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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 10, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta Time problems, money worries Wednesday, October 10, 1973 THE LETHBR1DGE HERALD 33 all countries London Observer The disease of inflation has swept the in- dustrialized countries of the west in the last few years, aggravated by a world boom that has boosted demand and sent the cost of commodities and raw materials soaring. Governments committed to maintaining full employ- ment and expanding social services have appeared powerless to withstand the pounding. Even the United States, traditionally an island of price stability, has succumbed this time. The Vietnam war has sapped its economic strength, at least tem- porarily, and the LJ.S.'s trading partners have in- evitably fell the backwash. Countries are importing and re-exporting inflation, and the spread of in- flationary expectations has only intensified trade union pressure for hefty pay in- creases which push up prices still further. In Britain, where items that cost in June 1970 (when Mr. Edxvard Heath's Conservative Government came to power) now cost inflation has taken a firm grip. But the country is still faring better than some. In the last year, con- sumer prices have-risen '22.3 per cent in Yugoslavia. 18.2 per cent in Iceland and 13.'2 per cent in Greece. Ireland. Portugal. Italy. Turkey. Japan. Spain and Finland have all suffered more than Britain. Worst hit of all has been strife-torn Chile, where the cost of living has rocketed per cent in a year. The consumer price index there reached in July, com- pared with 100 in 1963. Over the same period. Britain's index has moved up from 100 to Pay increases have, of course, eased the pain of inflation for many people around the world. In Bri- tain, average earnings are running about 15 per cent ahead of last year, though a good deal of this is due to (he sharp increase in over- time working and the fall in the number of jobless. Only Argentina (40 per Italy (25 per Japan (21 per Belgium lit) per cent) and Austria 114 per cent) have seen a bigger increase in wages in the last year. Indeed, the pattern throughout, with the possi- ble exception of Spain, is that wages have risen lasier than prices. Many workers, though certainly not all. have managed to keep a little ahead of infla- tion. But I here remains the disturbing problem that the latest bout of inflation has hit the lowest paid and people like pensioners hardest. Basic foods eat up a high proportion of their incomes and food prices have risen particularly i iipiiiiy because of the com- bination of poor harvests and growing world de- mand. In the last year food prices have shot up 20 per cent in Ireland. 17 per cent in Australia and 14 percent in Canada and the United Slates. Italy. Finland and Spain have also suffered larger increases than Britain's 12 per cent. The lesson is that no con n I ry however prosperous, can now in- sulate itself from world inllation. especially from soaring food and commodi- ty prices. There are no easy answers, but the world food conference suggested last week by Dr. Henry Kissinger, the new U.S. Secretary of State, could at least provide a starting point. Argentina Rampant inflation seems to be endemic to South America, and Argen- tina has suffered more than most. The cost of living has multiplied thirleen-lold in the last 10 years, stilling economic growth. In the last year house prices have gone up 170 per cent, bread 133 per cent, beer 120 per cent, petrol 73 per cent, milk 56 per cent and eggs 52 per cent. The new Peronist regime is battling hard to curb inllation. closing shops that overcharge. The an- nual rale is now below 60 per cent but commodities such as sugar, meat and onions are simply dis- appearing from the market. In this climate, forward planning is im- possible and most people are out for a fast buck. Workers are relatively well off at the beginning of the year when they get pay rises but by December they have to eat less. Most people moonlight, holding down two or three jobs, corruplion is rife, and public administration suf- iers. The country is littered with unfinished projects, roads are potholed and there are piles of rubble everywhere. Hard work seems useless and people concentrate on surviving. Many of the best brains emigrate. There is no point in saving and very many people have an interest in inflation because they are buying land, houses, cars and consumer durables on credit. Those who can. change large sums into U.S. dollars or smuggle money abroad. Hoards outside the country are thought to total million. The lavourite scapegoat lor these troubles is. as always. U.S. imperialism. Australia Inflation could easily be running at 18 per cent a year by the end of 1973 and a 25 per cent annual rate is on the cards, according to the influential Associated Chamber of Manufacturers of Australia. "Prices have really taken off this year" says rmc close observer. Fur- niture now costs 25 per cent more than at the beginning of 1973 and domestic appliances went up I) per cent in a single month recently. The enor- mous increase in the cost ol wool has pushed up the price of a man's suit by 24 per cent in the last year. Woollen dresses and knitted pullovers have gone up 20 per cent and 29 per cent respectively. Food prices have been climbing particularly fast, with a 15.4 per cent in- crease since the Labour Government took office last November. The price ol potatoes and onions shot up Hi.3 per cent, last month an annual rate of ISI5 per cent and meat prices increased 4.9 per cent in August, liven the price of lamb has soared 50 per cent in the first nine months ot the year, though thai other Australian staple, beer, has shown a relatively modest 8 per cent increase. Largely because of the lood price spiral, two million of the 13 million Australians are now "living in austere cir- cumstances." This is Ihe assessment of the Church of England. Sydney Diocese, which recently submit led evidence to an official inquiry into pover- IV. No live telecasts for Trudeau during visit Belgium Somebody earning 000 ;i year in Britain would have lo be paid at least to maintain tlie same standard ol living in Brussels. Prices are sky-high: 24 pence lor a large while loaf. 80 pence for a short taxi ride and lor a very ordinary pair of men's shoos. This year the cost of living is expected to rise a record 8 per cent, compared with last year's all-time high of 6.6 per cent, even if the rhythm of economic activity does not accelerate. The impact on the lower paid will be even harsher than last year, when potatoes went up 81 per cent. 1'EKING The Cana- dian television networks, after reviewing the technical complications, scheduling difficulties and high costs involved, have decided not to carry live coverage of the highlights ol Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's visit to China this week. Instead. CBC and CTV will limit their coverage to filmed highlights that will be shown on a delayed basis. Since the film must first be transported from Peking to Hong Kong, then transmitted to Canada via a mid-Pacific satellite, the time lag involved will be at least 24 hours. The networks made their decision on the weekend on the basis of information relayed to them by the Canadian advance team that is in the Chinese capital preparing for the prime minister's arrival on Wednesday. Donald Dixon. u producer with the CBC in Toronto, is a member of (he team. Chinese officials had ottered to provide the Canadian network with a live feed of the central events during the Peking portion of the visit, in- cluding the airport arrival and Premier Chou En-lai's banquet for the prime minister (The Great Hall ol the People on Thursday- night.) Chinese cameras and crews would have been used, with Canadian network men providing the commentary. A major factor in the networks' decision was the Chinese are equipped to transmit in black and white only. Another problem was the 1 i m e difference between China and Canada, which meant viewers in hours behind Peking would have been seeing the arrival at 3 a.m. and the banquet at a.m. Another deterrent was cost. For example, a half hour transmission of the airport arrival ceremonies could have cost in satellite tees alone, and perhaps more, depending on technical factors. The networks" decision makes Mr. Trudeau the lirst western head of government whose Peking visit has not been transmitted live to the home television audience. His two precursors. Presidents Richard Nixon and Georges Pompidou, were both seen live by home television audiences at the high points of their visits. Mr. Trudeau's visit will not go under-reported in Canada. The prime minister will be accom- panied by a press party of about 50 when he leaves Ottawa this Monday after- noon and about 30 more Canadian and foreign cor- respondents are awaiting him in Peking. The press centre es- tablished by the Chinese lor the Nixon visit 18 months ago and refined for the subsequent visits of the Japanese and French heads of government, has been reactivated in the Palace of ihe National Minorities, an exhibition hall built in Soviet neo- Gotluc style. The palace is about a mile from the Great Hall, along the Boulevard of Eternal Peace that sweeps across the city. The prime minister's meeting with Chairman Mao Tso-tung. as near a certainty as these things can be in China, could come at any time between his arrival here at 3 p.m. Wednesday and his depar- ture for the provinces at 11 p.m. Saturday. The most probable time is on Thursday evening, alter (he first lull session of talks with Chou and before the state banquet the Chinese Premier is giving in the prime ministers honor that evening. Prece- dent suggests Mr. Trudeau's meeting with the Chinese leader, whose hand he shook during his visit here in 1960. will last about 90 minutes. It will not be a negotiating session as such, but an opportunity lor a broad and informal discourse which, if the chairman runs true to form, will touch on everything from current world problems to philosophical and cultural matters. Mr. Trudeau is also like- ly to meet Chiang Ching, the chairman's wife. Unlike her 79-year-old hus- band, the 59-year-old Madame Mao appears frequently in public, and is likely to be the prime minister's consort when he attends a revolutionary ballet in the Great Hall on Friday night. The ballet the prime minister will see. The Red Detachment of Women, is Madame Mao's pride and joy. The story of a slave girl who flees a landlord and joins a communist detachment that eventual- ly avenges her by ex- ecuting her persecutor, it is credited to Madame Muo. a former Shanghai actress who oversaw the revision of all operas and ballets during the Cultural Revolution. No announcement has been made here yet, but it seerns probable the prime minister will also use the occasion of a reception at the Canadian embassy to present the Canadian Medal of Bravery to each of two embassy staff Big potash sale made to Japan members who helped save the lile of an 11-year-old Chinese boy last winter. Margaret Cornish ol Toronto and Ann Dale Harris of Ottawa, learned recently that Governor- Generai Roland Michener had awarded the medal to them. The two girls went into Ihe frozen water of the Forbidden City moat to save the boy after his toboggan broke through the ice. When the communist party pa per. The Peoples Daily, picked up the story and praised the girls for their selflessness and heroism, they became ins- tant celebrities throughout China TORONTO ;