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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 9, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Anthony Westell Tuoidoy, Moy 1, 1972 THE IETHBRIDG1 HERALD 5 Gray report wil be judged at polls OTTAWA The quality that endears Jean-Luc Pepin lo newsmen is that he often an- swers our loaded questions with the simple truth when other politicians would evade Ihe point or baffle us with words. He did it again when he told us, with a charming Gallic smile, and with all his author- ity as minister of industry, trade and commerce, that the government's policy on foreign investment owes less to logic than to politics. For five long and hungry hours there were no sand- wiches for lunch we had been locked up on Parliament Hill, studying the 500 page background report on foreign Investment, the government's policy statement and the draft legislation, ready to be instant experts the minute the whole package was made public in the House of Commons at 5 p.m. The background study Is, of course, a massive document and loaded with statistics and none of us had lime lo study it in delail, but it didn't seem too hard to understand in gen- eral. "If foreign investment mere- ly created problems, it would be a simple matter to deal wiih it all foreign investments could simply be it says. "But in many cases for- eign investment is a complex mix of costs and benefils, bolh of which are extremely difficult to quantify in economic terms to say nothing of social cul- tural and political terms for the nation as a whole." The trick, therefore, suggests .the study, is to get the most; benefits at the least cost, and it proceeds lo examine how lo do just that. The solution is to set up a review mechanism, under Pepin and the cabinet, lo screen foreign investment pro- posals and permit them only v.'hen they would be a good deal for Canada. But there are, broadly, three ways in which foreigners invest in 'Canada I'm simplifying a much more detailed analysis In the study and each has to be looked at. One of the major ways in Which foreigners increase their ownership of Industry and re- sources in Canada is by ex- panding the operations they have already established here. For example. General Motors of Canada builds a new factory and captures a biger siiare ol the Canadian market, or Im- perial Oil, which is controlled by Standard Oil of New Jer- sey, strikes a new fiefd of na- tural gas. There's probably not much we should do about this pro- cess, suggests the study, al- though it isn't very firm in its language. The foreign subsi- diaries established themselves here under one set of rules, and it wouldn't he fair to change the game now. Besides, if the government tried to control every new investment by for- cign'subsidiarics. it might make business mistakes in Ibis major sector of Ihe economy. It's a different story, how- ever, when a foreigner wants to invest in Canada for the first lime. Then we can wrilo the rules as we see fit and even ban the enterprise if it does not fit our national industrial stra- tegy. The third type of investment Is the easiest to challenge. This is when a foreigner proposes to buy out an existing Canadian company, and the study sug- gests thai this should not bo allowed unless there is some clear benefit for Canada which cannot be obtained another way: A new technology, per- haps; broader export markels: belter management, or more jobs. All this seemed clear enough in the background study. Cau- tious it certainly is in keeping hands oft established foreign companies which would con- tinue to expand, no doubt, but clear and logical up to a point. The puzzler was that the gov- ernment, in its policy state- Motoring costs going up, up, up AMERICA'S love affair with the automobile is going to end up like so many other once- exciting romances in a dull and disillusioning marriage of convenience. Already, owners of 1972 mod- els are being made aware of one cost of federal antipollu- tion requirements in poorer gas mileage and performance. We haven't seen anything yet. Beginning in 197.1. new bump- er requirements will raise the cost of cars about over current models. And Ihe price per vehicle may climb an addi- tional by 1976 as passive restraint systems and other safety features are adopted, along with more complete emission control systems says Production magazine. Automobile designers, who work several model years ahead, arc beginning lo have nighlmarcs. Because of sched- uled federal regulations, major changes will be necessary in many of the automobile's pri- mary components. Engines will have new and more expensive hang in sys- tems added to satisfy emission standards. Hedesign of front and rear ends, including the frame and sheet metal, will be necessary to accommodate the energy-absorbing bumper sys- tem. Passive restraint systems By Don Oakey, NEA Service will necessitate fundamental interior redesigning and struc- tural changes to beef up Ihe dash panel and roof. All of which means added weight, and added weight means bigger engines and big- her brakes, and bigger every- thing means a bigger slicker price and more expensive op- eration. The Wankcl rotary engine may be a help here. Bui space and weight savings realized by using this smaller, lighter en- gine will he eaten up by com- plicated emission control sys- tems crammed under the hood. Even by 1976 we won't have seen anything. The 1980 car will be "enor- mously e x p e n predicts automotive writer Daniel A, Jcdlicka, in an article in Harp- er's magazine. Based on General Motors' ex- perience wilh its experimental safety vehicle it figures out to about the price o[ a Cadillac or a Lincoln today. And the car of 1980 will not be a luxury car. Neither will it have distinctive styling, as bumpers, headlighls, laillights and so on are standardized. What's worse, the highway- safe car probably will not be al- lowed in the cities, he says, be- cause its massiveness would creale no end of congeslion. But even a small car in 1980 is likely lo cosl about the same as a large car today. This would leave many people in the position of being unable to af- ford to drive on highways if the smaller, cheaper city-suburban car is banned from them. "We in the automobile indus- try face the question of wheth- er the extra cost of meeling govern menl standards will price our products beyond reach, not only of those who want them but those who need worries Richard C. Ger- stenberg, chairman of GM. "We may be selling off a big splurge of second-hand car buying and old-c a r reslora- says Howard P. Peers, chief engineer of Ford's Prod- uct Development Group. Or else there's going lo be one heck of a boom in motor- cycles. In any event, people are about to enter a strange new motoring world, says Jedlicka. "Today, there is still a sense of connection to the automo- bile's early days, when all cars were adventuresome, fun-to- drive machines. That feeling will be gone by 1980. "As with air travel, driving !n 1980 will be about as stimu- lating as drinking warm milk." What hath Ralph Nadar Wrought? ADVANCE LUMBER CO. NE DOLLAR Buy One Gallon at Regular Price Get The Second For Buy One Quart At Regular Price Get The Second For SALE ENDS THIS SATURDAY EXAMPLE: WHITE OR COLORS "Your Pioneer Lumber AIMATEX WEATHER TESTED Dealer Since 1925" tXTERIOR PAINT 1 00 Quort 3'80 2nd Quart 256 All FIRST OU Aim-REGULAR ALMATEX LINE ADVANCE LUMBER 2nd Avenue and 13th Street South Phone 328-3301 J mcnl, would not buy even Iho study's half a loaf; It settled for a thin slice of bread. Revenue Minister Herb Gray, who supervised the study, an- nounced that the cabinet has decided lo establish a review mechanism. But it will deal only with cases in which the foreigner is proposing to take over a Canadian corporation. It won't deal at all with foreign- ers who want to come into Can- ada for the first time and set up their own operation. They will be as free as ever. As the takeover of Canadian corporations accounts for only between 10 and 20 per cent of foreign investment eacli year, SO to 90 per cent will be un- touched by the new controls, and tiiere will be, at the most, only a slight slowing down in the rate at which foreigners are enlarging ownership in Canada. Where, Pepin was asked at a press conference, is the lo- gic in that. If it makes sense to screen the takeover of Cana- dian corporations, why in Heaven's name doesn't it make equal sense to screen new for- eign investment? And Gray was pressed to say if he could possibly be satisfied with a cabinet policy which was a mere shadow of the study he masterminded. Gray is a clever, conscien- tious man with a worried brow, a passion for detail and no lik- ing at all for political questions. He thought for a moment about collective cabinet respon- sibility no doubt and replied carefully that: "I'm quite pleas- ed to see this step But smiling Jean-Luc has far fewer inhibitions. He happily admitted that logic would have required the cabinet to treat new foreign investment just like takeovers. But the cabinet had made up its mind with pru- dence and wisdom, rather than with logic. He explained, with a twinkle, that ministers had to bear in mind that there were a variety of opinions in Canada about foreign investment. Consider, lor example, he said, the vary- ing views of Conservative Lead- er Robert Stanfield, David Lewis, leader of the New De- mocratic Party, Premier W. A. C. Bennett on one coast and Premier Gerald Began on the other. In short, the cabinet has tried lo strike a political balance. It Is trying to meet public con- cern by acting against the most obvious and objectionable of for- eign investments, the take over of Canadian companies. But it Is not going so far. it hopes, as to alarm seriously the pro- vincial governments who want foreign development capital, or to disturb the business commu- nity which generally likes things the way they are and fears any government supervi- sion. After all, added Pepin, the first concern these days is em- ployment, implying that it's no time to undermine business confidence. Other ministers say in pri- vate that opinion polls show that foreign investment is not a burning issue with the public. There is a small and articulate band of nationalists, mainly in Toronto, but most people across the country are far more con- cerned about employment than with who owns the factory, and more interested in the size of the pay cheque than whether it is in Canadian or U.S. dollars. If this is correct reading of public opinion, then the govern- ment can reasonably argue that it is leading as fast as the people want to go. Further, no cabinet on the edge of an elec- tion can be expeclcd, except perhaps in dire emergency, to adopt policies which it thinks will be unpopular at the polls. The fascinating question now is whether the cabinet is cor- rect in its judgment and in its political strategy of seeking middle ground. The economic nationalists have been waging a vigorous campaign, for several years lo arouse opinion and public con- cern expressed as a vague rahappiness with the degree ot foreign ownership, rather than a specific and informed worry may run a lot deeper than ministers think, particularly among the young and idealistic voters who are coming to the polls for the first time, and particularly in Ontario where the election will be won and lost. There is also the theory that the politics of compromise and consensus are old fashioned, that this is a time of polariza- lion and the liberal who Iries In take a middle position will fall into the chasm between Iwo ra- dical opinions. 11 this is so, tho government will win no friends hy its policy. It will simply hand all the economic nation- alists lo the New Democrats nnd nil the comfortable busi- nessmen lo the Conservatives. The flection results will pass judgment on this foreign invest- ment policy. (Toronto Star Syndicate) Student employment Slicrbronke La Tribune IT might seem strange at a lime when unemployment is being used lo slranglc inflation, to launch an intensive campaign to promote student employment, but the project remaias absolutely neces- sary if we really want to assure everyone an equal right to higher education. Again this year the Chamber of Com- merce, in conjunction with Canada Man- power centres, has tried to make the busi- ness and industrial sectors conscious of tho problem of student employment. Some people object loudly when the ne- cessity of creating seasonal employment for students is mentioned, on grounds thai in Ihe currenl situation Ihose who are sup- porting families should not be deprived of revenues which they need. However, the jobs which are given to students are gen- erally temporary and do not take any regu- lar workers away from their regular jobs. But more positive motives justify busi- ness leaders listening attentively to this campaign. The students need this money to live, to pay for their school fees and board during the school year, and by giv- ing them the opportunity to work business leaders are permitting them to continue their studies. The students olso reap another advan- tage which cannot be overlooked by working during the summer months they communicate and live with people from another milieu, they learn more about workers and businessmen, and this can contribute to buiding a society in which people from different backgrounds respect each other, despite the fact that they fill different professions and roles. The world can only be built with the co-operation and participation of all citi- zens. Students have something to contri- bute to society. It is only natural that this same society, and particularly the indus- trial leaders, should be concerned with facilitating the entry into society of Ihese students who will build the universe of to- morrow. Two patterns in birth rates The Hamilton Spectator much is said about the population explosion and the standing-room-only future of the world that it may come as a surprise lo some people to learn that in many countries of the world birth rales have been sleadily falling for over 15 years. An article in the current issue of the NATO Review says that declines in birth rales in Warsaw Pact countries are affecting Soviet growth plans. Between 1950 and 1965 birth rates in the U.S.S.R. fell from 26.7 per thousand of the population to 18.4 By 1969 they were down to 17. These are averages. In the Central Asian republics the birth rate is around 30, whereas in the Russian republic and Ihe Ukraine it is slightly over 14. This is extraordinarily low. As a whole birth rates have declined in western Eu- rope in the same period, though not as sharply as in the Soviet Union. Several theories are advanced to explain this phenomenon. There is an acute hous- ing shortage in the Soviet Union and in some Eastern European countries. Living space is still rationed along lines recom- mended by Lenin 50 years ago. In the So- viet Union as in the West more women now go out to work than was the case in the 1950s. Some wish to follow a profession and find staying at home boring. Another reason is that Uie husband's in- come alone is not sufficient to support a standard of living expected in these days. Towards the end of this decade, this low- er birth raie will become noticeable in the Soviet work force and will limit plans for future economic expansion. Elsewhere in the world, in Asia, Africa and Latin America, birth rates continue veiy high. Old values still govern attitudes in countries that are largely agricultural. The belief persists, for example, that chil- dren are a form of wealth; the (liree-year- old can throw stones and keep birds away from growing crops: the five-year-old can tend the goats and the ten-year-old can bring the cows home and fetch water from Ihe well. II is ignored in lhc.se societies that if n newcomer is another pair of hands In work, he is also another mouth to feed. Mechanization, industrialization and elec- trification are the forces (hat ultimately destroy primitive notions. They free man- kind from back-breaking labor; and raise the standard of living so that many tasks that were manual and time-consuming can be done with the flick of a switch. The cumulative effect of these will enjoy these benefits before the end of the present century. Meanwhile, popula- tions will probably continue lo decline In the technologically advanced half of the world, so that the disparity in a decade or two will be even more pronounced than it Is a slower birth rate in those countries where they are most highly advanced. There is little hope that half the world Is now. The snapshot soup box By Margaret Lnckhnrst other evening when my family had deserted me I cast about for some- thing to do besides sulking over being left at home. I didn't want to read, or to write or to watch TV, and I certainly wasn't going to do the ironing, so I wandered around restlessly until I hit on a project I'd sort out the snapshots. 1 tliink most families are lu'ghly organ- ized when it comes to keeping track of family doings. Mother lists the exact day, month and year v.iien all the kids had mumps, measles and atlacks of poison ivy and other related data. Father splices home movies, stores report cards and such memorabilia into record files, and pastes up the snapshots as they come into the house hot from the photographer's envel- ope. About the only thing we ever did that seems typical in mosl families is lo mark tire kids, growth with ruler and pencil on the kitchen door. But as we have moved so many times, about all we've done is mark up doors for other people to attempt] to decipher, like the tracings at Writing, on-Stone. Apart from that we're not very organized. I'm always getting a letter from one or other of our kids saying "when die! I have measles, and did I ever have chicken-pox and in what Or "what year did I transfer to St. Lambert elemen- tary and what grade was I I do somewhat better than my husband in most departments, not because my memory is any better or perhaps I kept records up to date more efficiently, I sim- ply had a fool-proof method of keeping track of evcnls which ho did not. I mea- sured almosl all our early activities (in- cluding first tcclh. christenings, scholastic achievements, innoculntions and the regu- lar incidence of some plague or another) in direct relation lo "before" or 'after'1 someone was born. For example, we moved to Winnipeg just foc-forr Rick was born so that was when we bought a ,13 Chrysler; the boys had mumps just after Nancy was born, and Doug cried all the way to kindergarten every day ju.st before Heather was bom. 11 was easy. So 1 decided when I hauled down tho Inrpc tomato soup carton containing almo.sf .10 years of accumulated snapshots that 1 would be able lo sort Ihrm ail out into child, month year or event, in n mailer of an hour or 1 should explain Ihal from lime lo lime over the years we did make half-hearted, attempts to stick pictures into albums with tliosc funny little gluey corners. But tho albums invariably Iwnme limp, dog-eared and grubby from use. the pU'luivs one by one went into tho dubious MM'lir rily of the soup hnx. 1 always excused this neglect by justifying the countless occa- sions when a child, recuperating from an illness was well enough to ask "please Mum, can I have the soup box It was a healthy sign, and an occupation which kept the child busy for hours. Years ago, say about 20, I was able to identify every snap by what rompers which baby wore, what I wore, which old sec- ond-hand car was sitting in front of what house in such and such a city. I was even BO far-sighted (once in awhile) to writo proper identifications of all persons, dogs, cats and ears, on the back of a lew snaps. But alas, I didn'l do this often enough and to my distress I found out the other night that memory plays funny tricks. The first picture I picked out showed me, circa 1945 or 6, holding a baby with a look of sheer adoralion flowing from my happy face. I said (o mystelf as I examined it closely, "who's that homely After some mathematics and a littlo closer inspection I realized it was one or other of our oldest boys. But which one" 1 studied it closely. Was it Rick who got that angora shawl from his Grandma or was his the one I won on a raffle? Wasn't Geoffrey's hair a little fairer than Rick's and where on earth did I gel thai ragbag houscdress? I put a question mark on the back of that one and lifted out the next. This one projected me about 12 years later for it. was obviously when we were on one of our camping trips. The background was a beau- tiful lake somewhere in Canada, and the foreground cxiu'bils a mussy family lined up for another camper lo obligingly lako our picture. Everyone is smiling but me. I well remember thai day. We'd pone through all our clean clothes and I had lo resort lo the laundry bag from which I had selected a blouse that smellcd fishy and mosquito-oily but wasn't terribly stain- ed. As I recall 1 had presented a recom- mendation over our burned porridge th.it morning, that we rcuirn home whore I could do Hie wash, replenish Ihe larder and we could all take a much needed bath. They didn't even hear me; they said burned porridge would be okay for lunch. ,So why uould I bo Memory had jolted me Iwc-k and forth over only two rn that I'd consumed nearly an hour in recollection. .By that lime the family had relumed ;md with a whoop our youngest daughter F.-iid. "whce, the soup and immediately look- over. I doubt it will ever pot soiled out you know, I think tlio kids generally would rather paw through that old soup box than llniinb M'UTal orderly albums. Well, at IraM it pn.s me comfort to think MI, ;