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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 LETHBRIDGS HERALD Friday, October 1t, 1974 {EDITORIALS Secrecy dangerous Government armed forces policy o By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator Secrecy may be necessary when governments are involved in sensitive financial negotiations. There is always the risk that beneficial projects may be jeopardized by early open knowledge of plans and there is ever the danger of in- dividuals using that knowledge for per- sonal gain at public expense. Nevertheless, uneasiness over closed meetings and the guarding of informa- tion about their outcome is increasing. The recently issued Churchill Forest In- dustries inquiry report has certainly fed the feeling of uneasiness.. It would be difficult to imagine a more prolonged veiling of what was actually happening than took place, in Manitoba. There is, for example, the almost incredible fact that when the present Conservative leader, Sidney Spivak, became industry and commerce minister in charge of the. Manitoba Development Fund in 1966 he was not told about the unusual nature of the loan to the Monoca group. And that kind of secrecy prevailed for several years. 'The trust vested in the largely un- known people comprising the Monoca group reveals a naivety that does not build confidence in secretive government dealing. That an advisory group of businessmen appears to have sanctioned the trust further un- dermines public confidence in the machinery whereby governments sup- posedly protect the public interest. More openness, about government financial dealing, for all the risks it in- volves, might well prove less risky in the long run than the procedures now being followed. It could be easier on reputations and on taxpayers. Albertans can only hope that their government's bombshell purchase of Pacific Western Airline really didn't require wider scrutiny than it received. OTTAWA The contribu- tion of the. Minister of National Defence to the debate on the Address was both unusual and mysterious. It is common enough for Ministers, faced with troublesome questions in the House of Commons, to assure critics that the public utterances of officials, when properly interpreted, are in line with government'policy. Mr. Richardson's purpose was apparently the opposite; to demonstrate that government policy is in line wi'th statements of the chief -of defence staff and Rear. Ad- miral D.S. Bowie of Maritime Command.; The position of these high officers is that present defence tasks cannot be ade- quately performed with reduced forces. It is, of course, for the Government to assign roles to the services. As General-Dextraze recently observed: "The Government may decide to eliminate some of our tasks, and that is the Government's prerogative." In view of indications, in- 'eluding reported comments of the Minister himself, that the forces will feel the impact of a tougher budgetary policy in Ottawa, the statements of senior .officers naturally suggested that Mr. Richardson was at odds with his leading advisers. In his on Tuesday the Minister denied that there was any such rift. He accepts the implications of the Dex- traze statement. "As well as improving our and I have' in-, dicated we want to do that, we must reduce some of the com- mitments entrusted to the armed forces if we are to re- %duce numbers. That is why I am speaking tonight so it will be quite clear. 'General Dextraze and 1 agree that the armed forces are now over- tasked .and reduction in numbers inevitably means some reduction in tasks." Unfortunately, .what may be clear in Mr. Richardson's mind is not at all clear in his speech, which appeared to have very little to do with the conclusion. Nor was the matter helped much by replies to some very direct questions on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Minister dealt in his ad- dress with "the four, essen- tial, central tasks of national defence." He began with peacekeeping, noting that he plans in the near future to visit Canadian troops in Cyprus. It is obvious that this role has increased in impor- tance; we have doubled the number of personnel on that island (on the understanding' that this is a "temporary com- and have also become involved once again in the 'Middle East. Mr. Richardson is deeply com- mitted to this role; he spoke, indeed, of a new era when there may be "more men in uniform committed to preserving peace than there are men in uniform com- mitted to war." In the circumstances, this would seejn an inappropriate time for paring the resources available for the peace- keeping task. But the first and "central responsibility" is "nothing, less than to defend Canadian Election polls While elections are still on everybody's mind (aren't it's .a good time to look at one of the side results of the elec- tion in Britain. In that country, as elsewhere, there has been some concern that pre-election have an effect on an election itself. At first it was thoughtthey produced a bandwagon effect for the party declared by the polls to be in the lead. The February elections, in which Labor won although it was behind in the polls, then led to the contrary supposition that they had tended to favor the underdog by 'spurring people to vote who might have stayed at home or by changing some minds. In the recent British election the Louis Harris organization conducted an ex- periment, in conjunction with the .London School of Economics, which has ten- tatively found no connection between opinion polls and_ total turnout and no evidence that the polls had an effect on vote switching. -They did find that Liberals, forming Britain's third rank- ing party, were the most sensitive, hav- ing a tendency to turn out to vote if their party was doing well. These findings, even though they com- prise only the first stage of the Harris in- quiry into the effect of public opinion polls, should defuse the alarms of those who wish to see such polls outlawed dur- ing election campaigns. Robert Stanfield has made this suggestion: Nevertheless, it would be interesting to see some research on this subject in Canada, not with a view to the possible banning of such polls, which is not only undemocratic but but to help the general public assess them more objectively. and to remind the voting citizen that, regardless of pre conceived advertising, campaign claims and public exposure for candidates, the only poll which really counts is the one held on election day. Voters are still independent, as Lethbridge has just been reminded. ERIC NICOL Restraint in moderation only To do battle against inflation, Prime Minister Trudeau has issued the command: we must all, each and every one of us, exer- cise restraint. To learn something about the proper exer- cise of restraint I talked to one of the newly appointed coaches of Restrained Canada, an agency of the federal department of revenue. "Canadians are in terrible condition as said Dr. Klaus Nein. "Ninety per cent of them never exercise their restraint at all. If they put aside the temptation to buy something, they display shortness of breath, and their eyes bug out." "You recommend that people have a men- tal check up before they begin your program of exercising restraint." "We do. It can be quite dangerous for a middle aged man, for instance, who has in- dulged every acquisitive whim for most of his adult life, suddenly to start vigorous exer- cise of his restraint. He may suffer throm- bosis of the wallet, with a massive discharge of credit cards. His budgetary system can go into shock, and he has to spend the rest of his life in an extended care unit for pinchfists." Dr. Nein led me into a room equipped with apparatus to strengthen the will power of the Canadian consumer. The air was pungent with the smell of trainees putting a brake on spending. "We recommend that a person starts gradually, exercising restraint" he said. "For example, this man here is rejecting the impulse to buy an elephant. The 'salesman7 working with him has given him an attractive price on a low mileage pachyderm. But the chances of the man's yielding are slight par- ticularly as he already owns an elephant" We moved to where another man, in golfer's garb, stood in a small sand trap, gaz- ing at a new set of golf clubs in an expensive leather bag, extended by the steel arm of a machine. Beads of perspiration stood out on the golfer's forehead. Said Dr. Nein: "This is more advanced, exercise of restraint.The golfer wants the new golf clubs very much, but each time he touches the bag the machine throws sand in his face." While he spoke, the golfer reached for the golf bag. The machine threw sand in his face. Dr. Nein shook his head. "A tough he said.1 "Some of the students are just too far gone to qualify for a graduate degree of restraint, which requires proof of ability to say 'No' to buying a new automobile, a power boat, a sirloin steak." "Hey, rasped a fat lady sweating out exposure to a flyer of drug specials. "You look like you could use some Gatorade." "No soft cautioned Dr. Nein. "Sugary pop foods create cavities in the self control." We walked past an elderly gentleman who was being punished by attendants who had found a cheque book hidden in his jockey shorts. The elderly gentleman was required to write a letter cancelling his subscription to Playgirl. It was a sight to move strong men to tears. I asked, "do you know when a trainee is ready for assignment to, Mr. Trudeau's crack corps preparing the assault against "When he can run up a heap of bills without over heating the said Dr. Nein. "This does not mean, however, that we want people overtrained, in exercise of restraint. The last thing the government needs is a con- sumer so muscle-bound that he is unable to put his hand into his pocket" Restraint Nothing in excess, including moderation. Can you hack it soldier? "Personally, I can't see where they get the idea the armed forces are short-handed." New middle countries display power By Joseph Kraft, syndicated commentator WASHINGTON The do or die character has gone out of the travels which Secretary of State Kissinger resumed this week. For Presi- dent Ford does not need the big dramatic deal with Moscow or in the Middle East which Mr. Nixon hoped would beat impeachment. On the contrary, the 'test now is whether DK Kissinger can get unhooked from political diplomacy long enough to develop what Presi- dent Ford really does need. .That, as the recent lurches on oil imports and grain exports indicate, is a coherent foreign economic policy. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Jane Whipple article "Why would I subscribe to a Canadian magazine at the bottom of tire eighth, one ort, and the tying nra on second in the World I read the article in The Herald, Weekend magazine Oct. 5 on Mrs. Jane .Whipple, with interest and I think a photograph would have been kinder. Perhaps Mrs. Whipple is the last of a breed. During my writings I have interview- ed many oidtimers who came to this country when it took guts and fortitude to with stand the many trials and tribulations. They had their wit and they were individuals, characters which I have ad- mired. There is another side to Mrs. Whipple which could have been written. While working at the Fort Macleod Museum Mrs. Whipple would often come in and play the chickeiing piano which had been owned by her grand- mother. As she played "Tamie" and other songs, it was something to bear as her little hands touched the keys so delicately. On other oc- casions she played the piano in my home entertaining Uie grandchildren and us and snowing great affection for them Another day. I sat in her porch looking out at the fall trees that surround her home. The rain was falling gently and Mrs. Whipple looked in the glass reflecting her face and she said, "I bate my Well the older I get the more I hate looking in the mirror too. Bat it was an inci- dent I shaii always remember. That day with my back turned to her, she recited a favorite autumn poem. Her voice was well modulated and whenever I see the autumn colors I will remember how she brought them to life. She can be very entertaining and witty. Ask her how old she is, and she will say, "I am a day older than I was yesterday." There's nothing the matter with that answer. She loves the animals and keeps them around her. She watched them graze and learns their many, everyday habits. She doesn't need the money, what she with it when her time comes is her secret I admire and respect the oidtimers who cut the first furrows of these lands. IRENE McCAUGHERTY Fort Macleod What happens if he doesn't In retrospect, what stands out from the final, frenzied diplomacy of the Nixon ad- ministration is its go for broke quality. Mr. Nixon went to the Middle East on a mis- sion of peace when virtually nothing had been settled between Arabs and Israelis. He took arms control negotiation to the summit in Moscow while the Russians were embarked on a mam- moth arms build up. Those trips were justified only by the need to make Watergate go away. Nothing much has changed on the spot The Israelis and Arabs are not talking to each other on such vital matters as the nature of a peace. The Russian missile build up goes on apace. So the best Dr. Kissinger can bring back from his trip to the Middle East this week, and to Russia later in the month, is a framework for continued negotiations. But while stalemate has subordinated the possibilities of political diplomacy, events have been forcing economic issues to the top of the world's agenda. As Fred Bergston of the Brookings Institution and others have pointed out there has recently emerged a new middle class of "have'" countries. The group includes some countries with rapidly ex- panding markets (such as Brazil) and others with new industrial capacity such as Taiwan and Korea. But the most obvious members are the producers of basic com- modities. The most dramatic expression of the power of the new middle class is the four- fold rise in. oil prices man- dated by the producing countries over the past year. The self assertion of the new middle class has had serious consequences for many other countries. A score of other underdeveloped countries led by India have been reduced to basket case status by the huge new bills for energy. Italy and many in- dustrialized countries have been reduced to beggar status. The few countries not directly affected by the rise of the new international middle class have to reorder their economic relations with the rest of the world. .The United States is in a good'position to lead the way. 'This country has markets to which the new middle class would like to have access. The United States is also rich in many of the commodities now soaring in value especially food. Given these assets there is not much doubt about the basic elements of an American strategy. The country first needs by conservation, by stockpiling, and by licensing of exports to organize its bargaining position in the world economy. The next requirement is for an understanding with the other major industrial powers on a joint approach to the new middle class countries. Finally, there would be a deal whereby the old haves would open their markets to the new haves in return for pledges of responsible behavior towards the basket cases and beggars of the economic world. But putting all this together takes steady concentration on foreign economic policy. There has been no such concentration for the past six years. Which is why President Ford was obliged to careen from a crisis on oil imports two weeks ago to one last week on grain exports. independence and sovereign- ty." The Trudeau Government has always given this 'first priority and of late (especially in the course of the election) has accorded it even greater emphasis. Mr. Richardson acknowledged this in passing, observing that the Minister of Fisheries had lately spoken in glowing terms of the assistance received from the forces in foreign vessels. The third task (but second in priority) is participation with the United States in the air defence of North America. The Minister called', this a "vital duty" which involves some of our most highlyt train- ed personnel, using some of our best equipment. We would suffer a loss of sovereignty and warned, if we had to rely, on the Americans to locate and iden- tify aircraft in our .This leaves the fourth task; that of playing a useful, and important part in. the NATO alliance in .accordance with our commitment to collective security. As regards this role, Mr. Richardson had 'already stated his position in response to a question from.a Conser- vative member, Mike Forrestal. "Europe1'', he said flatly, "is not being con- sidered in our present thinking as being .an area where we would Tiake cuts." From this dareful recital it would appear that the roles are as important or more im- portant than ever. What tasks, 'then, are to be For, as Mr. Richardson.said; "All of our costs... have risen so substantially that we are really riot able to carry out all the tasks even within the increased budget under which we are operating year." The Minister, contending that taxpayers get more than double benefit for the defence dollar, went on to speak in glowing terms ,of the other contributions of the armed services. He made a per- suasive case but not one to suggest that the answer to the problem is to be found in this -'direction. The elite force in the making will dot presumably be a less skilled force and it will not dispense with search and rescue when, as Mr. Richardson says, it would then ,be necessary to create such a capability. On Wednesday, in answer to another critic, the Minister said that he did not have in contemplation "any drastic reductions." It was a matter of'common sense adjustments affecting most of the tasks. Considering the build-up, this seems remarkably vague. There has been talk of a very considerable force reduction and the it would appear, have to be major to counter the inroads of inflation, at the current rate and to free the funds Mr. Richardson re- quires if he is to-devote a higher percentage! of his budget to new capital equip- ment and operations. There is also the fact that the forces have already been through the major adjustment of a three year freeze. The Minister did not touch on another comment of General Dextraze in his September letter to the forces. "But I know that there is no fat left; indeed, we may have cut too near the bone in some areas. And so my position is that, un- less we eliminate a major commitment, we cannot possibly do our job with few people." Thus the justification of the new policy remains obscure. It is possible that Mr. Richardson was a reluctant advocate in the 'House because, with the new emphasis on financial restraint he is under heavy pressure in cabinet In any case, the argument is neither clear nor, one would think, reassuring. Somehow shrink- ing forces are to become more effective in roles adjusted bat unchanged. The critics plainly are unimpressed; nor are they likely to be when no hint is forthcoming as to the nature of the adjustments. The Uthbridge Herald reh St S. LWJNbtWge, Mbnta LETHBfOOOE HERALD CO. LTD. PwprWws Second Caws HUD JtegjUWfflon No. OD12 CtEO MOWERS. and PriHWwr Managing Edflor ROY F. MILES ROBERT M. fEMTOK Clfwrtalton Manager KEWMETH E. 8ARMET? Business Manager HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH" DOUGLAS K. WALKER ;