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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, October 3, 1973 LETHBRIDGE HERALD The story of the missing letter box Steely-eyed? Four year-old David Socol is almost hidden by Optic Screen, a stainless steel sculpture by Gord Smith. This is only one in a number of artworks on display at Temple Sinai in Toronto. Motorcyclist sets sights on premiership SASKATOON (CP) He's a prosperous, conservatively- dressed efficiency expert who rides a motorcycle over the countryside and expects to be the next premier of Sas- katchewan. He's Dick Collver, the 37- year-old president of the Sas- katchewan Progressive Con- servative party, whose elec- tion as president last March prompted jokes about a con- vention held in a telephone booth. But in his hard-driving, gel- it-done-now manner, he is try- ing to bring back to life by date of the next provincial party that all but died a quar- ter century ago. The only Conservative gov- ernment in Saskatchewan his- tory fell in 1934. For six years. the party has not even had a single member in the legislature. The party has not been con- sidered a serious contender 1 since the CCF victory of 1944. In December of last year there were 42 paid members in the entire province. MEMBERSHIP UP But that is changing. Mr. Collver said in an interview. At the time of the March con- vention, there were 320 mem- bers. Now there are more than 2.500. He is not out for limited gains. He is out to win in 1975 and says he can do it. How? First comes hard permanent headquarters has been set up here, furnishings donated by businessmen, a young staff has been collected and organizers are being sent .out into the country. More important, in his view. that his party offers the right approach at the right After a lengthy tour of province, he said he feels people are fed up with the NDP and Liberals and worried about the future of the province: A forceful individualist who ;doesn't want to be treated like a puppet by government or big business, he said he believes the people are ready for the Conservative philosophy, which he sum- as a belief that one's "string" should not be pulled: He gave a glimpse of his "approach to the next election campaign, calling for a return to the classic l.'i 1" people n ym. to a democracy." Both Liberal and NDP gov- ernments, he said, have taken :away the powers of municipal and school kinds of govern- :-rnent. people have greatest over. What kind of premier will got if vthey elect this man with heatlv-trimmed beard who was never involved in party politics before becoming leader of a virtuallv-non-exis- tent party1? HATES LABELS II he has his way, the an- swer to that question will not be it short one. He disdains labels, calling them "contra- productive" and "simplistic." His style seems to switch from businesslike realism to idealism, depending on the topic. He would abolish medical care premiums because they aro !oo costly to collect. Hut he also says that if men could only truly understand one telepa- thy, for WMild be no war. there would lie no crime." Horn in Tororlo and edu- cated at Calgary high schools and the University of Al- he took econom- ics and law before articling as a chartered described one of his first jobs by saying "I peddled dope for a year." That, it turns out upon in- quiry, was drugs for chickens and pigs. After moving to Saskatoon, he was urged by friends to run for mayor and did just that last by a wide margin. Beside his wife and three children, his personal inter- ests revolve around the Kid- ney Research Foundation of Saskatchewan, which he or- the Saskatoon Sym- phony Orchestra, golf and trail-bike riding on a Honda 175 motorcycle. His climb in the business world started in 1965 when he founded Management Associ- ates Ltd.. a Saskatoon-based company described as provid- ing "a broad management service to many medium- businesses in Ontario. Saskatchewan and Alberta, including farms, hotels, taxis, construction, financial serv- ices, automotive, retail out- lets, medical clinics and so on." He said his employees, from Thunder Bay to the Rockies. total 3.000. One of his most re- cent deals involved purchase of the Bessborough Hotel, a Saskatoon landmark, from the CNR. Why. with an apparently- highly-successful business ca- reer, did he enter politics as the leader of a nowhere parly'.' LINBROKEN SPIRIT LONDON (CP) A West Kud shop which had its win- dows shattered by a bomb in n recent wave of terrorist at- tacks bore this sign tlio broken glass it's a blasted nuisai. but we're open for business as usual By JOHN BURNS Special to The Ik-raid PEKING Everybody in Peking is talking about the missing letter box. It sounds like the title of a new thriller by Agatha Christie, but Chinese officials say there is no mystery in- sinister motives. As the incensed officials tell the story, the box was carried off in the middle of the night by two men in a car bearing Soviet embassy licence plates. The officials say the villains probably hoped to obtain in- formation that is ordinarily unavailable to foreigners by studying letters written by or- dinary citizens. The incident is said to have occurred just before the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party, which was held in Pe- king last month. The implica- tion is that the Soviets were seeking foreknowledge of when the Congress would meet and what it would that was probably quite widely dis- seminated among ordinary Chinese people. 'These people will stop at nothing to get what they want." said one Chinese source. "They are very crude." A Soviet embassy official, after consulting Ambassador Vassily S. Tolstikov, denied the charge. "We have no in- formation on this he said. "This must be another fable of idle persons." Recounting the story to Western diplomats in recent days. Chinese officials have conceded that there has been no formal complaints to the Soviets and no attempt to recover the box. They say the hard evidence to support the charges is lacking. What intrigues most diplo- mats, however, is not the au- thenticity of the charges but the fact that they have been made at all. This is seen as a reflection on the low ebb that relations between the two countries have reached in re- cent times. The letter box incident com- es hard on the heels of an es- calating series of propaganda blasts that the two capitals have unleashed against one another raising the pitch of the dispute between them to its shrillest point since the border clashes in the spring of 1969. In one of the last exchanges before the letter box story started going the rounds in Pe- king, the Chinese likened Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to Hitler and accused the Kremlin of preparing for an attack on China. The Soviets countered with charges that Chinese troops have repeated- ly violated the border of the Mongolian Republic, increas- ing tension along the frontier to a new high. DISCOUNT THREAT Diplomats here tend to dis- count the talk of war. believ- ing that neither nationa regards settlement of the dis- pute by force of arms as a viable option. It is more and more the fashion in Peking, however, to ask how much further the propaganda war can go before the disputants begin to take concrete steps against one another. Trade and transport links between the two countries, which have been renewed by- formal agreements that were signed only recently, appear to be secure for the time being. But a concrete measure that is not ruled out by diplomats in the Chinese capital is a token expulsion of diplomats by one side, probably followed by a re- ciprocal move from the other side. As far as the letter box busi- ness is concerned, the Chinese appear to have decided against any such move. This could be because they lack proof that would be convinc- ing in the of the world, or because they feel they can embarrass the Soviets more by simply putting the story about in the diplomatic com- munity. Diplomats point out that the latter strategy has its risks, too. By accusing unnamed Soviet personnel of criminal activities without formally pursuing the matter, say the diplomats, the Chinese run the risk of the Soviets making similar, undocumented charges against Chinese per- sonnel in Moscow. Apparently the only evidence against the Soviets in the letter box affair are the reports of Chinese bystanders who claim to have seen the whole thing. As officials tell it. these bystanders saw a car draw up to the box at dead of night, disgorging two men who proceeded to pry the box loose with a hammer, bundle it into the car and drive off. Officials say that the bystanders took the car's li- cence number, which was traced to the Soviet embassy. As further evidence they cite the fact that the box is in an area of the city not far from the Soviet embassy. Adding to the atmosphere of intrigue that surrounds the whole affair, the Chinese say that the miscreants attempted to mask their activities by turning on the car's powerful headlights and spotlights. This was supposedly a device to ob- scure the vision of bystanders. ILLICIT ACTIVITIES If it all sounds like something out of a novel, it is not the first time in recent weeks that Chinese officials have accused the Soviet em- bassy of illicit activities. Another charge that has been made in private conversa- tions with Western diplomats is that Soviet personnel have been going in'o and other public places and introducing themselves as Canadians or Albanians, in tin1 hope of drawing (.'hir.ose citizens into conservations that the Chinese would avoid if they knew their identity. Diplomats v. ho find the letter box story hard to accept are even more incredulous at this one. Many of them find u hard to believe that the Soviet officials could be so un- familiar with Chiisoso habits as to think lhat the> could draw ordinary ciiixcns mt-.' substantive discussions about politics or anything 01 conse- quence with foreigners, no t I e r sv hat t h i r nationality. Kven in these relatively laxod times it is invariably case that foreigners must keep their informal conver- sations with chance acquain- tances at a fairly suptrfifial level. For discussions of mo- ment it is still necessary (r, work through official channels for appointments with approv- ed spokesmen. Sears Washing power Depend on the extra pre-wash this heavy-dutyautomaticto loosen soil. At this low Kenmore is truly a great buy. Depend on that toalen days only. 299 98 White 199 98 White 2-Speed, 4-program Kenmore washer Normal, delicate and perm-press programs plus pre-wash program to loosen extra-tough soil. Special perm-press cool-down prevents spin- set wrinkles. 5 temperature com- binations. Variable water level control. Super Roto-swirl agitator. Second 'low' speed for sheers. Self-cleaning lint filter. Lid safety switch. Pump .guard. Wipe-clean porcelain top. With Suds Saver S20 more. 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