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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 15, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta China sleuths track frail Chairman Mao with map, protractor By JOHN BURNS Special to The Herald PEKING Chairman Mao is alive and passably well and living in China. But where? And does it matter? Nobody loves a good mystery better than China watchers, and the mystery of the moment centres on the whereabouts of Peking's peripatetic leader. For more than ten weeks now he has been in hiding in the provinces, giving rise to widespread speculation as to where he is and what he is doing. Normally, the 80-year-old communist party leader lives in a modest villa beside a willow- fringed lake in the centre of Peking. But since early September a succession of visiting foreign including the South Yemeni president who is here this been whisked out of the capital in the utmost secrecy to meet the chairman somewhere in the hin- terland. The most intriguing aspect of the whole thing has been the precautions the Chinese have taken to see that none of the visitors discloses the site of the rendezvous. In the early weeks even the statesman himself was not told where he was going, and though this policy has now been relax- ed all subsequent visitors have been sworn to se- crecy. The procedure has raised a few eyebrows, even among diplomats accustomed to the idio- syncratic ways of Chinese protocol. Where else in the world, they ask, would a visiting leader be asked to travel without knowing his destination? And where but in China would he agree? Another question the diplomats have is. whether a Chinese leader would agree to a similar procedure on a state visit to, say, France? Certainly now, say the diplomats, for there are no leaders more conscious of their security than the Chinese and the few high- ranking ones who have been abroad in recent years have usually insisted on a complete ad- vance itinerary. When they're not indulging in such pique, the diplomats are likely to be mulling over the scant evidence that is available to try to fix where Mao actually is. The tools of the game are a protrac- tor and a map, for the most anybody has to go on is the flying time from Peking, which the visitors have variously reported as being between 30 and 90 minutes. Working with the map and brief glimpses of scenery in television films of the meetings, diplomats have at various times had Mao in the seaside village of Peitaiho, the resort city of Hangchow and the industrial city of Wuhan. More recently, some of them claimed to have detected a move to Changsha, capital of Mao's native province of Hunan, but neither this nor any other part of the itinerary has been confirm- ed by the Chinese. Officials questioned on the matter pass it off with a smile, while interpreters who work for embassies and journalists profess to find the sleuthing pointless. "Our chairman lives in Pek- ing but travels to the provinces from time to said one young man. "This is quite normal. It is not necessary to know any more." In the strict sense the man was right, for access to Mao is limited to a tiny group of people even when he is in Peking and they presumably know where he is. For the "broad masses" of Chinese propaganda who have not seen Mao in public for thirty months anyway his whereabouts can hardly be a matter of press- ing concern. Why, then all the diplomatic fuss? Part of it is for its own sake, for the fun of playing de- tective, but there may also be political im- plications. When Mao has toured the provinces in the past, usually in secret, it has often been the prelude to dramatic events such as the Lin Piao debacle that followed on the heels of a series of talks between Mao and provincial leaders in the late summer of 1971. He is older and more frail now and seemingly content to leave the cut and thrust of day-to-day politics to other men. but nobody is forgetting that it was during a similarly prolonged absence from Peking in 1965 that he plotted the strategy for a showdown with a group of powerful rivals who had left him with more of the shadow than the reality of power. That showdown became known as the Cultural Revolution. If there is politics in it this time it could have something to do with the planning for the Na- tional People's Congress which is scheduled to meet soon. While the diplomats play with the more com- plex possibilities, there is a simpler one that is in danger of being overlooked. Mao, a southerner, has told visitors he suffers badly from rheumatism. Could it be that he has simply fled the rigors of Peking's winter for a climate more benign? The Lethbridge Herald LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1974 15 Cents GOLD FEVER HITS U.K. LONDON (Reuter) Gold fever has British investors in its grip. The gloomier the economic outlook, the more peo- ple are clamoring to buy- gold as a refuge for their savings. Since private investors are legally- barred from owning gold bullion, the rush is to gold coins, and in par- ticular the Krugerrand minted by South Africa. There was some cau- tion on the market in re- cent days, because of fears that Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey might take ac- tion :n his budget to dis- courage the import of the one ounce gold coins. But Krugerrands emerged from the budget unscathed. And the morning after there was a rush lor the coins at a record price of about -5209 after gaining sterling about SJ5. In Zurich, the U.S. dollar hit a new low to- day on Swiss money markets as West Ger- many's refusal to hold the of the mark down continued to trigger shock waves. Shortly before noon, the dollar was bringing only 2.6785 Swiss francs, well below the previous record low of 2.70 set July 9. 1973. Gold, meanwhile, was selling at an ounce on the Zurich bullion market. above Thurs- day's closing but un- der the record an ouncr reached at one point in London Thur- sday. General Assembly blocks Israeli counter move BILL GROENEN photo Winter shield Against the backdrop of the setting sun a work- man at the University of Lethbridge carries a protec- tive shield toward a tree near the University. The an- nual placing of the wooden tents around the trees are another signal of the approach of winter's winds and snows. UNITED NATIONS (AP) In another demonstration of Arab power at the United Nations, the General has blocked Israeli plans to counter attack the Palestine Liberation Weapons unloaded TEL AVIV (AP) Israeli Premier Yitz Rabin said to- day 20 Soviet ships are un- loading weapons in Syria. "I would like to reveal what is perhaps a secret, that at this very moment 20 Soviet ships are offloading arms in the Syrian port of Lstakia." Rabin told a luncheon of Israeli engineers. The UN mandate expires at the end of this months unless i- is renewed by both sides. ?rd Kabin said Israel wants it renewed. Arabs seek industrial investment NEW YORK (AT Oil- rich Arab nation; want to invest billions in tr z industrial West but under partnership arrangements instead of as money lenders, says assistant treasury secretary Gerald Parsky of the U.S. Parsky, who has just return- ed from Arab investment conferences in Kuwait, said: "I am convinced they are searching for a variety of profitable investment oppor- tunities in the industrial world. Organization (PLO) with a major speech a day during the Palestine debate. The assembly voted 75 to 23 with 18 abstentions Thursday to limit each country to one major speech during the Palestine debate, which runs for another week. This does not affect a country's "right of reply" to charges made against it. but this is customarily confined to 10 minutes at the end of the day's session. And it. too. is subject to regulation by the assembly- president. Canada voted against the speech limiting motion It was the third consecutive day that the African. Asian and Communist members un- ited behind the assembly's Arab president. Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika. to demonstrate their control of the body once dominated by the United States and its allies. On Tuesday, the assembly. decisively upheld Bouteflika "s ruling that white ruled South Africa could no longer par- ticipate in the assembly. On Wednesday. Bouteflika ordered Palestine guerrilla chief Yasser Arafat treated as a prime minister or chief of state, with a chair on the rostrum and the UN chief of protocol escort him to and from it Arafat led off the Palestine debate .vith a call for creation of a stale of Palestine in which Israel would be sub- merged Israeli ambassador Yosef Tekoah replied a few hours later with a major speech declaring Israel would never tolerate PLO authority in any part of Palestine Tekoah listed himself to speak daily during the debate, but Bouteflika aniK Thursday that he was limiting each country to save time. U.S. ambassador John Scali argued for "unlimited debate." and Tekoah accused the president of displaying bias against Israel since the beginning of the session. All the Arab delegations, most other African and Asian members and the Com- munists supported Bouteflika in the vote. The West Europeans and some Latin American countries sided with the United States and Israel. Prime Minister Fidel Castro is expected to assure guerrilla leader Yasser Arafat of Cuba's continued support for the Arab cause when they meet again today in Havana. The Palestinian Liberation Organization leader arrived here Thursday after address- ing the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. Poor crop adds gloom OTTAWA