Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 18, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Friday, May 18, 1973 U.S. changes grain marketing policies Their hour of shame The American (meaning United States) system is the delight of cir- cus-lovers everywhere. For melo- drama, suspense, torture, but not for laughs, the performance that opened in Washington this week will be a thriller. But it is not just a circus. It is important history in the making. Its consequences cannot be forseen. It will destroy many careers, perhaps including Nixon's, but that is not the extent of the danger. It could destroy the Republican party, but even that is not the worst. It could very well wreck public confidence not only in the American political system but in American democracy itself- To say, as Nixon did a few days ago, that it was the American system that exposed the flaws, is not good enough. The system itself is on trial for its life. If there is a hero at this point, it is the free, and responsible American press. It alone pressed on when the other institutions were tired or ig- norant or timid. The Senate hearings are not a trial. They are merely fact-finding, dependent on publicity for their ef- fect. The government itself is inves- tigating the whole affair, of which Watergate was just an incident, and its hearings may parallel those of the Senate. Out of the government investigation (finding a competent and impartial person to put in charge is proving difficult) there will doubt- less be many criminal charges, and then these will have to be heard in open court. All of this laundering in public (perhaps blood-letting would be a more appropriate figure) is neces- sary. Public opinion would not stand for any more cover-up. Every last doubt, ever suspicion, must be pursued to the bitter end. This leaves Nixon and his office impotent. What moral authority does he retain at home, and therefore what abroad? And where does that leave the United States? Rudderless, de- moralized, cynical, figuratively on the verge of anarchy. And with its leading member in that state, where is the free world? Long before Watergate and Ells- berg, the United States was held in cynicism, even contempt, by a mul- titude of moralizers. They will be gleeful at this turn of events. But most concerned and thinking people will sympathize with the Americans in their hour of shame and ordeal. They need friends as they never needed them before. Death penalty Canada's Parliament will soon make a decision on the death pen- alty. It should be based on these considerations: 1. MPs were elected to use their own judgment, not to be mere messenger boys for what they think might be the opinion of their con- stituents. Otherwise what would be the point of electing representatives? Whv not simply have government by Gallup Poll? 2. As Mr. Trudeau said, one of the oldest and most hallowed tradi- tions of any system of govern- ment, and most of all of the English system, is the right of the Crown (or its equivalent) to grant mercy to persons convicted under the law. That cannot and should not be end- ed. It is part of the law. Whether mercy is shown to too many or too few persons condemned to die may be argued. Recent and current governments may have been more merciful than some "people might like, but they did not act contrary to the law. 3- Surely there should be unmis- takable proof that the death penalty is a deterrent before it is established or re-established in law, and before it is imposed. Surely the onus is on the advocates of the death pen- alty. But that certain proof is lack- ing. Scores of jurisdictions in the world are getting along very well and very safely without the death penalty. Where it has been abolished the murder rate has not gone up as a consequence. So Canada is not breaking new ground. 4. It is foolish to lump all mur- derers together. In many cases there would be no hazard to society by the early release of a convicted murderer. Similarly many people who have not yet been convicted of murder are an extreme and incurable threat. There is no foolproof way of coping with potential murderers. But to insist on a full life-time in prison for murderers not hanged is both sadistic, unthinking, and grossly wasteful of public funds- 5. The history of organized society is in the direction of enlightenment. Today's attitude toward crime and punishment is much more civilized than that of a hundred years ago. The death penalty was abolished for les- ser crimes, over the centuries, be- cause humanity's conscience was de- veloping. It is still developing. Some people may feel the need to make human sacrifices. Most Canadians, we are sure, do not. 6. If we are wrong, if most Cana- dians want occasional executions, and if their elected MPs, using their own judgment, also feel that some mur- derers should be killed as a deterrent to others, then surely it follows that executions should be harsh and above all public. Parliament, to be consis- tent, should order that they be tele- vised on the CBC, to reach and pro- perly impress all the potential mur- derers in the country. ART BUCHWALD The high price of diplomacy WASHINGTON As everyone knows, the best way to become a U.S. ambassador is to contribute a large sum of money to the presidential election campaign and have your candidate win. This election was no different from elec- tions past except that the prices of am- bassadorships have gone up. Luxembourg, for example, never went for more than But. this ysar it was given to Mrs. Ruth Farkas of Alexander's Department Store, who made a contribution to President Nixon's campaign. Countries throughout the world are very sensitive to the prices put on U.S. diplo- matic posts and now consider it a matter of prestige if they get a U.S. ambassador who has made an enormous contribution to the Republican party. It was for this reason that the foreign minister of ZemuMu called On an undersec- retary of state here the other day. "I understand you are sending us an am- bassador who contributed only to President Nixon's campaign. I want you to know my government considers this an in- sult. We deserve at least a con- tributor." The undersecretary replied, "Money isn't everything, Mr. Foreign Minister. The man we are sending you has excellent business qualifications and strong connections in the'White House. He is held in high esteem by the president despite his paltry contri- bution." "That is all well and good, Mr. Secretary, but I have it on highest authority that you are appointing an ambassador to Tonkidash who contributed Why has the price on our American ambassador been so do- "Zemululu is in the malaria belt, and the climate is hot and sticky, Jvlr, Foreign Minister. We tried to get you a contributor but nobody wanted to go to your country. We were very fortunate to find you a donor who didn't know where Zemululu was. We were so desper- ate wa were considering sending you a pro- fessional diplomat." "We.would have refused the for- eign minister said. "My government still does not understand how you can send a donor to Luxembourg and a one to us. Our country is five times the size of Luxembourg." "You must understand, Mr. Foreign Minister, that size has nothing to do with our ambassadorial assignments. It is a question of geography. The big donors are partial to Europe and the Caribbean. When you give the kind of money they do, you can't expect them to take a hardship post." "We still consider a contributor unacceptable to us, particularly when the dollar has been devalued twice. We insist you find someone who gave at least to President Nixon's victory." "Mr, Foreign Minister, may I tell you something in utmost the un- dersecretary said. "Of replied the foreign minister. "It is true that the ambassador we are sending you contributed only pub- licly to President Nixon's campaign. But what nobody knows is that he also gave another in cash under the'table. We cannot publicize this secret donation, but you, in fact, are getting a American ambassador." "How do I know you're not making this the foreign minister asked suspicious- ly. "The cash is in Maurice Stah's safe at the Committee for the Re-Election of the President. You can go there and look at it (Second in a Series) The most interesting recent development in grain market- ing has to do with the change in marketing policies in the United States. For all practi- cal purposes the American gov- ernment has withdrawn from the grain business. The Com- modity Credit Corporation, an arm of the United States gov- ernment, has disposed of prac- tically all of its wheat stock. When it is considered that in May 1972 the Commodity Cred- it Corporation owned 1.25 bil- lion bushels of wheat, it gives some idtea of the magnitude of this decision. Instead of the marketing de- cisions being made in Washing- ton, they will now be made .in the marketplace. Changes in prices will take place instantly at meetings of minds between buyers and sailers. There is some talk also that the bread tax of 75 cents per bushel now imposed by the U.S. govern- ment will be done away witii. Should this tax be removed, the separation of government and the grain business in the United States will be complete. Seldom nave grain crops in By a special correspondent the United States looked so fav- orable. This applies to wheat, feed grains and soya beams. Moisture is plentiful in practi- cally all areas, for the seedings of spring crops and winter wheat have come through in excellent sihape. The United States department of agricul- ture says that it is hoping for a crop of six billion bushels of corn a new record, and 1.5 billion bushels of soya also a record. The Canadian Wheat Board and the government of Canada must pay hesd to the changing market situation in the United States. It will no longer be a problem which might be set- tled by a telephone conversa- tion to Washington. The wheat board's competition now will be the open markets such as Chi- cago, Minneapolis and Kansas City. Prices on American grain which will be quoted in import- ing countries will be those of the open markets, plus the costs of moving the grains into the world's consumption areas. This will be a real 'challenge to the wheat board in Canada and operating costs of the board will be an important fac- tor. Can the machinery of the okay, if you're so smart, you tell me what you think a Price Control Contingency Plan is A perennial U. S. political scandal By C. L. Sulzbcrger, New York Times commentator PARIS American politics, on the whole shown to be con- siderably less dirty over the years than those of France, Italy or Spain (to name but a few have managed to acquire a particularly sordid reputation now. Perhaps our original Puritan heritage in- spires a special orgy of shame over Watergate. Ambrose Bierce, the brilliant cynic, had three definitions for "politics" in his "Devil's Dictio- nary." These were: "A means of livelihood affected by the more degraded portion of our criminal classes." And: "A strife of interests masquerad- ing as a contest of principles." And: "The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." It is to this third conception that this coulmn addresses it- self. The search for private ad- vantage under the guise of pub- lic affairs is in no sense the real kernel of the current Amer- ican scandal. Indeed, as an in- ternational governing device, it low antedates Watetrgate. The sale of papal "dispensa- tions" or Of "indulgences" com- muting temporal penalties for sin was a considerable source of church income in the latter Letters to the editor Keep Hutterite schools I read with concern the pres- sure exerted on the Alberta government to prevent the op- eration of Hutterite schools. The Hutterites are well- known in Western Canada for their honesty and diligence. Al- though they dress differently, speak a different language, hold a different religion and generally have an outlook of life which is strange to other Canadians, it must be pointed out to their credit that their criminal rate, teen-age delin- quency rate and welfare de- pendency rate almost approach zero. Furthermore, they pat- ronize the business establish- ments in their neighborhood. Discrimination against the Hutterites can only grow out of racial prejudice and intol- erance, ignorance and selfish- ness. One frequent argument against the Hutterite schools in Alberta is that they perpetuate a different culture. It should be remembered that Canada is a nation composed of the English and French cultures, as well as those of many ethnic and cul- tural minorities. No culture should be discouraged unless it seeks to overthrow Canadian society by violence. Another argument against the Hutterite schools is that they take away the students who would otherwise be attend- ing the public schools. This is selfishness and intolerance to the extreme. In British Columbia Ca- tholic and Protestant minori- ties have bean and are still de- nied separate schools with state assistance on the grounds that they are unacceptable to the majority of the people and the co-existence of public and separate schools is detrimental to education. Alberta has always distin- guished itself as a province that tolerates state aid to sep- arate schools for the benefit of Catholics, Protestants and Hut- terites. Let us hope that this will continue with the years to come. J. TAI Pincher Creek. I Save gophers Boo-hoo! Those poor Beavers down in the Oldman river bot- tom sure caused some tear shedding in Southern Alberta. But what about the other guys, the prairie creature, the ali- Alberta boy Gussy Gopher? Once upon a time they called the kangaroo open game down under. Now he is getting so scarce the conservationists are starting to express a little more love. What say the world for the likes of me? GOPHER GUS Lethbridge couleca Middle Ages and contributed appreciably to the Reforma- tion. Yet religion was not even subsequently purified by its own contortions. The famous Talley- rand, with little qualification and less inclination, when aged 25, was named a vicar-general by his uncle. Moreover, on the lay side, it was long common practice to buy high military rank for chil- dren. In most countries, how- ever, political, military and re- ligious administrations have done away with such immoral practices. Certainly, in the United States, the conduct of public affairs for private ad- vantage has been rare in na- tional administrations even if sometimes widespread at lower levels. Nevertheless, there is one big exception true for the national government and under presi- dents of either party. This big exception has been the albeit sale by of diplomatic posts abroad. I have of this lamentable prac- tice many times. Now, consider- ing the reformatory zeal gath- ering in America, and because of a rumored spate of further such appointments, it seems ap- propriate to raise the matter once again. While career diplomats who have been trained by a life- time of study and experience should certainly be logically preferred for almost any em- bassy overseas, it is by no means an ironclad law or neces- sarily logical to exclude non- professionals from such posi- tions. The United States began with no trained diplomatic corps but relied in its early days upon such dazzling amateurs as Benjamin Franklin and John Jay. Long before any perma- nent foreign service was cre- ated, worthy men had been dis- patched to distant lands to rep- resent Washington. These even included, in subsidiary posi- tions, such distinguished writ- ers as Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne. And the system produced some remarkable envoys. In- deed, in contemporary times, we have seen outstanding citi- zens like David Bruce, Averell Harriman and Ellsworth Bunk- er volunteering their services and proving themselves the peers of any professionals ever given responsibility by their own or other countriei. But in modern times the cus- tom has become prevalent of awarding embassies to wealthy men whose only apparent merit was the size of their donations to the campaign chests of vic- torious presidents. Even some of these have shown talent and industry although it is to be questioned whether they manifested more of.it than did those professional foreign ser- vice officers elbowed aside in their favor. It Is a curious phenomenon .that the United States almost alone among modern nations practices thw formula. Turkey and some Latin American coun- tries sometimes dispatch abroad on official missions political op- ponents they -wish out of the way. Certain lands try to honor exceptionally distinguished writ- ers and intellectuals by making them envoys. But only Washington makes a regular habit of paying off political contributors according- ly, even when they have de- monstrably little talent, as was the case with that famous am- bassador to Ceylon who thought NATO was a country but didn't know where it was. Admittedly, con gressional stinginess typified by the parsimonious view of diplomacy long shown by Rep. John Roon- ey makes it harder and harder for the state department to acquire sufficient funds to support its overseas posts. And Congress is not over-concerned because foreigners don't vote. Nevertheless, the fundament- al issue should be faced. Now in the shadow of today's dreadful scandal, it is appropriate to re- consider the issue that has so long been posed. Is it justifi- able to conduct the public af- fairs of the nation, diplomati- cally speaking, for the private advantage of a party? wheat board in Canada compete with the rapidly changing posi- tions reflecting market tions in. the United States? The most recent annual re- port of the wheat board would indicate that its cost of opera- tion are increasing ly. In the annual report for 1971-1972, administration and general expenses of the board totalled compared to on July 31, 1969 an increase of almost lion in four years. The officers and staff of wheat board, on July 31, 1973, numbered 724 permanent em- ployees and 84 temporary em- ployees, a total of 808 compared to the average number of em- ployees for the five-year period preceding July 31, 1969, of 554. It is interesting to note that administration and general ex- penses totalled on July 31, 1971. So the increase in one year was approximately It is important that the wheat board Cbes not over burden itself with overhead. costs which will make it diffi- cult to compete with other sell- ers and also substantially ef- fect the price to the grower. Canadian No. 1 spring wheat is being held today, at per bushel at the Lakehead and Vancouver. When ocean freights and other charges are added, wheat is costing the overseas buyer per bushel, Cana- dian funds the highest price in the history of Canadian wheat exports. American wheat of similar quality is being offered at 35 cents a bushel less. Canadian wheat is the highest priced ex- port wheat in the world. In considering the outlook for the next 12 months a judgment must be made on tha demand outlook and growing crops. We must start with the U.S.S.R., because it was its action in buy- ing huge quantities of wheat that forced the world price to advance about per bushel. The big question is whether Russia will repeat its large pur- chases. This is not likely. Pros- p3cts are more favorable in the winter wheat area in the U.S.S.R. and warm weather has had a beneficial effect on the spring wheat crops of Kaz- ahkstan and West Siberia. The weather has also turned warm and prospects are much im- proved over a year ago. It would seem that a final judgment on the future will be possible in the next six months. The United States department of agriculture expects that grain purchases by the Soviet Union for delivery in the 1973 crop year will amount to about half of the 1972 total, based on current crop conditions in this U.S.S.R. Purchases for 1972 to- talled 28 million tons includ- ing 19 million tons of wheat and nine million tons of other grains, primarily corn and bar- ley. The department noted that, In view of current grain price relationships, takings in KJ73- 1974 will probably include a larger share of corn. Expecta- tions of additional purchases, the department said, have been strengthened by trade advice from Europe that the Soviet Union has lately chartered for use during the next 18 to 24 months enough vessels to trans- port about six million tons of grain annually. This tonnage is in addition to vessels chartered earlier and does not include grain to be carried on United States or Soviet flag vessels. In the European Common Market countries crops are re- ported as satisfactory and wheat acreage has been in- creased by about ten per cent. Wheat production in the Middle East areas promises to be slightly higher than a year ago. Chances are that the weather conditions that apply in Russia will be similar in the Eastern European areas the satellite Countries. The drought has been broken in India and prospects for the wheat crop look more favorable. Australia still re- mains dry, but intentions to plant are reported as being substantially higher than a year ago. Argentina conditions are the best in years as far as it is concerned and a substantial increase in acreage is likely. On balance, it would appear that the wheat board should be active in selling all the wheat it can at around the present level of prices. This, of course, is only a prophecy, and time will tell. The Lethbridge Herald _____ 504 7ffi St. S., Letbbrldge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisbwt Published 1905-1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Clan Mill Registration No. 0012 MtmMr ef The Canadian Press and the Canadian bally Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO w MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager BON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY f. MILES DOUGLAS K. Advertising Manager editorial Page Editor HERAID SERVES THi SOUTH"