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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 9, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Saturday, November 9, 19.4 Canada points the way Canada's pledge, at the World Food Conference in Rome, to double its food- grain aid to one million tons a year for the next three years may not appear generous when it is realized that this does not quite return Canadian food- grain aid to the'1971-72 level. But some consideration does have to be given to the fact that grain is now in much shorter supply and the cost has doubled. Undoubtedly the most significant part of Canada's contribution to the food problem is the immediate shift of million of aid funds into agricultural assistance. For too long the developing nations have been neglecting agriculture in favor of more glamorous industrial projects. They need this pointed reminder of where the emphasis ought to be. Increased food production can almost certainly be achieved in many places where the need is greatest. The miracle grains are not yet in use in all the places where they can be cultivated to advan- tage. Concentration on agricultural research could probably also result in improved varieties of other foods. The success of the food conference will likely be determined by the response of the newly rich nations arid the poor nations themselves. They have now made the legitimate point that the developed world needs to repent of the rapaciousness of the past. Berating the rich nations for their sins may be psy- chologically satisfying but it does not solve the problem of hunger. Those newly rich oil producing nations need to help by offering oil to power farm machinery and to produce fertilizer. And the poor nations that tend to have the heaviest concentrations of population need to get off the kick about birth control programs being genocidal plots of the rich nations. Unless the world's population growth is slowed there is no hope of conquering hunger. Winds of change in South Africa A major policy change appears to be shaping up in South Africa. It is a change made necessary by circumstances out- side the country. When Portugal decided to grant independence to its African colonies it was obvious that South Africa no longer enjoyed a bulwark against black Africa. Prime Minister John Vorster, to his credit, played a cool and conciliatory hand from the outset. He made it very clear that there would be no interference in the affairs of Mozambique and, by implication, Angola when it took definite steps to independence. Mr. Vorster has subsequently made speeches in which he has sounded as if he is prepared to abandon his hitherto rigid position on apartheid. And in the United Nations debate on a resolution calling for the expulsion of South Africa last month South African Ambassador R. F. Botha gave a categorical promise that his country would eliminate race dis- crimination. Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, apparently with the support of most African leaders, has decided to test the sincerity of the promise to end race dis- crimination. He has praised the con- ciliatory tone of Mr. Vorster's recent speeches saying, "this is the voice of reason for which Africa and the rest of the world have been waiting." He has also expressed a desire to open negotiations between Black Africa and South Africa which will depend on cer- tain conditions, including an undertaking on Vorster's part to withdraw his paramilitary forces from Rhodesia, and agreement to the independence of Namibia. It is conceivable that Vorster might agree to these conditions. Already there have been signals to the Rhodesian government that it will not be able to count on support from South Africa in the future. The big question is whether Vorster can reverse the racial segregation policy in effect in South Africa for 26 years. A few small concessions have recently been made and more might be expected in what is known as "petty apartheid" the annoying regulations designed to reinforce color feelings. But it might not be possible to go far with such a dis- mantling process before the powerful right wing demands a return to basic Afrikaner principles. There may be a showdown in South Africa before long. THE CASSEROLE The vice-president of B.C. Sugar, that supplies the four western provinces, testified at a conspiracy hearing that sugar prices in western Canada are determined by prices set in the east. He meant when they're going up. of nurse. No one knows what would cause them to go down, because it doesn't happen. There's something odd maybe even a lit- tle scary about a news report that the WEEKEND MEDITATION municipal affairs minister recently put a stop to a federally-financed study by two Universi- ty of Calgary professors into the problems of northeastern Alberta, a study that earlier had called attention to deplorable housing con- ditions in Fort McMurray. The minister said he is concerned over the danger of "con- fusing" people in Fort McMurray, and went on to explain. "There's too much real work going on to superimpose a research team working on a hypothetical project." The rich young ruler This story (Matthew chapter 19.vss.l6-22) is one of the most fascinating and hotly- debated of the New Testament. This man comes to Jesus asking what he must do to gain eternal life. Eternal life is not merely life in the hereafter, but is a quality of life now. the good life, the life of peace with God and peace in his own mind and heart. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, since he was thinking of eternal life in terms of do- ing something The man answers that he has kept them from his youth. Most people would have said that this man lacked nothing for his complete happiness. He had youth and position. He was wealthy. Best of all he had a good character. He had not in- dulged in any of those excesses that bring self-destruction He had been pure, truthful, kind, a loving son. a faithful friend, and a man not given to greed But as Jesus in one flashing sentence exposes, he had one fatal flaw which would keep him out of the kingdom of God He was at heart a selfish man who loved his wealth more than anything else Jesus said to him. "If you will be perfect. 30 and sell what you have and give to the noor. and you shall have treasure in heaven, and romc and follow me He wen; away sorrowful for he had great possessions, the Bible tells us Jesus commented to hi? dis- "iples how difficult it was for a rich man to in'o the kingdom of heaven II is for a came] to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the there is no point in rime tr. soften this statement hv paving win su> mr-ant what he said >ee- He is not -j small gate nr a large door and ivit wan rope Eternal is a "f pi-.'r 1'' 'bos' v.'ho TI -i hie Rirhes are dangerous They corrode the eat inu. ii. so that the more monrv a ofrorn'-- Tr-f for eternal liff stage' T- ing and -f, w> i', Th? man bad that hr- -A j- r- 'ovf tous -r o hmi did not -i s.nc qua non tor entn into the kingdom of God. He had a number of rich friends But he saw that this young man was attached to his possessions. Did Jesus not say that anyone who loved his family or possessions more than they loved him was not worthy of him? This young man had an infir- mity of character that would destroy him. It needed a radical, surgical treatment. Riches are not a sin. but they are a danger and most are trapped by them. Remember it is not possession of riches, but "love of money" that is the root of all evil! But as a man gets money he usually reveals the truth of Jesus' words. "Where your treasure is. there will your heart be also." Wealth usually maks a man selfish. He loves his comfort and his luxuries The young man must have possessed many good qualities of mind and heart. Mark says that when Jesus looked on him he loved him. which means that he appreciated him. he "prized" him as the Greek word makes clear It was hard to let him go What a difference from Paul who tells the Philippians that following Christ meant for him the loss of all things, but he counted them but refuse if he rould wm that blessed life William Barclay draws attention to the non- ranoniral Gospel to the Hebrews which has ihe account of the incident, but when Jesus tells him Io "Go. sell all that thou owncst and distribute ii unto the poor." "the rich man began to scratch his head and it pleased him not And thr Lord said unto him. Howsayest thou. I have kept the law and the prophets'" it is written in the law Thou shalt Inve 1hy neighbor as thyself, arri !o. many of thv brethren of Abraham arr rlad in fiilh. dying "f hunger, and thine house is full of many good things, and nought at all goeth out of it nn'o Kt the point had fhf'aph and easily It costs everything a man has Like the treasure hid in the field A man all that he has and that h'ld Cut from my O God. that i than You. all irtolv. all rn- i I You with all rm mind str'neth ant) my neighbor V S M Letters Some things still grow Judging action in Rome By W.A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator food aid to the under-fed areas of the world, which had been cut in half, is now to be restored to the levels that existed at the beginning of this decade when the management of sur- plus grain stocks had high priority. The donor countries as a whole have in the last couple of years done as Canada has: cut their food aid to the Third World to about half its previous level. In the case of some individual donors the reductions have been even more severe. One of the im- mediate aims of the Rome Conference on Food Problems was to reverse this trend. The adequacy of the Cana- dian action, and others like it if they follow, can only be judged against several fac- tors. The most impor- tant of these is the extent to which talk of the danger of massive famine in the near future is taken seriously. If the fears that inspired the Rome conference are well- founded and based on reality, is it an adequate response simply to go back to the aid levels of two or three years ago when the twin objectives were, not to avert famine, but to alleviate widespread malnutrition and to manage surplus grain stocks? Two other important criteria must be applied. One is the extent to which the oil- rich countries can or should be drawn into the operation. They are not food exporters but they do possess a huge new monetary surplus, a flow of wealth on unprecedented scales. What share of the Third World's food burdens should they bear and how can they be induced to shoulder some of it? The other is that the traditional food exporters cannot possibly, over the me- dium and long-term, solve the problem of feeding the parts of the world where pop- ulations are rising very rapidly. Greatly increased food production in these areas is the only viable solution beyond whatever short-term emergency exists. The first question, then, is the extent to which there is real seriousness in the present world food situation. Apart from the fact that the Food and Agriculture Organization considered it so critical that it justified a conference on this scale, there are the responses from individual ministers in Rome. This country's external affairs minister, Allan MacEachen. used these words Wednesday morning: we are facing a situa- tion of extraordinary gravity." He also said: "We cannot ignore the fact that in the immediate future there will be a substantially increased demand for food im- ports in a number of countries that cannot pay for it. The food aid programs of many donor countries have hitherto been facilitated by the ex- istence of surplus stocks which are now non-existent. Food aid is consequently fall- ing off just when it is needed most. Yet the people fed by surplus stocks cannot be counted surplus people and needs cannot be written oU." The U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, gave this analysis in Rome: "During the 1950s and 1960s global food production grew with great consistency... But at the precise moment when growing populations and ris- ing expectations made a con- tinuation of this trend essen- tial, a dramatic change oc- curred: During the past three years, world cereal produc- tion has fallen: reserves have dropped to the point where significant crop failure can spell a major disaster." If Dr. Kissinger's analysis is correct, the coming year's cereal production will in large part determine whether very large-scale famine becomes a reality or recedes as a threat. It does not seem at all ex- aggerated to suggest that the world today is balanced very precariously and that a great increase in deaths from star- vation is not impossible within the next 12 months. The second consideration against which the adequacy of donor responses should be judged, the extent to which the oil rich nations should join in. is more complex than it seems at first glance. To us. there seems no doubt about it they have as much respon- sibility to help the Third World as the traditional donor countries. It is clear that the oil exporters do not, however, entirely accept this. They regard their price increases as. in large part, a corrective action and there is some truth in the observation that this is the day of revenge for the 19th century. One could add, and for part of the 20th century. The great resource consuming, industrialized nations have in fact been successful at building lives of enormous comfort for themselves on the basis of cheap materials from other countries. One cannot just dis- miss the pent-up antagonisms of the OPEC countries. But the truth almost always lies between extremes. The huge monetary flows which the new oil prices have created are a reality, impos- ing grave strains on the finan- cial and trade structures of the world. It is not within the capacity of the OPEC countries to absorb these flows. They cannot import fast enough to spend them. They cannot change their own ecomomies rapidly enough to absorb and offset them. There remains huge dollar surpluses. Re-cycling these funds into other countries, where they can come to rest and offset critical payments deficits, remains one of the world's most pressing needs. That requirement is even more pressing for many developing countries than, say. Britain or Italy. So action in this area inevitably must be part of the total answer. Increased fo'od production in the under-developed world is vital and some countries will have to change their priorities. China has been able to feed a vast increase in its population because of the over-riding priority given food production. Canada, the United States, Western Europe and Japan all have given favored treatment to their agricultural industries in the post-war period. That, is one reason why life is good in these countries. For the Third World, however, this cannot be an overnight solution for all its overwhelming importance. It is against this sort of backdrop that individuals should form their opinion o.i the adequacy of the Canadian action in Rome. Composing voter lists A recent editorial (Make everyone register, Oct. 30) suggested that the present method of composing the municipal electors list in Lethbridge was undemocratic in that it established two qualifications for registration. I agree that the present system is undemocratic in that property owners are automatically placed on the list while non property owners must march to city hall and swear themselves in. There should be only one means for composing the list. The editorial says that all citizens should go to city hall and swear themselves in. This, it is argued would es- tablish equality. I disagree with the method suggested. There is a built in bias towards those people in the community who have a direct vested interest in the running of civic affairs. They would register but few others would. This is not because they are not interested they are, but not to the same degree as those who have large economic interests beyond the renting of an apartment and the owning of a home. Most people simply pay little attention to civic affairs. They see civic affairs as only marginally influencing their lives. They have lost con- fidence in both elected and non elected civic officials. They believe nothing can be done to improve civic government. Therefore, they pay little attention to the mechanics of registration as the whole process seems irrelevant, I believe that we should try to interest all our citizens in urban government. An enumeration process is inex- pensive. It alerts all citizens to the fact that there is an election coming up. It ensures that all citizens have an equal opportunity to vote. It eliminates discrimination against non property owners who have full time jobs and find it difficult to get into city hall. Married women and the aged as well as the young, ex- perience a similar difficulty in getting to city hall. Enumera- tion will not work miracles. Good candidates will have to come forward in' which the majority of the citizens can have Confidence. But enumeration is a step toward a working urban democracy. It deserves a chance in Lethbridge. ROGER R. RICKWOOD Lethbridge Editor's Note: In defence of the editorial mentioned, it might be argued that wherever the ballot conies easiest, it is appreciated least. The more the voters are spoon _- fed (whether property owners or renters) the less they appreciate the ballot and the less likely they are to use it. Wide choice of homes There has not been a "Parade of Homes" in Lethbridge for three years I trust the event the local citizen refers to (letter Oct. is the current "Home Show 74." His information on the designation is as accurate as that on the pricing. The prices do not start at but are listed from up to These homes were built to present a reflection of the over-all pic- ture of the housing available to the home buyers of Lethbridge. There exists in Lethbridge a wide selection of homes at all price levels for all buyers. If the un-named local citizen wishes to see the quali- ty of construction, then he or she is invited to view any of the Lethbridge Housing Association members' homes during any phase of construc- tion. There is no question that the quality of construction in Lethbridge is among the best in Canada. Our local building and mortgage inspectors inspect each home during every phase of construction and it has been noted that as many as 10 inspections have been made on a single home from commencement to com- pletion. I note that the editor's com- ment has covered the question of sale of lots. I am, however, curious as to where this citizen was when all the choice lots went on sale in West Lethbridge. If he was so anxious to purchase a choice lot why did he not take the opportunity to do so when it was made available to him, rather than to complain after the lots were purchased by someone else? Equal oppor- tunity was given to all. Should this citizen wish to check with city hall on this matter, I am sure that confirmation of this will be forthcoming. It is the Lethbridge Housing Association's pleasure each year to present to the people of Lethbridge for their inspec- tion, criticism and pleasure, the Home Show. We welcome any comment on the homes presented. M. E. NEVILLE Chairman. Home Show 74 Congratulates alderman I am sure that I speak for many when I congratulate Alderman Vera Ferguson on her victory in the "smoking" battle. A tip of the hat. also, to those who supported her. I am equally sure that even his friends were disappointed in Alderman Bill Kergan Ob- viously he has not yet heard about the medical investigations which have proved that even people who don't smoke are seriously affected by breathing smoke- polluted air. As for the right to smoke in public places, is the council chamber a public place in the ordinary sense of the word? Following this type of reasoning, it would be ac- ceptable for other aldermen io bring their bottles of liquid refreshment, and sit there tossing it down while they made their weighty decisions. Perhaps Alderman Kergan did defend democracy from dictatorship, but any man who insists on smoking when it makes other people uncomfor- table, and who can't deny himself the doubtful pleasures of tobacco during a meeting, is not only a dictator himself, but also a detriment to the City Council. MRS. N E. KLOPPENBORG Lethbridge Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are required even when the letter is to appear over a they are sensible and not libelous, they are of manageable length or' can be shortened normally letters should not ex- ceed 300 they are decipherable