Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 22, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THI LETHBR1DG! HERALD Wednesday, November 22, 1972. Worry, optimism awaits Parliament Are you serious, Mr. Hyndman? One would have expected much more perception or statesmanship from Alberta's minister of education. Mr. Hyndman told the legislature last week that his department and the government put French in the same class as any other language, after English. The school system has no more interest in promoting French than Polish or Hindi. The choice of a second language, if any, is strictly local. Yet the department does have a good deal to say about nearly every- thing else taught in the provincial schools. It prescribes and demands certain minimums in English, in math, in the sciences, in social stud- ies, and so on. But in priority of second languages it has no prefer- ences or concern. Almost at the heart of the ques- tion whether Canadian confederation survives intact is the two-languages issue. The Official Languages Act confirms Uiat Canada (which hope- fully includes Alberta) is a bilingual country, and that nationally French has the same status as English. Those two languages and none other. Surely, therefore, it follows that the more people who know and re- spect and defer to both French and English, the stronger Canadian unity will be. To relegate either English or French, to the same status as other languages is to sabotage the very foundation of confederation and encourage the break-up of Canada. For the government of Alberta not to appreciate the duality of Can- ada is either gross ignorance or a deliberate concession to the anti- French bigotry rampant in this part of Canada. In either case it is cause for serious national alarm. No cause for outcry Sir Max Aitken has raised a ciy of alarm about the proposal to tight- en rules concerning citizens of Com- monwealth countries seeking work in Britain. Writing ill The Daily Ex- press, Aitken declared that the Heath government will "reap the whirl- wind" as a consequence. The excitement has been generated by a proposal to give persons com- ing to Britain from Common Market countries priority in certain cases over those coming from Common- wealth nations. The government or- der is part of the preparation for en- tering the Common Market in the new year. It seems odd that aside from the automatic opposition of the Labor party there should be an outcry. Obviously Britain has to give some evidence of commitment to Europe and if it is at the expense of Com- monwealth expectations nobody should be surprised. Britain's future lies with Europe, not with the Commonwealth. That does not mean Britain intends to opt out and it need not mean that other members will find here a reason to end the association. If the Common- wealth dies it will be solely because it has ceased to have significance and value to the members. Closer ties to Europe will not be to Britain's advantage alone. They could well be to the advantage of Canada and other Commonwealth countries as well, as Chancellor of the Exche- quer Anthony Barber said. His argu- ment that if Britain becomes strong- er as a result of participation in the Common Market it will be a stronger and more useful partner to old friends sounds reasonable. New use for coal Time was when the smoke emitted from coal-fired furnaces was the bane of every housewife, and only recently residents of coal-centred Michelle chose to move to Sparwood to enjoy cleaner air. But now it has been learned that a dirty piece of coal could provide the answer to much of our industrial pollution. Japanese scientists claim to have produced a low-cost absorbent that can remove poisonous heavy metals in waste water discharged by indus- trial plants. The absorbent is nilro- humic acid solidified by carboxyl methyl cellulose and can be extract- ed at low cost from low-grade coals. Nitro-humic acid now is being wide ly used as a material for soil enrich- ment and compound fertilizer. Its strong absorbent qualities have long been known but its practical applica- tion has previously been a problem as it was easily soluble in alkaline liquid. This has been solved by trans- forming it into pellets with the cellu- lose. Tests have shown that a small amount of the absorbent in a glass tube could remove all traces of cad- miun from gallons of waste water and the acid pellets could be used "almost as the absorb- ing capacity could be easily restored by washing them in hydrochloric acid or a salt solution. The discovery could be a godsend for Japanese industries now being prosecuted with increasing frequency for deaths and injuries caused by discharge of poisonous wastes. There as here, they are forced to meet stiff anti-pollution costs imposed by the government. What will work in Japan will most assuredly work here where coal is so plentiful. Who's the boss around here? The problems of minority government are familiar to me. We have had it In our house for some time. You don't need to tell me what it's like to have the balance of power held by a short little guy. I have to pump his soccer ball. Our house, need I say, is run on demo- cratic procedure. Each member of the fam- ily has a vote. In the event of a tie, I, as the speaker of the house, shut up. The cats cast the deciding vole, by raising their tails. It doesn't seem long ago that an absol- ute majority was enjoyed by my party, which consists of me. I won the majority by virtue of my being bigger than the other parties (Mother, Daughter One, Daughter Two, and I also had a good deal of charisma, if I am to believe the woman who kissed me at the office Christ- mas party. (She was the cleaning woman, but quite well preserved above the buck- et.) During the period of my absolute major- ity I introduced what I thought to be im- portant bills, notably the light bill, draw- ing attention to the fact that the light switches In the house had nn "off" posi- tion, and a bill to preserve the ecology of my bank account against strip mining by charge accounts. I have subsequently been charged with displaying arrogance, during this rcgniim of superior administration, 1 am at n loss to understand why. I had no government whip, preferring the government wooden spoon, to maintain party discipline, During the last four years, however, my majority government has been gravely weakened by Iho increase in the size of the other parlies (Mother Also it was perhaps an error in tactics lo ex- tend the voling privilege to Mos.s, the guin- ea pig. It sad how quickly part of Ilia electorate forgets past favors when prom- ised guaranteed minimum lettuce. Like Mr. Trudeau I believed that I had widespread support for my bilingual pol- icies, which made Teenese one of the offi- cial languages of the house. "That's groovy and real I said, during one of the house debates on the state of the kitchen, "but the phone is gib- bed." Nothing, apparently, is so perishable as yesterday's eloquence. One day last month I came down to din- ner to find that my seat at the head of the table was occupied by Daughter Two. It was a complete shock to my system. All the polls had indicated that I was good for another four years of getting first crack at the Yorkshire pudding. I had somehow misjudged the mood of the electorate, which wanted more pizza. Now, as titular head of a minority gov- ernment, I cling to power only by setting one opposition party against the other. So long as they are unable to agree on which TV programs to watch, mine is the hand clutching the reins. Thank God for cable- vision. The plurality of channels may not help Mr. Trudcmi, in his house divided. I'll be watching carefully to see how he cajoles NDP leader Ixnvis into giving him the nu- merical support he needs to survive. I can loll him right now that threatening lo cut off David's allowance von'l work. 'J'ho lillle (errors always manage to find money somewhere to finance their giving you (he old finger wave. Forceful legislation that's what we minority government leaders have to hammer out, and quickly. Dramatic, damn- llie-lorpcdoes sliiff that bulls the other par- lies inlo by the sheer power of being what's right. Urn, jou go first, Pierre, By Mmirkc Wcslcrn, Oltawn commcnlnlor for FP Publications OTTAWA The Conserva- tives have now met for tlicir first post-election caucus, ob- viously a less urgent affair than the earlier meetings of the Liberals and New Democrals. For Robert Stanfield the looming problems are tactical; no question of basic strategy arises. His objeclive plainly is to defeat the government as the necessary first step towards an an early return match in the country. Even in the matter of tactics the Conservatives, for the most part, can make only tentative plans. The initiative remains with the Prime Min- ister, as it has done since ha look the basic decision to re- main in office and to face the new Parliament. While the Conservatives have enjoyed something of a breath- ing spell, the New Democrats have been under heavy pres- sure to deline positions which they could justify lo the public and to their own supporters. Mr. Lewis has emphatically rejected an alliance of any sort with one of the major parties, including the "organic under- standing" suggested by Otto Lang, apparently on his per- sonal initiative. At the same time he contends that it is UK duly of all parties to "make Parliament work" by ensuring that it deals wilh urgent prob- lems. In place of terms, which might be construed as dictation, the NDP offers an eight-para- graph program which it de- scribes as the "yardstick by which its (Parliament's) per- formance will be measured." But Mr. Lewis declines lo say how much of this must be im- plemented by the government or within what time-span. In effect, therefore, the caucus has decided on a posture while post- poning decisions to the Inspir- ation of the parliamentary hour. As a political prize the balance of power has one great disadvantage; it is gravely em- barassing to the party enjoying it. It is of interest, and perhaps Indicative of party anxieties, that Mr. Lewis has enunciated a constitutional doctrine well in advance of any constilutional problem which may rise. What is to happen if the Liberals, after winning an initial vole of confidence, are afterwards de- feated in the House of Commons presumably because they UN attempts to prevent terrorism By Joyce Egginton, London Observer commenlatclr NEW YORK In an atmos- phere of tighter security than their building has ever known, United Nations' delegates have begun a unique and highly con- troversial debate on the top- ic of terrorism. The aim is to produce an in- ternational convention which will establish measures to pre- vent, or at least deal with, acts of violence by people of one nation against another "which endanger human lives or jeopardize fundamental free- doms." On the face of it, no subject should be closer to the hearts of the 132 member states, ded- icated as they are to saving en- suing generations from the scourge of war. In fact, few subjects in this otherwise rou- tine General Assembly have generated more antagonism or concerted effort by groups like the Arab states to have the whole thing forgotten. The UN General Assembly voted it, with no great enthusi- asm (66 to 27, with 33 abstent- ions) on to the agenda of the Assembly's legal committee, where many nations hoped it would be quietly buried. But there is every sign that, when the debate really gets under way in the legal committee it Letter That reminds me The purple gas story by Fra- ser Hodgson reminded me of something that happened many years ago over in the parched and harsh comer of south-east- ern Alberta where I grew up. Most families had a car of some kind left over from the prosperity of the late twenties, but twelve dollars for a licence in 1633 was just aboul twelve dollars more than anybody had. There were some people down the road two miles or ED, a mother and three grown sons trying desperately to wrest a living from a small dusty farm. They had a 1926 Chevy coach. A brown one. The mother fell sick, and long after she should have had med- ical attention the youngest son finally persuaded hor to go lo a doctor. They set off in their Chevy on Ihc gravel and just over a mile from town Hie po- lice stopped them no license on Ihc crtr. While tlic officer wrote Ihc ticket the lady sat ns stern and straight as slio had in rlmrch hack in Tcimosser long ago. They wnv l.old In yet Ihn car off the road, so home they went. Within half a day Ihc whole neighborhood knew what had happened. In lime of crisis old feuds wore forgotten, and lic- forc the moon camp, up half a dorcn Hcnnct wagons were on the way, Kach carried at leasl one capable, mature woman with her eccrclg of diagnosis, medication and cure. One great- grandmother, older and wiser than the others was known far and wide for her miracles. She came 30 miles that night. We never knew what potions and elixirs were brewed on that kitchen stove there in the wee hours of that morning, but our neighbor was cured, and died only a few years ago at about age 03, bright and sound to the end. Her son went lo court in a Bennct wagon, without a dime in his jeans, was duly prosecut- ed, convicted, and Ihe fine was set at ?25, or six weeks in jaii. No one had the 525. I will always remember the day he came back. He had on a bright red shirt which I fig- ured he must have worn in that jail, rather than the stripes we had been told about. There was n ball game that day, wilh the spcnrgrass in the outfield and the drinking water in a cream ciin. Our young friend hit a home run in Ihc ninlh inning but. frll flown coming around Iliird and was lagged out before he could regain his composure. In the ageless simplicity of depression children everywhere, he is not rcmemberel for (he li- cense or his prison record, hut for falling down between (hird and home ill the last inning, with Ihc winning run. L. K. WALKIiK Milk River, will be the most dramatic of the tliree-month-Iong assembly. It was instigated by UN Sec- retary-General Kurt Waldheim, shortly after the murders of the Israeli athletes at the Olymp- ics. Mr. Waldheim also had in mind the frequency of aerial hijackings, the kidnappings of various diplomats, the assassin- ations of public figures, even the violence on the streets of major cities. Under pressure from a num- ber of stales, led by the Arabs, the current debate must be con- fined to international acts of terror which means that if a hijacker blows up a plane- load of his own citizens over his own countryside, this can be no business of the UN. Be- hind this diplomatic pressure is the fear that revolutionary movements, in places like the Middle East or in colonial ter- ritories, might come under cen- sure from the UN. The world organization's legal committee also has to wrestle with the definition of what is a terrorist. A man who is a mad revolutionary to one set of people may be a hero to another. Mr. Waldheim is clearly de- termined not to Jet the debate disappear into the semi-oblivi- on of a slutly group, as so many conlroversial and seemingly insoluable UN dehates do. On the eve of its opening, his UN secretariat took the unusual step of issuing a report on in- ternational terrorism and ils underlying causes. The study pointed out that, while there have been no major wars in- volving the great powers during the UN's life-time, lillle has been done towards solving some of the smaller disputes which have festered for years. Coup- led with this was the "misery, frustration, grievance and de- spair" of groups in poverty or under colonial rule. A leading reason for the growth in international Icrror- ism, Ihe report suggested, is that ".is Iho peoples of the world grow more interdepend- enl. the solution of ninny prob- lems no longer hangs on any local ruler or government, but on nclions and decisions (akcn thousands of miles away. "Men Ihiiik Ihelr ills have Ixjcn produced by some vnst impersonal force, which is deaf lo their picas for justice or im- polcnl lo find solutions, minor Ilian by ollrr men. slriving for .similar although opposed ends ami hound to them by claims of common humanity." The point was also made that modern communications and the growth of public informa- tion media transforms local incidents into world events, so that an act of terrorism in one part of the world can easily in- spire a would-be terrorist in an- other. Although there have been sev- eral earlier attempts to pro- duce interntional conventions for the prevention and punish- ment of terrorism, no compre- hensive convention has yet been achieved, the report stated. One of the broadest, drawn up by the league of Nations in 1937, obtained only one ratification and has long been considered obsolete. The chairman of the UN's legal committee, Erik Suy of Belgium, reported "a wide di- vergence of views" among del- egates as to whether any new convention should be strongly or moderately worded. But the debate has yet to go back to the General Assembly, and Mr. Waldheim will have quite a bit more to say about it. 'Crazy Capers' He waited ten minutes, tossed a coin and left. have been measured and found wanting by the Lewis yard' stick? The NDP answer is clear; Mr. Slanfield must then be summoned and afforded an opportunity to form a govern- ment and present a program. This has been a rather grey area for constitutionalists. problem, never definitely an- swered, is: How long must i prime minister maintain him- self in office befcre he Is en- titled to a dissolution? The in- leresling point about the Lewis doctrine is that time is brushed aside as irrelevant. What is alt important is the malhemat ics of a situation in which Ihi parties are evenly matched, (B seat or two being unimportant in this With the House so constituted, he main- tains, a dissolution would be unfair and it would be improper for Mr. Trudeau to seek it. The significance of the argu- ment is, presumably, that the NDP wishes this Parliament to, last as long as possible, regard- less of any comments which may have been made by lie spokesmen at labor meetings. It is curious that Mr. Lewis should make a point which is theoretical at this time and may not assume much practi- cal importance since Mr. Stan- field, presumably, will be in- toil, either as leader of the on- position or as prime minister, in getting hack to the country a; soon as this can be arranged. By contrast the Conserva- tives, for the moment, are not burdened with such worries, their caucus was expected to spend a good deal of time on practical matters such as the disposition of their personnel in preparation for the next Par- liament. Considerable interest does at- tach to their caucus for a dif- ferent reason. Although Mr. Slanfield has been leader for well over four years, this la the first appearance on the nation- al stage of what may now be de- scribed as a Stanfield party. Following the Toronto con- vention, Mr. Stanfield found himself with a caucus whose members, with some excep- itons, had come to Ottawa dur- ing the Diefenbaker era. Those of the loyalist faction became reconciled only slowly to the new leadership. The situation was not much changed by the 1968 election because the Con- servatives were hard pressed at that time to maintain them- selves even In areas where they enjoyed their greatest strength. In the years that fol- lowed the Front Bench was dominated overwhelmingly by veterans, many of whom were living through the last Parlia- ment of their political careers. Partly through long-expected retirements and partly through better fortune at the polls, the caucus has now received a huge influx of newcomers. Only is the pro-Stanfield Maritimes has change been minimal. Of the 107 Conservatives who appear to have been elected, more than half are members who first won election under Robert Stan- field's leadership. Even In Al- berta, where the Conservatives suffered only minor losses in 1968, 10 of the 19 elected last month are new to the House of Commons. They were not, of course, coattail candidates comparable to many who came in with Mr. Diefenbaker in 1957-58. Mr. Stanfield has not dominated his party in the manner of his pre- decessor and does not do so yet. But his position has ohviously been greatly strengthened, not solely by the gain in seats but also by the change in the com- position of the parliamentary party. Of some of these new mem- bers, a good deal is expected. The difficulty is that a clear ma- jority of the total membership consists of men prcscndy lack- ing in parliamentary experi- ence. Mr. Stanfield must de- cide hnw they can be deploy- ed lo best advantage in the most difficult of circumstances. These arc practical problems with the caucus may he expected lo deal. At this stage, however, the Conservatives can afford lo be philosophical. They may have their share of anxi- clies in a House of minorities but for the moment (hey are relatively free of pressure. The government, having (he initia- live, nuisl make Ihc immediate and very hard decisions while (lie Now Democrats agonize over practically everything in- cluding hypoliiclical constitu- tional questions. The Uthbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lelhbi'idgc, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publisher! Published 1905 -10H, by Hon. w. A. BUCHANAN Slcmd Class Mall Rcnlslrallon No. 0011 Member of Tht Canadian Press nntl Iho Canadian Dally Ncwspaptr Publllhin' Association and Iho Auilll Duronu of ClrculBlloni CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor And Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, Goneral Mnnaoor DOM PILLINO WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Afsodiir Editor ROY F. WILES DOUGI.Ai, K. WALKER Mmllilna Minagtr editorial Pago Edllor THf HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"