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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 27, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 LETHBRIDOE HERALD May 1974 AI S The computerized society Retouching of Liberal budget possible In the United problems and ideas seem to surface first in become most intense and come to fruition or find solutions there first. with its highly technological welfare seems to be such a bell-wether on the international scene. This has been particularly noticeable in the area of computerized information and data banks which is just now causing alarm among social critics and being studied by governments of the other industrialized countries. In the proliferation and uncontrolled use of data banks peaked in 1970 and that country is now pioneering methods of control. Sweden and the as a New York Times columnist has pointed were made for each other. Every Swede is given an identification number at birth and it follows him through his on all his social insurance and even credit cards. This has made it easy to cross index information and to compile dossiers on all individuals. Although government files form the largest data it is estimated that trom 10.000 to 50.000 private registers are in existence. By tradition and government including income tax are available to everyone. who find this an abhorrent invasion ot privacy might ponder the course ot history if Nixon's ideas about his taxpaymg responsibilities had been known when he was running for One consortium of shops and banks was even putting together a scheme of interlocking computers which would have eliminated cash transactions but it fell partly because the banks came to realize that it uould also make robbery easier. Doubts about improper use ot data banks arose in 1970 when the first fully computerized national census took place and the government announced its willingness to sell the tapes to anyone who wanted to buy. This coincided with a parliamentary proposal to establish a single national register which would collect and update complete dossiers-on every Swede. These two events precipitated such strong opposition that the proposal was withdrawn and a commission was established to look into the matter of data banks and the invasion of privacy. As a last July a data inspection board was established and this July it will implement a new law controlling information and access data banks. Under the new only government agencies empowered by law can collect data on psychiatric or criminal diseases or or reception of welfare benefits. Religious and political affiliations may not be although churches and parties can computerize membership lists. Individuals may inspect their files once a demand the correction of and even collect damages for injury resulting trom incomplete or inaccurate information. The one shortcoming of the law is that the board can only advise government but in a country with highly civilized institutions this is felt to be adequate. While can be little argument with the thesis that computerizing information can benefit there is surely little doubt that misuse_of this technology can also be detrimental. Sweden's attempt to distinguish between the beneficial and the detrimental uses of databanks should serve as a model for the rest of the world. The major crisis Nearly impossible seeding conditions on the Canadian prairies create the prospect of a crop failure in one of the world's major food producing areas. Discouraging as this is to the farmers it will be dismaying to officials in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization anxiously watching the dwindling food supplies throughout the world World reserves of grain are now at the lowest level m two decades. In this situation exportable food is apt to displace oil as the commodity commanding sky-rocketing prices. The prospect of farmers more the middlemen between the producers and the consumers rolling in wealth may temporarily bring joy. that picture has to be viewed against the grim prospect of millions of people starving to death. It will be the affluent after that will buy up the supply. Belatedly a concern to arrest the population explosion is being manifest throughout the world. Until recently those who warned that starvation on a massive scale was in prospect were dismissed as alarmists. Authorities such as Colin the Australian estimated that 35 to 47 billion people could be supported on earth with a U.S. type of diet. But changes in weather adverse effects of huge irrigation shortage of emergence of new pests and diseases have all conspired to dampen optimism. What has not been adequately as interest now turns to trying to arrest the relentless increase in population is that even if all the birth control programs now in existence were to they could not prevent the world's population from doubling around the year 2000. With the world experiencing difficulty feeding the present population it is hard not to be pessimistic about the prospect of trying to cope with twice as many people. The roots of all evil By Doug Walker By Maurice Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA as someone is so final. But the death of a budget a a special the official verdict pronounced by the 29Ui Parliament does not preclude a resurrection. Mr. Turner's deceased budget has become an element in the election campaign. The if are pledged to reintroduce it. The other par- although they regard it generally with ap- prove of certain of the proposals including the removal of the sales tax on clothing. In the eyes of a minister of finance a budget is naturally a thing of beauty and a joy at least until the next occasion. Even the Liberal promise is doubtless to be taken as a general assurance. Mr. Turner presumably would not exclude a bit of taking account of such up-to- date information as may be .available to him if and when there is a second unveiling. As a matter of fact retouch- ing is not unknown when mat- ters follow a reasonably orderly course without such dramatic interruptions as that of May 8. This happened with the original master work of Walter parts of which turned out to be unworkable. It happened also with Edgar Benson's budget of March 1970. One of the highlights' of that minister's presentation was a scheme for controlling consumer this also was later judged to be un- workable and disappeared altogether. The Turner budget never did reach the stage of detailed examination. There was instead a very brief general a parliamentary showdown and dissolution. If time had however some of the proposals would have certainly warranted close scrutiny and quite possibly are now receiving it from departmental officials concerned with later develop- ments. Very little was said in debate about the proposed new regime of taxation for petroleum and mining corporations. But these were of substantial significance and did attract attention outside the notably from in- vestment firms. The announced increase in basic corporation tax was probably of less importance than proposed changes in the rules for computing income. Thus revenues derived by pro- vincial governments from a resource were no longer to be deductible and tax incentives for exploration and development depletion were to be severely cut back. Some of the comment at the reflected in Commons acquired new interest from late events. For example the firm of Stodgell and Gairdner in a weekly letter to coupled an interpretation of Mr. Turner's proposals with some rather ominous warnings. It was this is borne out by the budget text that the federal government had become increasingly con- cerned about the serious erosion of its tax base brought about by unilateral tax and DO YOU India sent shudders through world By James New York Times commentator Shortly before Elspetti left on her long- I was surprised when Orrice Bainborough awaited trip to Scotland we were at a social asked Elspeth if she was planning to come gathering where the subject of the trip came back. Mrc harrilu ma I WASHINGTON India's underground nuclear explosion has surprised the world. United States intelligence and even British which is better in that part of the did not anticipate and the who helped India with its nuclear feel they were deceived. Yet it is surprising that the other nuclear powers were surprised. The present for atomic energy in the world does not control. The nuclear powers argue that they have the right to develop nuclear but others do and in a world of independent sovereign nations this lopsided proposition was vulnerable and almost doomed to break down. Alone among the great the United States understood at the beginning of the nuclear age that atomic energy was too necessary as a source of power and too dangerous as a source of military weapons to be left to the control of independent nations. Since and now India have detonated nuclear and many other nations have the capacity to do so. For the and with good is being blamed for weakening the self-denying provisions of the nuclear test- ban which India never but it is the system or lack thereof that is to blame. India is merely the latest symbol of the system's weakness. Two facts of the modern world are now fairly obvious. with the decline of fossil fuels and their quadrupled price in the last two all nations must seek alternate sources of and those who can afford and many that can't will be turning to nuclear power. the science and technology of producing atomic power are now available to any nation that can pay for and the step from producing atomic Dower for civilian uses to producing atomic explosions and while recklessly is no longer the insoluble mystery it seemed to be a generation ago. Of India says it has no intention of building a nuclear arsenal. Its defence Jagjivan says the Indian nuclear experiment only for oil and gas for finding underground sources of for diverting for scientific and technological Prime Minister Indira Gandhi says in the explosion was no big deal and asks what the fuss is all about. it's about the future of the human for one thing. It's about what the world of national states will look like if all nations that have the LETTER capacity to produce nuclear explosions follow India's example. It's about the use of force to achieve political ambitions. It's about the integrity of national say between India and Canada. And of it's about the increasing costs of military arms now running at over billion a year in a hungry world. India may have done the world a if only by reminding including the United States and the Soviet of the dangers of nuclear and the fragility of a world system that has to encourage nuclear development for peacetime purposes and control it for the common security. Compensation for deaf I have been deaf for nearly 40 years. In that time I have learned to live with the handicap The deaf realize they are a burden to those who make their way in life among the world that hears the sound of song and music and the gentle voice. Out of fairness and consideration for the world that cannot communicate normally with the deaf learn to avoid the public where possible. Only in emergency do they reach out for help from others..... The deaf deserve more self- respect than a society built for the masses allows them. To give them a measure of independence needs to feel the deaf should be compensated financially by the government. In the field of employment anyone hiring a deaf person does so as a favor. This is a form of charity the deaf deplore. A fair compensation for the deaf would ease the and give the deaf some of the dignity they should be entitled to in a modern society. Recently I read an item regarding a large deaf club organized in eastern Canada. All but one member of the staff were deaf or hard of hearing. It was the lone member who could hear who was quoted. Did not this sideline ail the deaf members .of the staff in favor of the only individual with perfect If those who can hear well take over an organization for the deaf they delegate the deaf to a minor place in their own group. It becomes a sort of discrimination against the deaf. I once had the misfortune to consult an ear specialist who became so furious when I could not understand him he wrote a note and said I should always have somebody with me when I called. If a doctor cannot communicate with a patient whose case type he specializes in who can the deaf expect consideration GURI OPSTAD Lethbridge People are not fussing at Mrs. Gandhi because they think she-wants to turn India inio a striving military nuclear power. The problem is more psychological and political. For if India needs nuclear explosions to find gas and to divert rivers and enhance can Pakistan be far And after Iran and the other oil-producing which are running out of energy but how have enough extra capital to launch their own nuclear programs with no more than a few months of their spectacular new oil revenues. Then probably Israel then This is the real domino problem the world has to worry about. Not that the states will fall into communism but into a world of uncontrolled nationalism and nuclear weapons. Mrs. Gandhi didn't change the not even she merely sent a shudder through the capitals by reminding them of their common danger and r.utual disarray. Sojner or later the world was bound to reconsider the plans launched by the United States at the United Nations for international control of atomic and this should give Secretary Kissinger and President Nixon a larger topic to discuss when they meet in Moscow next month to haggle over the limited control of strategic weapons. royalty actions of the producing provinces. The letter went to suggest that Mr. Turner's true purpose was spotlight a ridiculous situation and to force the provinces to co- operate in working out a fair and equitable tax system for the resource What led the investment re- searchers to this interpretation was a calculation that the com- bination of federal and provin- cial imposts added up to a total tax package could only be described as To quote the combination of high tax rates and disallowance of ex- ploration and development ex- penses would reduce incentives for the mining industry to explore to practically nothing. In the case of the oil with its much larger exploration we cannot see anything other than a com- plete Comparatively little attention was paid to such suggestions in the days immediately following the budget for fairly obvious reasons. A good deal of Robin Hood sentiment has been apparent of late both in Parliament and in the country and this was probably enhanced by the first quarter profits of leading oil companies. one reason for doubting the motive attributed to Mr. he was attempting to force a 'meaningful dialogue with the the fact that the minister himself drew attention to the very large price increases of the past year and their potential for profit. It was also his view that the existing incentives are more generous than is needed to encourage continuing development. But the first quarter is well behind us. There is the more recent and disturbing fact that petroleum stocks have been taking a bad beating. Even more significant is the fact that at least two large companies have cut back their exploration programs. Post-budget developments are open to various explanations. One is that the companies are applying pressure to the government. But there may have been miscalculation by those who prepared the budget in conditions of great political stress. The view that the com- panies cannot live with this new taxation regime is shared by some observers not always particularly friendly to them. An important question will have to be considered by the government which emerges from the election. Is this section of the budget compatible with the Government's broader ob- jectives and particularly with its recognition that very great expenditures will have to be made if we are to avoid future After the vast sums spent in the search for frontier supplies have yet to yield a barrel for sale in south- ern Canada. It may be that the companies have been under- taxed in past years but it will scarcely be helpful now to chase them off to the North Sea where prospects at the moment seem more exhilarating. If the Conservatives win the we shall certainly have a new budget. If the Liberals win1 we shall have a budget that is recognizably Turner but will it be the original Turner the whole Turner Budget and nothing but the Turner In the light of what seems to be it might be unwise for the gov- ernment to make any such commitment. Even in the rarified atmosphere of the department of mis- takes are made. If this has happened in the present a bit of budget retouching would be distinctly preferable to the perpetuation of an error with potentially damaging consequences. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S. Lethbridge. Alberta LETH6RIOOE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and PuSlisaers Second Class Mill Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R DORAM General Manager ROY F MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager HERALD SERVES THE ;