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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 4, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBHIDGE September Jobs in the food chain In the dispute over the price of eggs it may turn out that both Beryl Plumptre and Eugene Whelan are right. Mrs. Plumptre says eggs are unjustifiably high in price and Mr. Whelan contends that producers are not overpaid. The tact is that these are not contradictory ideas, since the price to the producer is but one of the many costs reflected in the retail price of eggs, or any other food product for that matter. this being so, perhaps it's time to take a long look at the production wholesal- ing processing distribution retailing chain to see if perhaps too many people are trying to earn a living off food. The past few years have seen a proliferation of convenience foods processed, ready-to-serve, instant, by whatever name they are called which have add- ed steps in the food chain and inevitably- increased the price of that food. The mere packaging of food has undergone many refinements which have added to the cost of the final product both in man- power and material. Advertising has proliferated as avenues of communication have increas- ed (even marketing boards now have public relations agencies) and the ul- timate charge for this service goes to the consumer. All of these intermediate costs have increased, some of them astronomically, in the past year or so. The cost of paper and plastic materials used in packaging and display has increased considerably. Wages have followed costs, or pushed them up the inflationary spiral. With the ever increasing number of people and increased amount of material involved in the production chain, it is not surprising that the food sector of the economy is the hardest hit by inflation. Perhaps it's time to work out a more direct link between producer and con- sumer. Perhaps it's time to ask seriously whether the food chain can support as many people as it now does, in an inflationary period, and still remain economically healthy at a fair price both to consumer and to producer. Pan Am andPWA With questions still being asked about the Alberta government's purchase of Pacific Western Airline, it is interesting to reflect on a situation in the United States where an airline does not want to sell but wishes a government subsidy instead. Pan American World Airways would like the U.S. government to sub- sidize it at the rate of million a month. There may seem to be an unfairness about comparing the two airlines since Pan Am is an international operation and PWA flies only domestic routes. Yet, in view of the talk that PWA might be useful in the future in furthering Alber- ta's trade abroad, the comparison might not be far-fetched. The S36 million the Alberta govern- ment paid for PWA is less than four months" of the subsidy requested by Pan Am an indication of the difference in the magnitude of the operations. But if PWA were to become an international carrier the future yearly operational costs of the airline might well dwarf the purchase price. Pan Am is in difficulties because of its huge investments in big planes, quadrupled fuel prices, high wages and reduced traffic as a result of the inflationary pinch on potential travellers. Some of these same pressures would be felt by PWA should it go inter- national. The chairman of Pan Am has pointed out that his company is not dealing with normal commercial competition. Nearly all of the world's international airlines are either owned by governments or are heavily subsidized as a matter of national policy. Thus the U.S. would be in step with other nations if Pan Am were to be subsidized, and the nation's prestige would be preserved. A strong criticism has already been voiced in the U.S. of the notion that Pan Am should be subsidized by government. National prestige, nebulous as it is, can- not surely depend on having an airline continue in unprofitable competition with other airlines. The suspicion is strong that there are too many inter- national airlines with consequent duplication of service and wastage of the earth's resources. Difficult as it is then to rationalize the subsidization of Pan Am, it is more dif- ficult to justify the Alberta government contemplating getting into the inter- national field with its airline. Canada already has an airline in competition internationally. If that one is possibly- redundant what could be said for the appearance of another one? THE CASSEROLE At tne insistence of the U.S. government, automakers devised an intricate interlock- ing seat-belt system that make motorists fasten their belts before their cars will start. All 1974 cars are so equipped. Now. attentive to the protests of their constituents. U.S. Congressmen have voted overwhelmingly 1339 to 49) to make this type of seat-belt tional on all future models. Experts say this will result in the speedy disappearance of the inter-locking belts except for the few million in 1974 cars whose owners aren't ex- actly crazv about them, either. An example of the latter is a recent Ed- monton bylaw requiring smoke detectors in all apaitments, hotels and institutional buildings. The legislation recognizes only those detectors that are acceptable to Underwriters' Laboratories Inc. But U.L.I., an American firm, does not test products made outside the U.S. so the nine Canadian firms that manufacture smoke detectors may as well forget Edmonton. Usually it is expected that authors of bylaws know what they're doing but now and then one is tempted to hope that they don't. Interested in free government land? There's still some left in Canada, and there's even a booklet that tells how to go about getting it. It's not a Canadian booklet, however, it's published and distributed by a real estate firm in Norman. Oklahoma. ERIC NICOL What's that again? A news story about the latest edition of The Encyclopedia Bntannica mentioned the entry on "Confusionism J was pretty sure that this was a typographical error, that what was meant was Confucianism On investigation, however I find that Confusionism is in fact a system of philosophy based on the teachings of the Roman Confusus 'A D Confusus taught that the world is a mess He believed that God Teated man while His mind was on something 'woman Arcoroing V> his the mirposc of Me is to mixed up The bewildered person is prison in closest tourh with who thinks V- understand1; the filiation on 'N- othfT hand is phaiii a si 7i rip f'nnfii'-ii'- did rii i manv follow in his own timr i how after hi- f V i rr jfc-mfr1 <3 n tb< of Roman Tidal jftfT of Confusiormm 4l-f .in of '7-inc with 1V- of i- "J of tboiu'W 1rrj' 'forb'-N -h i' ot orh is j' possibk 4o no A nothing -w hut i! to One 11 'V- ,r-j d i r i- of Conf'iyiomsrr. o'ir IIP-I' i; Bfrr, ird 'i.'jx r "jmr "I don't know." "Exactly. And you'll find you're feeling better, too." Confusionism is particularly adapted to today's politics. Philosophers who formerly related political institutions to Plato's Republic are now turning to Confusus" Shmozzle Tonfusus believed that all forms of government should be a Wend of anarchy and chaos with maybe a dash of vermouth He thai is not til! people try to make sense o) the democratic system that they develop a rotten headache. has found a militant dd-vocate in English actress Vanessa Fnck rurrently between plays in London's West End Vanessa campaigned vigorously during British elertion. claiming that the circumstances of the t" K represent onf'ivionism at its best Americans say that they are the Number One ronfused nation." savs Poppycork in Britain have a tradition of muddle that will endure long aftT and fare have to a of order Thi-. statement has been repudiated by elements of as being foherent They are very ready to label as rr'idiviu "my activity other than confusing p.jii of their anatomy willi d hole in the HT'nlTin 1? '.iew of this remarkable revival of the TonfuMoiiist philosophy, it is only fitting that TV Fnrydopfdia Bntannica should provide an tens' reference to it Confusingiy Europe's three powerful personalities By James Reston, New York Times commentator LONDON In the next phase of the development of Europe, much will depend on the personalities and political skill of the three leaders now in power Chancellor Schmidt in West Germany. President Giscard d'Estaing in France and Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Britain. AH three are governing with very narrow majorities. In fact all three have come to power by the accidents and odd twists of politics, and now face formidable political and economic problems. No three western leaders could be more different. Schmidt seems more direct and less complicated than the two others. He is no visionary like his predecessor, Willy Brandt, but a superb financial technician, and more enthusiastic about the unity of Europe than the others. Mainly, however, he concentrates on the problems of the day and the general economic disorder of the world, and like President Ford, he has the gift of plain speech, and of encouraging confidence. Giscard d'Estaing is the most interesting new personality in European politics. Like his friend Schmidt, he is a former finance minister with a determination ta keep Franco-German relations on a steady and trustful course. but personally they are quite different. Schmidt is a powerful, beefy man with a strong booming voice and the energy of a bull. Giscard d'Estaing is imperially slim and delicately handsome. He seems quite at home in the Elysee Palace almost as if he had stepped out of one of the vast gilt 18th- century picture frames in his elegant office. Wilson seems a bit withdrawn these days. Though he faces an election, probably on Oct. 3 or 10, he has been away in the Scilly Isles for a month and is just now returning to lead the campaign But he is leading now in a different way. He has not been intervening in the work of the departments as he did in his previous government. He has picked a stronger cabinet this time, and shared responsibility with them, and he hasn't even moved into the prime minister's official residence at number 10 Downing Street. Outwardly he is the same, with his inevitable pipe and his quiet but sharp digs at the opposition and the press, but he is now described as the captain and sometimes even as the trainer of his team rather than its governor. The difference between Britain on the one hand and France and West Germany on the other now is that Giscard d'Estaing and Schmidt have given their countries a sense of new leadership and new beginnings, whereas Britain is stuck with old and worsening problems and old familiar leaders. The American political system, which is supposed to be so rigid, came out of its latest political crisis with new leaders, but the British, facing the worst economic tangle since the Thirties, are now offered a choice between Wilson and Heath, who have been struggling with the nation's problems, not too successfully, for over a decade. Giscard d'Estaing in contrast, is an exciting new figure, a conservative who speaks like a visionary, loves literature, studies Flaubert and Maupassant, writes novels, and is as comfortable on television as Walter Cronkite. Though he was not expected to reach the presidency after the death of Pompidou, and is now trying to run the country with uncertain support, a trade deficit of 2.000 billion francs a month and almost 15 per cent inflation, he acts as if he had solid backing to introduce what amounts to a peaceful French revolution. He is trying to create a new political majority in the middle, bring women and youth into positions of power, and reform the social and industrial structure of what is essentially a very conservative country. He talks like Franklin Roosevelt, without Roosevelt's mammoth political support. He doesn't avoid the hard questions but confronts them. No need to be afraid of change, he says: The people fear it at first but accept it quite naturally after the issues have been voted. It will take some time to prove this is actually true. His anti-inflation measures include higher taxes especially on companies steep cuts in fuel consumption this coming winter, powerful credit squeeze and i bank rate up to a record of 1.' per cent. French bankruptcie: rose by 23 per cent in the firs six months of this year. Giscard d'Estaing talk: about all this, however, as i everything is manageable. It all depends on leadership both in home affairs and foreign affairs, he insists. If leaders are forcefu enough, and imaginativi enough, and if they lead with; certain "lyricism." he says, the people will begin to think in different ways abou change and unity. This word "lyricism" ir probably the key to his new administration. It is not the sort of word Ford, Schmidt or Wilson would use, but call i anything else style, class even charisma. Giscarc d'Estaing is introducing it a? a new element in European politics, at a time when rnos countries are out of politica class, and with this and hi; close jworking relations with Schmidt, he may. as he har promised, get France anc Europe moving again. Joey Smallwood on campaign trail once more By Richard Gwyn, syndicated commentator ST. JOHN'S. white Travco camper, self- contained with shower, stove, toilet and television set. rolls into the outports of Rod- dickton. Englee. St. Anthony, all clustered at New- foundland's northern tip, and then turns down the long, dus- ty coastal road through Port- Aux-Choix. Hawkes Bay. Sally Cove. It stops wherever people are gathered, at a store, a motel, a fish plant, a wharf. Out steps a figure from the past, de- manding to be invited back into the present. This person re-incarnated in the northern fog is. of course. Joey Smallwood. New- foundland's premier from 1949 to early 1972 and an accepted father of Confederation. He is planning to run again for the Liberal leadership from which he retired nearly three years ago. at the party's convention in October. To prepare for the LETTER campaign, Smallwood has made "visitations" to 200 communities in his Travco. He has mustered about him a platoon of old cronies plus newer recruits such as mining promoter John Doyle and millionaire broadcaster Geoff Stirling, each marching to his private drummer. The spectacle isn't absurd as such: Human will-power, whatever goal it is addressed to. carries its own conviction. Rather, it is sad and ignoble. A self-invented Newfie joke. My own views are not objec- tive. A few years ago I wrote a biography of Smallwood. The book recounted his mistakes, from money squandered to corruption tolerated, but described also his greatness, genius almost, compounded out of courage, passion and vision. Smallwood belongs to that small pantheon, smaller in Canada than in bolder countries, of politicians who have captured the imagination of a people, among contem- poraries his counterparts are John Diefenbaker. Rene Levesque and Pierre-Elliott Trudeau. In the book I wrote that Small wood's ultimate accom- plishment, much more than those he loves to list such as union with Canada, was to have created "A New- foundland that no longer needs him." to have transformed a society once so traumatized by poverty and failure that its people had lost all self- confidence, or initiative, or hope, into a people full of vi- tality and an awareness of their possibilities. During an interview last week Smallwood flung back that phrase at me. It was he said. "Pure, absolute, total rub- But the truth is that today Smallwood needs New- an escape from Independent candidates needed With the October elections jusl a matter of weeks away it is- good to see vwne people arc thinking of contesting nty council seats We hope the hospital and public .vhoo] board arc not overlook- ed for they too benefit from strong independent in all 1h< xr-rijorof the public better than Urn- Ix-cn g'ltmt' The question u. how to go about making changes Like even thing il will not be easy and i4 will not happen surfd' niv Mavhe instead of waiting in cec who comes people should be seek- ing out solid reliable citizens fnronrage them to enter W' would to f-'iplode the rrr lh Jh.jt in is reliable that have acquired a home. worked steady and raised a family would have the ex- perience and common sense needed to tackle any of these positions But there would be ple-ntT ol problems to over- come The firs] would be the -plitiing of the vote trick a really independent t hallenger comes along, often old line groups put up another independent lo split up the popular vote. TTien the well known established candidate wins again Next would be the problem of peopie who propose Anything different being branded as radicals or even Communist 'In recent years the public seem to be getting -Aise to this old ruse) Thirdly is tJie problem of a IniJy independent gelling his message across to the public. Most media support some old line party ideas and so are not kindly disposed to something different even on the local scene Then again these type of candidates may not be perfect speakers, some faults will show through, they will not have all the answers But the public will have to realize that only the professionals appeal to everyone, promise everything needed and Uien do nothing after election. At pre- sent things do not look too good For years past Ijelhbndge could have had emmets with different make wp if the public had been alert. Ix-t us hope changes arc on the way JIM BfRNBSS Ix-ttibridge the boredom of retirement and as an outlet for his unused energies and for his unfocused ego. Though nearly 74 years old. his health and zest for life belong to someone a quarter- century younger. Smallwood's compulsion to recapture power isn't sur- prising. Barely a year after leaving office he proposed to his successor. Ed Roberts, that he step aside and lead a "draft Smallwood" movement. The real puzzle is that he might succeed, his prospects for the leadership are at least even he won't run unless certain of victory, some of the province's best political observers believe he could even win an election. The explanation lies in the fact that SmallwoeW stamped not merely his personality but a unique personal style upon this province Since his going the link between governed and governing has been dis- connected The conservative government of Premier Frank Moores. dcspile imaginative acts such as the nationaliza- tion of the Churchill Falls Power, has alienated itself Irom ihe public The Liberal ieader. Ed Roberts. Com- mands intellectual brilliance but no personal following Conditioned to trust in sav- iors, who serve also as scape- goats when limes arc hard. Newfoundlanders today are seized by a political malaise. There is an undercurrent o undirected protest anc grievance. In the recen federal election, for example the New Democratic Party doubled its vote. There is talk of a leftist third party perhaps grouped around the powerful Fishermen's Union the regional New Labrador Party has elected one member. Among active politicians Smallwood alone command: attention and generates ex- citement. Out of power ant out of controversy he bar become a folk-monument memories of him quickenec by the fact that this year is the silver jubilee o Confederation. Monuments should stay on their pedestals. Smallwooc has no intention of doing so The unresolved question iy whether he will succeed He just might, if New foundlandcrs lose their nerve Iheir dignity and escape back into an image of themselver as dependent wards of political lather-figurc- Thc consequence ol thir would be more than jus- Smaliwood's resumption o power, an ancient mariner ou his time, it would mean also an admission by New foundlanders of their owr. political bankruptcy and Oie dismantling of Smallwood'r greatest accomplishment The letlibridge Herald S1 5 L'Wlhbridge Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO Pt'opnelors and Second Class Mail flogistulion No 0012 CtEO VOWERS Edrtor snd DON H fill ING DONALD DORAV General Manager POV f MILES POSEftT V fENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E 6ARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD'SERVES THE SOUTH" K WALKER f Paos ;