Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - October 15, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 - THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD - Thursday, October 15, 1970 EDITORIALS A Gleam Of Light One of the major reasons why the First Development Decade proved to be such a disappointment was restrictive trade. The rich nations made gestures of magnanimity but frustrated the developing countries by trade policies that did not really allow them to improve their economic position. A gleam of light was allowed to penetrate this situation recently when a special committee of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva reached agreement for the granting of preferential treatment by the affluent countries to the exports of the developing lands. This is something that the less - advanced countries have sought ever since the UN conference was established in 1964. Two hallowed rules on which world trade has long been built will be suspended if the agreement is ratified by the parliaments of the advanced countries. One is the most-favored-nation principle of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the 77-nation agency that supervises the world's commercial relations. This rule provides that a trade concession made by one trade partner to another must be extended to all. It was agreed that the rich nations should make no claim to the concessions that any of them extend to the poorer ones. There was also agreement that the industrialized nations should not ask for any concessions in return for those they make. Participants in the conference now must persuade their governments to agree to this enlightened accord. There have been indications that most countries will make certain exceptions and will attach escape clauses of one kind or another to avert being flooded with low-cost imports. Even with hedging of that sort, approval of the accord would be a major step forward in achieving real development of the poorer countries. It is to be hoped that Canada will vote approval speedily and wholeheartedly. Husseins Half Victory Reports from Amman indicate that King Hussein's win over the Palestinian guerrillas has forced the commando factions to make an attempt at consolidation. Even though the King has had to recognize them as a viable political entity in Jordan and to make concessions indicating that he would give them a share in his foreign policy decision the army has gained more from the bloody showdown than most analysts believed at first. Last week, the leader of one of the most extreme guerrilla groups, Nayef Hawatmeh of the Popular Democratic Front, said that taking on the Jordanian army in conventional warfare had been a mistake. And another radical group, George Habbash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has called for unification of the fragmented movement. The army destroyed several forti-fied commando strongholds, and the guerrillas have been forced to "share" the power in Irbid, and other liberated areas which they had sworn never to give up even after the ceasefire. For the time being King Hussein is still in the driver's seat, making the decisions with only token participation by guerrilia leaders. They are now attempting what looks like an impossible task - unifying the various factions all over the Arab world under one leadership with a common policy. If it has accomplished nothing else, the Jordanian civil war has given the guerrillas the old lesson in "divided we fall" and allowed Hussein a breathing spell but no one is counting on how long it will last. Realpolitik Those who disapprove of the U.S. decision to increase heavy arms shipment to Greece because of the repressive nature of the Greek government have a point. The reasons given by the U.S. that the "government in Athens is not so dictatorial now" and that 'the trend towards a constitutional order is established" are by no means sound. They are excuses, not reasons. The plain fact is that the strategic position of Greece makes it an all important link in NATO defence and as everyone knows, one weak link imperils the whole chain. The realities of politics has made strengthening Greek military defences necessary. Governments can no longer afford to ostracize those countries whose regimes are undemocratic. Spain, for instance, is not a member of NATO because several European NATO members object to General Franco's dictatorship. The United States doesn't like Franco's ideas on government either. But realpolitik makes it essential that military bases be maintained there at enormous cost to the Americans, over the objections of many Spaniards, but with the approval of Franco and to the advantage of the Spanish economy. Anachronisms are the warp of the political cloth. Birth Rate Controversy The preliminary reports of the 1970 U.S. census suggest that the demographers were too high in their predictions. A sigh of relief has gone up that warnings of over population can be disregarded. Typical of the "glee" over this evidence of the "bogus" nature of the warnings of doom is an editorial that appeared recently in "Church News" a publication of the Mormon church. It made use of material by a Dr. Thomas C. Jermann who has said that there is no need to fear over population in the foreseeable future because birth rates are going down. A table of birth rates from 1957 to 1968 is included showing a steady decline from 25.3 to 17.4. The conclusion is reached that "the facts, amassed by serious researchers, completely burst the bubbles of writers who so widely advocate birth control and abortion." This sort of argument has been met by Paul R. Ehrlich and John P. Hol-dren in an article in Saturday Review. They point out that the Monthly Vital Statistics Reports of the U.S. Public Health Service show a bottoming of the birth rate in late 1968 or early 1969, and a subsequent and continuing increase. This they say, should come as no surprise to those familiar with the age structure of the population. The low birth rates of the middle 1960s were due in part to the small number of women in the reproductive years - the relatively scarce wartime babies. The subsequent boom babies are just now moving into their peak reproductive years. In comparison to many other countries of the world the U.S. is not over populated. But this is not necessarily the case if the matter of consumption of goods and foodstuffs is considered. A voracious appetite exists in the U.S. which is being satisfied by reaching out beyond its borders. The truth is that the country cannot support its present population at the present standard of living, as is clear from the serious energy shortage now being experienced. The situation in other parts of the world gives much less cause for optimism. Doubts have begun to be expressed again about the optimistic forecasts of being able to avert famine. The "Green Revolution" may not be the answer it at first seemed to be. And it certainly won't be if it deludes people into thinking birth control can be ignored. Green revolution rhetoric has resulted in a serious falling off in the number of contraceptive loop insertions and sterilizations in India, for instance, but availability of food per person has really not improved. Drought or plant disease could end all optimism regarding increased productivity through miracle seeds. History affords the frightening example of Ireland where the population multiplied phenomenally as a result of the carrying capacity made possible through the introduction of the Irish potato. When disease infected the crop the result was the Irish famine of the 1840s when two million people starved to death and two million more emigrated leaving four million in abject poverty. It is a dangerous delusion to dis- Joseph Kraft Nixon Hooked On War In Vietnam? WASHINGTON - The presi-dent's Vietnam peace proposals are not a case of playing politics with the war. That purpose could have been better served by an acceleration in troop withdrawals. On the contrary, and sad to relate, the peace offer reinforces the impression that Mr. Nixon has become hooked on the war. Except in the doubtful case that his tdugh terms are accepted by the other side, the country can look forward to continuing conflict in Southeast Asia with no good exit for American forces. Circumstances had put the president in magnificent position to make a truly generous offer last week. Militarily, the Communists are at low ebb. The Cambodian operations have taken their toll, and the rainy season which is now ending has cut down re-supply efforts- In addition, public opinion on the war has become quiescent, both here and abroad. The other side cannot believe that pressure from an enraged populace is soon going to force the president to make a soft peace. Nor can the war lovers in this country successfully oppose a compromise settlement. What the president actually offered was not without interest. The rhetoric of his speech was mild, and presumably Ambassador David Bruce has new latitude in secret talks at the Paris negotiations. For the statement was full of significant omissions plainly designed to generate further diplomatic activity. The p r e s i dent indicated readiness to negotiate a "timetable" for complete withdrawal of American troops without specifying what kind of troop withdrawals the North Vietnamese would be expected to make - and in what fashion. His call for a ceasefire was ambiguous as to whether the "What's The Bag Limit?" Letters To The Editor Kaiser Resources Reclamation Program The feature on the Kaiser Resources Reclamation Program that appeared in your issue of September 17th has just come to my attention. In fairness to your readers the impressions given by this item should be corrected. As I have been privileged to observe the progress of reclamation in the Crows-nest during the past two years and to p 1 a y some part in the development of the techniques employed I believe I can fairly comment. At UBC we are engaged in an active program of research into industrial land reclamation throughout B.C. Your group seems to have been surprisingly misinformed as to the ecological background to the program currently in hand and the background of the people involved. This is surprising as I had answered queries in this regard prior to the visit, describing in general terms the work done, in hand, and proposed, the problems recognized and the qualifications of the people involved. I also suggested that the Reclamation Supervisor Mr. Seiner, he contacted. If this had been done then I am confident the misinformation would have been avoided. Mr. Seiner is a forester and applied ecologist with impeccable professional credentials. He is the most experienced man working in mined land reclamation and rehabilitation in Canada. His formal professional education extends to a total of twelve years, including two spent here at UBC where he researched the specific rec-clamation problems of the Crowsnest. He has eight years of prior field experience m mined land reclamation and has worked at Natal for two yeai-s. The achievements of the rehabilitation program at Natal can be simply expressed in terms of the areas reclaimed this season. In round figures during 1970 some 600 acres have been successfully seeded to grass by hydroseeding, a similar area by hand seeding and some 150 acres by helicopter. Additionally some 150 acres are now being planted1 to trees. Other sowings made in 1969 are now well established. This is a not inconsiderable accomplishment for a reclamation program in its first year of field scale operation. The technical achievements are considerable, for prior to this work no reclamation and indeed little routine planting had been undertaken under the conditions that prevail in the Crowsnest Pass. The research of the past two years has provided the basis for this work. The Kaiser operation is noteworthy in b e i n g the first reclamation undertaking in either Canada or the United States to be instituted at the outset of the niining operation. It is encouraging that, under the impetus of the new provincial mining regulations, this is rapidly becoming the norm in the B.C. mining industry. Detailed ecological appraisals and evaluations have been made of the new mining areas. Mr. Seiner's thesis includes just such an over-all ecological assessment of site conditions prior to mining. I personally, based on not inconsiderable experience of re-vegetation of difficult sites in various parts of the world, am satisfied that revegetation of the new mine sites is practicable. But clearly this work cannot be undertaken while active mining is still in progress and it is only now that the first areas are becoming available for reclamation that treatments can be applied. Pending the reclamation of the new open pit areas, activities have centred on the socially important rehabilitation of the old mining scene. Many of your readers will know the blight that is Natal-Michel. This is rapidly disappearing. This work is extending up the scarred hillsides and particu- Gun-Happy Hunters tion on the basis of statistics unrelated to other relevant factors. And there is a certain callousness about an emphasis on the unborn in competition with the already born which is difficult to comprehend, The pheasant season opened with a bang - before daylight. Gone was the wonderful reprieve of last year's cancelled hunting. We thought in that time hunters may have learned respect "for private property but it seems some still don't read. When I seo a car-load of mature men with glasses, get out _of-a -car- and-delmeraieJJ_^Alk_ past a "No Trespassing" sign with gun in hand, it irks me. Perhaps the new Grade 1 course of "Reading for Comprehension" should be compulsory for all hunters. For many years some hunt- ers have abused their privileges making farmers suspicious of all machinery and farm equipment which are too expensive to risk bullet holes. Hence the signs for protection. Honest, 1 a w-abiding hunters know they have no right hunting near a farm dwelling. Others should know. If "foreign" nimrods want to "VTSi^tiUl" choice ictiiua, let-ureuV- abide by the laws made to protect us all. No resident should have to patrol his land to, keep gun-happy hunters away. MILDRED HARKER. Magrath, larly on the site of the major slide of two years ago. Considerable portions of this are now revegetating, including the highest points above the valley floor. The plants are still small and may not be readily visible to the casual observer. Nevertheless the change is already apparent to the trained eye and will be clearly visible during the next two seasons. An extensive system of 61 check dams has been constructed to control gully erosion. It is unfortunate that your party did not visit the nursery,, for if they had they would have seen the well stocked beds of tree seedlings that are being raised for planting out. None of the nursery is being given over to grass trials as reported by you. Mr. Seiner had identified local seed sources of suitable species for use in reclamation planting and seed collections are being made from these for propagation in the nursery. As to Kaiser's alleged lack of support for research I can only assume that you must be referring to research at the University of Lethbridge. In fact Kaiser Resources approached the University of Lethbridge in early 1968 for advice on mined land reclamation, and was referred to the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. This, of course, was well before environmental quality became a popular issue. Subsequently Kaiser Resources has provided a research fellowship at UBC that is in its third year and also a class prize, and has provided support in grants, student support and facilities to an extent that might conservatively be valued at $20-$25 thousand a year. This support continues and has triggered a major research program in industrial ecology in the Faculty of Forestry. Currently there are six students working on thesis researches that deal with aspects of mine reclamation, four of which are directly concerned with the problems of the east. Kootenays. In one Ph.D. study, planting trials have been set out throughout the newly mined areas at the highest elevations and under the most extreme conditions. Mr. Seiner's own thesis is entitled "The reclamation of surface mined coal lands in the Crowsnest Region of British Columbia." As to the natural colonization of long abandoned mine sites: W h i le as reclaimers we cer-J.ainly__xlo__not_ :mej^y^rjeMdiL gard would be dispelled by a field excursion with Mr. Seiner. While it would be quite incorrect to suggest that all, or even most of the problems have been resolved, I believe that any unbiased observer cannot fail but be impressed by the degree of success that has been obtained in the Crowsnest reclamation program to date. I have no reason to doubt but that this progress will continue. It is perhaps unfortunate that public preoccupation with Kaiser's activities is detracting from the recognition of the efforts of other mining companies in developing reclamation methodologies and the demonstration of the practicality of revegetation. While Kaiser, as the first in the field, is furthest advanced in its field program, Cominco's agricultural scientists are making significant contributions at the Fording coal holdings, while throughout B.C. mining companies are steadily increasing the corpus of knowledge. Hard rock metallic mines can now show successful establishment of vegetation on waste rock piles that are considerably more inhospitable than any coal mine dumps. While reclamation is still in its infancy in Western Canada it is desirable that the justly concerned public be correctly informed of the truly significant work now in hand. J. V. THIROGOOD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia. other side would be allowed to replace present forces, and to keep up, on the spot, what it thinks of as political activities. Had proposals with such loopholes been put forward secretly, the Communist negotiators would surely have nibbled and explored. And maybe they still will. But the great bulk of the Nixon proposals are very forbidding to the other side. His central position is the virtual opposite of the Com-; munist proposals. Where they-*" want political change in Saigon followed by an easing of conflict, he wants to stop the conflict first. Such an arrangement would by itself work to reinforce the present regime in Saigon which the other side, as its principal objective, wants to unseat. And it does not help to call the Communist proposals "paten tly unreasonable" and "totally unacceptable." Moreover, the reference to international supervision of the ceasefire is bound to go poorly in Hanoi which had bad experience with such provisions. The prisoner proposal, since Hanoi regards our men as war criminals and does not even acknowledge that its own men have been captured, will look like pure posturing for internal consumption- And the intense publicity given the proposals makes it hard for the other side to nibble discreetly. Indeed, the advance buildup practically invited the slurs made the other day in Paris by the Communist negotiators. A pressing question, accordingly, is why did the president deliberately put his proposals forward with maximum public exposure. Perhaps for political reasons. Republican candidates may benefit marginally from the peace emphasis. And some critics of the war who unthinkingly embraced a ceasefire have had their guns spiked. But my impression is that President Nixon, like President Johnson before him, is not nearly as opportunistic about the war as imagined by his apologists. My impression is that he believes in the purposes for which the war was originally fought. All his public utterances, in fact, suggest that he regards a settlement that gave the other side a chance to win out in the end as a disaster. Set against that perspective, the significant thing about the peace initiative is that it buys yet more time for the present policy. An accelerated troop withdrawal - which is implicit in the improved military situation and which some Republicans have called for as the truly interesting political bonanza - is postponed while the peace intiative holds the floor. The president can now go on withdrawing troops at today's petty pace. In the bargain, the president uses the electoral, backdrop to show the other side that he can win popular acclaim even for a tough offer. Maybe North Vietnam has come to the end of its rope. Maybe Hanoi will pick up Mr. Nixon's gambit. And in that case his tactics will have succeeded magnificently- But if the other side spurns the president, then this country is in a fix. We are stuck, for several years anyhow, with a large presence in a far-off war actively supported by few people. We have yet to bite the bullet of what happens when American forces are wound down to the point where a remnant becomes vulnerable to enemy attack. If the president cannot bring himself to make the generous offer now when the going is good, it is hard to see how he will ever accept a genuine compromise. So the president's proposal leaves me with the sad feeling that there has been wasted an opportunity not apt to come back soon again. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) LOOKING BACKWARD THROUGH THE HERALD 1920 - The price of sugar has been fixed at not more than 21 cents a pound. The order remains effective until the' end of the year. 1930 - The Northern Construction Company and W. J. Stewart of Vancouver have been awarded the contract to construct the superstructure of the Lethbridge elevator. 1940 - London is counting its dead and surveying the damage of the worst German raid in 40-.days. 1950 - The RCAF has launched a new air training program designed to provide 600 trained pilots a year in order to have a pool of qualified fliers in the event of war. Veteran pilots will be given a refresher course of 40 hours. i960 - The Cuban government has nationalized all banks except the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Nova Scotia. The government also nationalized 392 companies including several American-owned. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD., Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905 - 1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Class Mall Registration No 0012 __Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Dally Newspaper___ over the slow progression of natural succession the fact 's that throughout the east Kootenays, and elsewhere there are many sites where recoloniza-tion has occurred or is in progress. Any doubts la this i-e� Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau of Circulations CLEO W. MOWERS, Editor and Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager jOE BALUA WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY F. MILES DOUGLAS K. WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Page Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"