sums of money are required to run campaigns. The time has come for requiring all con- tributions to parties and candidates to be made public when they are made and to require the limit to be kept low. The business of the country needs to be transacted openly, free of the suspicion that affairs of state are determined by pressures to reward generous donors to election funds- It is not enough to disavow that such pressures are determinative; even the hint that they might exist should be eliminated. A step taken by the Ontario govern- ment, and now followed by the Al- berta government, of requiring cabi- net ministers to disclose their land holdings and other business interests is very timely. This sort of thing will help greatly to lesson the suspicion of corruption, and to build trust in gov- ernment. ART BUCHWALD Does anyone have a bandage? has had so much trouble meeting the Environmental Protec- tion Agency's emission standards that it was given one year's grace, until 1976. to produce an engine which will not pollute the air. Even with the extra 12 months, the automobile companies insist they will not be able to meet the EPA deadline. The auto manufacturers are so desper- ate that they are now submitting alternate proposals to Washington which they believe wiE take care of the air pollution hazard. One promising plan I heard about was brought to EPA the other day by Huzley Earnstable, an automotive engineer who has been working on the emission prob- lem for years. He told me, "It is absolutely impossible for Detroit to develop an engine which will meet EPA requirements by 1976 "Then you're throwing in the I asked. "Absolutely not. It's true that we can't build an engine that will cut down on car- bon monoxide, but we believe we have de- veloped a device which, when attached to a human being, will make it impossible for him to breathe the poisons we emit." "That's I said. "For years the automobile companies have devoted all their research to cutting down on pollution created by their engines. Only recently did we realize it, was easier to invent a gadget to put on a parson." "What is I asked excitedly. Barnstable opened up his briefcase and pulled out a package. "This is Detroit's answer to the air pol- lution problem." I tore the paper off it's a bandage with .strings on "That's Banstable said "You He it over your nose and mouth when you go outside and it will cut, the dirty air you breathe by 50 per cenl "It's so I said. "How did you scientists ever think of if" "It was really an Barnstable replied. ''One of our researchers was going through an old National Geographic and saw a photo taken of a group of people during a typhoid epidemic in Japan They were all wearing gauze bandages over their mouLbs. It suddenly dawned on him that the bandage was the answer to air pollution in the United "Leave it to the I said. "The beauty of it is thai these band- ages will cost the consumer only one dollar while an anti-pollution device on a car would cost We've not only solved the emissions problem in the United States but we've done it at a :j299 savings to the car buyer." "And tdiey said Detroit has been asleep all these years." "What we to do now is pesuade the Environmental Protection Agency to make it law that evervone in this coun- try must a gauze bandage by Barnstablc said. "Anyone who goes outdoors without his bandage would be sub- ject to a fine or imprisonment, or both." "It puts the onus on the public where it T agreed. "Our contributions to the Clean Air Act would be that you wouldn't be able to start your car until your bandage was tied over your mouth.'" "I don't sec how EPA could turn down your I said. "If this doesn't prove that line aulo companies have gone the extra mile, then I don't know what will I hope joii re he replied, "bc- OPUSC the bandage is the only thing we ve goU" and there are a few new Publicity to curb prices? By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA The Food Prices Review Board is apparently de- signed to persuade the public, and notably the New Demo- cratic Party, that the Govern- ment's heart is in the right place. It has been plain for some weeks that the Government will not countenance, at this stage, any board with independent power of intervention. The agency, whose memoers have to be announced, will moni- tor and report. Publicity, achieved through special stud- ies, quarterly reviews and rec- ommendations, is to be the principal means of restraining the price advance. The old combines legislation, inspired largely by Mackenzie King, relied heavily on public- ity. It may well have been ef- fective, operating in times of relative price stability and turn- ing a spotlight on specific situ- ations, usually involving a few firms. But the former, and much criticized, practice was largely phased out years ago m favor of brief and rather color- less summaries which rarely received mucfi attention. In any case, this is not an era of price stability and it is diffi- cult to believe that publicity alone can accomplish much m the new. and radically different, circumstances. After all there has been a great deal of public- ity. John Young of the former Prices and Incomes Commis- sion counted heavily on it in his struggle to mobilize a public opinion in favor of anti-in- flationary measures. We have had much publicized consumer protests and boycotts; weeks of hearings by a special House of Commons committee. But prices, apart from unimportant fluctuations, have continued their upward march. The Board now being con- stituted is, quite obviously, not the board demanded in public speeches bv NDP spokesmen such as David Lewis and Lome Nystrom. It is no tiger; it has no power to roll back prices; and it cannot possibly meet the requirement set by NDP mem- bers of the special committee observed, in their state- ment of April 2, that "legisla- tion must provide for steps to ensure that prices be not in- creased or that they be reduced where necessary for the public welfare For. in fact, the Gov- ernment is not offering legisla- tion; the new Board members will simply be appointed as commissioners under the In- quiries Act. How can a Board, with such restricted powers, be of value even as a face-saving device for the New Democrats? The an- swer, presumably, was volun- teered by Stanley Knowles in a week-end televised interview. After observing the lack of ma- chinery or any sort of guaran- tees that recommendations would be implemented, Mr. Knowles added: "But we did note that Mr. Gray made some reference to the fact that they would consider other courses, other administrative or legisla- tive action, so we're in the posi- tion of having to see what the Government is prepared to do when we meet on the 7th of May." Tliis appears to mean that the Governments action is less im- portant than Herb Gray's hint. Such a view would be more un- derstandable if there was serious evidence that Ministers are merely awaiting recommen- dations more informed and fac- tual than the may he's and could he's of the committee's report. The available evidence points in exactly the opposite direc- tion. If members of the cabinet share a common view, there must be some significance to the speeches which Eugene Whelan, the new Minister of Ag- riculture, has been delivering at meeting after meeting. Mr. Whelan's message, as brought to the citizens of Tavistock, On- tario two days before Mr. Gray's announcement is very simple. We in Canada are very fortunate because food is a bar- gain. It seems strange that the Government, even in its present situation, would set up a special Board with powers under the Inquiries Act to review bar- gains. There is a view that Ministers of Agriculture enjoy at least partial exemption from the stricter code governing less fa- vored cabinet colleagues. If this is so. Mr. Whelan's conviction that "Canadians spend less of their income on food than people in any other country" may be an unsure guide to the Government's thinking. In these circumstances, it is extremely unlikely that the Government is merely awaiting expert guidance before acting to curb prices in accordance with NDP demands. Moreover, Mr. Gray's hint may well have had to do with policies of a quite different sort already sketched out m the report of the special committee. Thus a Gov- ernment which stood against controls could accept, without embarrassment, recommenda- tions for further economies in packaging; for introducing now some of the less controversial consumer protection provisions of the proposed Competition Act; for consumer education programs; for nutritional labell- ing; or for additional subsidies to protect low income groups. None of these measures would significantly affect prices or make a Bengal tiger out of the Prices Review Board. None of them, presumably, would alarm Mr. Whelan who is persuaded that food prices will continue to go up and looks philosophically on that development. Any measure might convey to the country that the Government is alive bo the situation and act- ing, at least marginally, in a well-meaning way. In politics, appearances are important even though the impact on gro- cery bills is minimal (and no one seems to be worrying about all the other They may be enough at the moment for Ministers bent on stilling the clamor for controls; perhaps enough for the NDP, which has barked a good deal louder than the Government but also has its problems with union leaders who fought the measures pro- posed by Dr. Young and still look as banefully as many busi- nessmen on direct action to curb prices and costs. U.S. firms improve their image Charles Folcy, London Observer commentator SAN FRANCISCO Reform- ers who want to bring home the new doctrine of "corporate responsibility for the public good" are turning shaichold- ers meetings across the United Sates into spirited debating grounds. Calvin Coolidge, the president who said "the busi- ness of America in business'1 must be spinning in his grave. These activists are not wild- eyed radicals They are often sober-suited representatives o[ wealthy institutions. Working m exemplary style within the sys- tem, they question traditional values over the widest business field, from strip mining to nu- clear power, minority employ- ment to the arms traffic. The great universities Har- vard, Yale and Sanford among them have thousands of mil- lions invested in trading com- panies. They arc lending weight to the movement with a new- born concern about their money is being used. Rich foun- dations, insurance companies, churches have combined to set groups to research such ques- tions as equal hiring and loans to South Africa. "We want to measure the so- cial impact of our invest- ments, says a spokesman, "not merely the rate of re- turn." One foundation has even chal- lenged a company whose shares it owns to produce periodic re- ports on the compensation gh en to victims of a flood caused by the collapse of a dam which it built and owned. Are American attitudes to money-making changing? Or is traditional puritanism, awaken- ed by Vietnam guilt, simply en- joying a brief renascence? Whichever it is, results are coming in. The movement be- gan in violence four years ago; at first it was .cmall and easily brushed aside, but 1973 could well be a turning point. ITT, the biggest U.S. multi- national, faces heavy weather over its attempt to stop Chile's Marxist President Salvador Al- lende from taking power by Letters Early childhood services A delegation from the Alber- ta Association For Young Chil- dren has requested a meeting with Education Minister L, D. Hyndman to discuss concerns voiced at the April meeting of the board in Lethbridge with respect to the recently publish- ed Operational Plans for Early Childhood Services. The meet- ing was attended by represent- atives from throughout Alberta including private operators and we feel that the minister should be aware of the public reaction to this document. A brief out- line of the concern is provided The briefs and submissions to the government in response to the Worth Report emphasized the necessity for the appoint- ment of a citizen policy-making committee broadly representa- tive of all disciplines, profes- sions, and provincial organiza- tions concerned with young children. Unfortunately, the pol- icy-making body proposed in this document does not indicate the government's acceptance and implementation of this idea. Without such proper pre- sentation, the varied needs of different communities and groups cannot be reflected in the policies and organizational strategies which should be de- signed to meet them. With respect to the policy committee outlined in the docu- ment, we are concerned about two things: 1. The committee should have been appointed prior to the hir- ing of any administrative per- sonnel or the development of any operational plans. Since it was not, the operational plans reflect the obvious limitations of having input from only a few individuals with an educational bias. 2. In order to achieve a bal- anced committee representing equally the areas of education, health, recreation and social de- velopment, along with citizen involvement, the stakeholder groups named in the document should represent equally these groups, for example, if there is validity in naming the pro- fessional association represent- ing teachers then such other associations as the Alberta As- sociation of Social Workers, and the Alberta Paediatric Society, to name only two, should be in- cluded. We question the inclu- sion of groups such as the Al- berta School Trustees Associa- tion and the Alberta Federation of Home and School, whose con- cerns are restricted especially to education, which is only one component of early child- hood programs. We believe that our organization whose mem- bership includes persons from all areas of the province and all disciplines and professions currently involved in programs for young children should be fering the CIA a million dol- lars to prop up his opponents. In earlier days such a revela- tion would have elicited some sympathy for a firm which stood to lose more than million by nationalization of its Chilean assets. Not today. ITT, will also be pressed to reveal the truth about its South African activities. Forty other major companies Ford, Gen- eral Motors, Xerox and Kodak among them can also look forward to unbusinesslike ques- tions about their African deal- ings, political contributions and environmental efforts. "Is the good guy role, "one financial journal asked recent- ly, "worth a profit cut? The answer seems to be yes, it it's not too big. One company after another is appointing experts to make business behave, or look, like a good citizen. Caught be- tween the imperatives of the money game and the new rhe- toric, it appears that corporate responsibility means never hav- ing to say you're tony. represented rather than those organizations named or the Ca- nadian Committee on Early Childhood (OMEP Canada) which is a national committee with no provincial organization. Provision should be made for only one representative from each of the four government de- partments named so there will also be room for representa- tion from some of the many provincial organizations con- cerned with particular needs of young children such as the Al- berta Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, the Association for the Hearing Handicapped, and the Associa- tion for the Mentally Retarded. In short, we urge an immediate review of the committee struc- ture in order that it can be changed before appointments are made. In addition, we urge the de- lay of any further activites by the present staff, any policy making or decision making un- til a policy committee is ap- pointed and has reviewed the operations guide. We believe that in reviewing the document the committee should give careful considera- tion to changing the following: 1. The differential funding be- tween school boards and pri- vately operated programs. 2. Specification of an Alberta teaching certificate as the only acceptable certification for per- sonnel in order to receive fund- ing Although education should al- ways be a part of any early childhood program it may not be the major emphasis in a par- ticular program in which an- other professional competency may be more relevant. A re- sponsibility of the project ap- proval co'mmittee would then be to devise a vehicle for de- termining competency and awarding certification. 3. Clarification of the struc- ture of local advisory commit- tees. This part of the document appears to be very confusing to the majority of program op- erators. 4. The devising of some means other than the designa- tion of certain areas as "dis- advantaged" in order to pro- vide additional funding for chil- dren in these programs. We appreciate the urgency felt by the government to pro- vide funding and to expand ser- vices for early childhood as quickly as possible. We are equally anxious to see this hap- pen. However, we believe that haste cannot be made at the expense of failing to involve citizens at large and the devel- opment of policy for early childhood services. GLORIA MILLIGAN, President, Alberta Association for Young Children Calgary Common sense needed I wish to address this letter to the following Coaldale resi- dents: the canine population, members of the town council, all dog haters and dog lovers, and specifically, dear old lov- able Rover. Some innocent dogs in this small municipality are being unfairly intimidated and arrest- ed, I believe, by dog-catching private-eyes hired by town council to track down, arrest. and detain delinquent dogs. No warnings are issued, the evi- dence is circumstantial and the bail is being set at an outra- geous amount. It is fair and indeed just to maintain controls on dogs in any municipality. However, I believe that the controls set down in Coaldale might be more acceptable if the consequences were more clearly defined. Such controls could be made flexible, within reason, depend- ing on the degree of infraction committed by the dog. Pet dogs are members of families and neighborhoods, and must be considered as an important aspect of commun- ity He. I suggest tha the mat- ter of dog control is an intri- cate and highly emotional prob- lem and not simply a black and white issue. When a dog breaks the law, the extenuating cir- cumstances should be examined and the dog punished sensibly, according to the seriousness of the crime. When a citizen registers a complaint, the legitimacy of the complaint should be carefuHy weighted, then the circumstan- ces, investigated. In this way, necessary action would be ar- rived at in a sensible manner with the resulting punishment applicable to the crime. To arrest a family pet for walking across the street in front of his own house is un- reasonable. A bylaw which states that all dogs must be tied or strictly confined to their own yard is unfair, in a small rural community such as Coal- dale. I suggest that the exer- cizing of tolerance is in order. The dangerous dogs, the va- grant and delinquent dogs should be arrested but the well- behaved dogs left alone. To you, Rover, remember Big Brother is watching you and unless you are cautious, your very existence will be threatened. May those respon- sible for your freedom and" your dignity stand behind you but in all fairness you must not abuse your privileges. All you can hope for now is that town councils i n civilized areas everywhere will maintain some measure of justice in handling your plight. You are complete- ly at the mercy of human legis- lators, who, in spite of their in- tellectual superiority, are often- times lacking in the milk of canine kindness. Live and let live, but let ma love my dog! GENEVIEVE FINNIGAN Coaldale The Lethbridcjc Herald 804 7th St. S., LetBbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD HO. LTD., Proprietors and Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Clan Man Registration No. 0012 ef The Canadian Preu and the Canadian Dally Newspaotr Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of CLEO W MOWERS, Edlto- and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER MvtrtMng Manager Editorial SdMv THE MttAtf> ttftVK THE SOWN"