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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE IETHMIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September 5, 1973 I'lMIOKIALS Rising foreign takeovers worry U.S. Middle East cauldron The ever-turbulent Middle East is probably on the verge of yet another upheaval of some soil. This cauldron, simmering now for a relatively long period, has begun to show signs of coming to a boil again. Threats have been made to pres- sure the United States into weakening its support of Israel. The heavy de- pendency of the U.S. on Middle'East oil makes it easy to contemplate ex- erting this kind of pressure. Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Qadhafi hos begun the takeover of U.S. oil firms in his country, accompanied by ex- treme anti-American statements.In- dications, too, are that Saudi Arabia's King Faisal is prepared to use his country's vital oil supplies to try to force policy concessions from the U.S. The U.S. reaction to this situation has been twofold. In the first in- stance there has been a much-needed intensification of diplomatic ac- tivity. Following the designation of Henry A. Kissinger as secretary of state and his news conference statement that the Middle East is one area in which new departures in policy might be necessary, came the nomination of James E. Akins as the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The ambassador-designate is a recog- nized expert on the world petroleum market who takes a serious view of Arab threats to use oil to pressure the U.S. In another move, the U.S. has given a blatant sign that it does not intend to tolerate any attempted sabotage of its Middle East oil supply should diplomatic moves fail. U.S. forces have been openly training in the sum- mer heat of the California desert. Ob- viously it is intended that the leaders in the Middle East should take note and be warned. Meanwhile a grotesque arms race is going on in the Middle East. In a kind of Alice-in-wondeiiand situation, the U.S. is supplying arms to some of the very nations whose policies could prove inimical to U.S. purposes Through the complicated maze of political manoeuvring taking place in the Middle East, United Nations Gen- eral-Secretary Kurt Waldheim has re- cently sought to make his way on a peace mission. William R. Frye. a correspondent based at UN headquar- ters in New York, reports that UN diplomats are pinning a surprising degree of hope in this mssion. They apparently think there is a growing desire ior a peace move in the Middle East which will not be jeopardized by Palestinian guerrilla groups now that their strength and influence has perceptively waned. Much as one would like to believe this is true, the overt indications are that it is a forlorn hope. The odds are still great that a military showdown will eventually take place and that the Big Powers might not sit by, as in the past, content to supply arms onlv. RUSSELL BAKER On the go The important thing in America is to go. It doesn't matter where you go, but it is better if you go a long distance. It is particularly good if you go but don't know where you're going. Guitar players will -write songs about you. and there will be a general feeling in the country that you are a poet Young people should go at least three times in the summer and once during each of fhe other three seasons, preferably in Volkswagen buses with curtains on the "win- dows, in airplanes or by hitchhiking. Singles should go in sports cars. So should couples who are living together but not married, unless they wear jeans or ov- eralls, in which case they should in Volkswagen buses with curtains on the win- dows. Married people with children should go in station wagons. Businessmen and politicians should go In airplanes and never check their luggage. Cowards should go in trains and ships People who like to feel cuddled deep in the centre of a great cone Ci should go on motorcycles, and wear sunglasses. Ricn people who start drinking be.ore lunch and have skin that looks as if st might be on loan from an alligator suitcase should go in their private boats. Presidents of the United States should go in personal four-engine jets, yachts, helicopters, limousines and golf carts When they get there, they should issue a press release. To go is not only an infinitive, but also the most American act it is possible to perform. Nothing is more American than A good go. Going is the one thing which, if subtracted from American life, would leave America stranger and more repug- nant to Americans than the subtraction of any other one thing be it democracy, salesmanship, consumption, violence, opti- mism, bribery, capitalism or hamburger. Going is the only thing an American can do wilJiout making a lot of other Americans angry. Columbus was a go-er. So were Lewis and Clark. Thomas Wolfe, hearing those train whis- tles in the night, made the whole soutn want to go, and Woody Guthrie would go out to Oregon and write a song about "it faster than a pioneer would go to Louisi- ana with his banjo on his knee. Jack Kerouac loved to go. "Go said Greely. Go-getters with plenty of get-up and go got up and went fcr the pure love of going and setting, and because it was the one thing every Ameri- can approved of. because every American, lookinj at go-getters getting up and going, felt wonderful about being part of a coun- try that was oo the go. What explains the visceral appeal of those two savage guttural vowel noises, go-go? It is because the oldtimers did 'DC- first big go across the Atlantic were followed by the middle timers who did the long go across the cauntry who were followed by the good timers nodding in ecstasies or sensuous surrender to Henry's seductive Fords, and we still feel all those memories in our Mood. Hit fhe drum, burp the electric guitar, start the hips jiggling, pectorals rippling, shout and, man. Get out the car. Down to the airport. Up on the motor-bike. Untie the boat. Blood humming those go-go songs. By the time get to Phoenix you'll be leaving on a jet plane to get your kicks on Route 66 and fly me to the moan so we can shuffle off to Buffalo on the Chattanooga Choo-choo. Go-go, go-go. Don't ask where. Buy the insurance. Collision, personal liability, life, mutilation, luggage theft, loss of a leg, loss of an arm, loss of a tire. When you go-go, you go because you think there has to be something better up ahea-1, just has to be more fun in the next town, but all the same you wouldn't dare bet against having a disaster on the way there. The kind of insurance you need thev don't sell. This is insurance against the ul- timate disaster, which is that (1) not only is there not going to be more fun in the next town, nor any other town; nor, is there going to be anything better anywhere along the go-go-miles you intend to traverse in the next two weeks, but also (3) there is not even going to be any next town, nor anything whatsoever up ahead. The probabilities of these disasters are rising, as more and more of the places up ahead become identical to the place we thought we just left behind, as the next town turns on: to be just another inter- change on the interstate. I do not think this will stop Americans from going for another generation or two. For that long, motion alone may satisfy the need in the blood. And in the meantime, somebody may invent an eco- nomical, styrene, easy-to-install new place that can be taken out of the car trunk and erected at officially approved sites after every 500 miles of gcing. More counsellors needed By A. P. Smith, local writer By Frank Butter, Herald Washington commentator It is a fact that our courts are suffering from overloading and are understaffed. The provincial court judges are almost at the point where they cannot hope to cope the number of cases before them "in any week, and are helped by the so- cial agencies, such as the John Hward Society, The Salvation Army and provin- cial welfare, to mention a few. For the person who is to be tried, the Sal- vation Army supplies a correctional officer can and does assist in many ways by counselling, advice and the means of communication between the court and pris- oner. However, the case load is again so large that he cannot possibly cover it all. Provincial welfare cannot be expected to continue to carry the number of cases it does. As an example, seme social work- ers have as many as 100 cases in their files Time does not allow for one person to carry this many people and give each one more than quick service. A large percentage of the cases before the courts involve alcohol in some way. The provincial government now supplies a counsellor for court and outside wore, however again he is overloaded with work. I don't pretend to have an answer to this problem, but do feel that more trained peo- ple could be found to fill the gap. The law students of the university started a service for those who are in need and can't afford to pay. This is a slep in the right direction and might be applied throughout the field cf social work. WASHINGTON In a novel twist to a tale familial' to Cana- dians, some Americans are get- ting upset about rising foreign investment in the U.S. econ- omy. Canadian investment in the U.S. is valued at more than three and a half billion dollars and a government-inspired bid to boost it is one of the causes of American resentment. The current instability of the U.S. economy has been the ma- jor factor in complaints about foreign takeovers, proposed takeovers and capital in- vestments. One congressman has already proposed legislation limiting foreign investment and a sena- tor is considering a bill to pre- vent foreign governments or their agencies from acquiring U.S. corporations. The spark for the latter is the bid by the Canada Development Corporation, a government agency, to lake over Texasgulf Corporation, a bid now before the U.S. courts where it has bsen vigorously opposed. One of the opponents is Sena- tor Lloyd M. Bentsen, a Tsxas Democrat. Bentsan is chairman of the senate financial markets subcommittee whirl) will hold hearings next month on the im- pact of institutional investors on the U.S. stock markets. A spokesman for Bentsen said the senator will decide after the hearings whether to introduce legislation to ban takeovers by foreign governments or their entities. "He is thinking specifically of Texasgulf and the Canadian De- velopment the spokesman said. Depressed stock prices and currency fluctuations are en- couraging the foreign investor to snap up U.S. company shares. An official of the U.S. com- merce department said foreign investment in the U.S. has been rising substantially. The increase in value of for- eign investment in the U.S. economy rose seven hundred million dollars last year, ha said. Of this, Canadian investment accounted for two hundred and ssventy three million dollars. A further breakdown shows that of the 1972 Canadian total, one hundred and fifty million dollars was reinvested earnings and one hundred and twenty three million dollars was nsw money used to acquire or estab- lish U.S. companies or shares in them. TMs was a substantial in- crease from the previous year when the new investment was eighty five million dollars of which only some six million went on actually acquiring or seiting up companies. The rein- vestment of earnings in 1971 "Hey Pop! How come we Set so many Canadian teams into the Textile industry's foreign invasion By Dian Cohen, syndicated commentator Bruck Mills is one of Can- ada's "big ten" textile manu- facturers. Bruck employs 1.600 people and sells million worth of man-made fabrics and knits each year. Until two weeks ago, it was owned by two Montreal broth- ers, Gerald and Robert Bruck. Today it is owned by two for- eign giants the Toyoba Com- pany of Osaka, which already owns 29 other textile manufac- turing mills, and Marubeni Cor- poration of Japan, a bil- lion multinational trading com- pany and the third largest shareholder in Brinco. Ottawa's Foreign Investment Takeover Review Act has yet to be passed, but Gerald Bruck, president of Brack Mills, is sure this sale would have gone through even with the Act in effect. Letters Reply to Greenhorn I enjoyed reading the letter from Small-Town Greenhorn, and since there were questions therein addressed to me I would like to reply. All the questions posed in that letter deserve an answer, but to do so requires jumping to conclu- sions an exercise I prefer to avoid. First, concerning the matter of funds: this study, ai least as much as we have done, has been made possible by a Uni- versity of Lethbridga research grant in the sum of SI ,400. That money is usad exclusively to cover expenses such as those for printing, transportation, and student salaries. Two fac- ulty members, Dr. B. Bilgin and I, supply the study with our time and experience. The question concerning a change in attitudes of people living in small centres is fairly easy to answer. About four years ago, for a period of three months and a distance of miles (at my own I travelled through the major part of Alberta inquiring about the conditions in small commu- nities. Most of the informants seemingly lacked commit- ment and acted lethargic when it came to the matter of sup- porting and maintaining small towns and villages. Our expe- riences this summer indicate that the situation has definite- ly changed, at laast in South- ern Alberta. Questions numbered three, four, five and ssven in Green- horn's letier must be slighted. They require a complete inter- pretation of material not fully collected and an explanation of geographical, social and econ- omic conditions affscting a large bcdy of people distri- buted within a sizable expanse of land. Greenhorn has suggest- ed answers in his letter, but, as mentioned earlier, I prefer not to jump to conclusions. I realize that events move faster and faster with each passing day, bin, really, one year's time is not too much to put into this study. The topic is se- rious enough to require ongo- ing investigation fcr you and I are intimately involved. One major issue remains that of finding a government grant to enable Greenhorn, I assume, to study us. This seems a noble proposal and I for one pledge my full co- operation. Unfortunately. I can claim no expertise in manipu- lating government offers at any level local, provincial, or federal. If Greenhorn does ob- tain a grant of any substance, I request that he contact me without delay. There are many more things to study than sug- gested in his letter. Some of them may even ba worthwhile. FRANK J. JANKUNIS Nobleford. A refugee? With reference to. a news item in The Herald (August "Mayor Harry Veiner propos- may I ask Mayor Veiner raw can a Palestinian Arab hs. a refugee in his own country? Lethbridge J. S. BRIGGS "I am firmly convinced that this is A very good thing for the industry and for says Brack. "There is no ques- tion that the Japanese have not bought control of our company to sea it stand still. It is def- going to be expanded and it's going to be very, very big." The department of industry, trade and commerce set up the initial appointments between Marubeni and Bruck. "Maru- contacted both Ottawa and Quebec City about a year and a half ago in search of invest- ment say Brack. After the initial contact was made, neither Ottawa nor Que- bec City had any further in- volvement in the deal. Officials at both the Ottawa and Quebec City department of trade and commerce say they knew about the sale when they read it in the newspapers. Bruck says his family de- cided to sell the business be- cause he has convinced for some time that a company has to be far bigger than Bruck Mills to forge ahead to- day. "For the last century, the textile business moved very slowly in technological innova- tion compared to other indus- tries. But in the last decade, there have been tremendous technological and they are all extremely costly to install." Bruck says liis company doesn't have that kind of mon- ey, despite the fact that it has recently invested heavily in new equipment, using some government money that was supposed to keep the industry competitive. Indeed, while Brack1 has been an extremely profitable mill in the past, business in the last two years has been dismal. Partly as a result of a disas- trous strike, Bruck shows a million loss in the first six months of this year. "The Japanese are buying and building textile plants all over North America. They feel that textile manufacturing ac- tivities in Japan have reached a plateau. Now they say that if they don't export their technol- ogy and seed it in different ports of the world, it will die. Tha Japanese also that they are becoming high cost producers in terms of their neighbors. So it makes to come to North America v.-nere we don't appear to be quite as high cost as we used to." Bruck and Ms brother intend to stay on as president and ex- ecutive vice-president. The new Japanese will send over two or thres people to be executive assistants, and have already sent a team of techni- cal consultants into the mills to begin the process of reorgani- zation. "Although there will be no apparent change at head of- fice, I'm sure that there will be tremendous changes in produc- tion in the Bruck says. Japanese are primarily interested in seeing the com- pany make money. Marubeni doesn't think Japanese, it thinks world-wide. There is no question that Brack is going to ba expanded, and that can only be good for the company, the industry and the country. We were looking for a situation with lots of clout. I think we've got one." Neither the federal nor the provincial governments have commented publicly on how they feel about the recent for- eign invasion of the textile in- dustry. Another large Canadian concern. Consolidated Textiles, was recently acquired by the huge British firm Carrington- Viyella Ltd. The three-year old federal textile policy was designed to ensure that the Canadian in- dustry would become interna- tionally competitive. It may be that the best way to achieve this end is through joint ven- tures and foreign takeovers. But it would be nice to have a comment; from the depart- ment which is simultaneously sponsoring the Foreign Invest- ment Review Act and was set- ting up appointments for over- seas investors looking for pro- fitable ventures. was one hundred and thirty-se- ven million dollars. Altogether Canada's "stake" in the U.S. economy amounted to three billion six hundred and twelve million dollars at Dec. 31 of 1S72. It was three billion three hun- dred and thirty-nine million at the end of 1971 and three billion one hundred and seventeen mil- lion at the end of 1970. Over-all foreign investment in the U.S. was valued at fourteen and a half billion dollars by the end of 1972. Canada is not the only coun- try rapidly increasing its U.S. holdings. The value cf foreign In- vestments altogether increased by ssven hundred million dol- lars last year. Japan accounted for one hundred and five mil- lion dollars in new investment. The Nixon administration offi- cially supports foreign in- vestment. For one tiling, it hslps the U.S. balance of pay- ments situation. One government official de- scribed the complaints about rising foreign intervention in the economy as ''way out of kil- ter." don't expect that kind of response when we are investing outside our he said. "We encourage foreign 'in- vestment and we expect to get However, the official was cautious about the CDC bid to grab Texasgulf. He would not an opinion on foreign government involvement in the U.S. economy. But Sen. Bentsen has no such reservations. He is firmly op- posed to any attempt by foreign governments to get involved in U.S. companies. Ban1 ssn testified in the court crsa. at Houston, Tex., in which the takeover is being contested on grounds that a Texas com- pany cannot be more than fifty par cent owned by foreigners or have more than half of its board of directors living outside the state, and that the CDC was engagad in a secret conspiracy to take over Texasgulf. The CDC has offered to buy ten million shares ef Texasgulf for two hundred and ninety mil- lion dollars to tabs control of the company. Eentsen's spokesman here said the senator believes that any such negotiations should be conducted between govern- ments, not privately. The spokesman said Bentsen is not opposed to private in- vestment in the U.S. although it was difficult to imagine ap- proval of a deal allowing Cana- dian investors to take over a U.S. newspaper chain or a na- tional magazine. The senator, he said, is quite aware of the feelings of Cana- dians about U.S. investments in their economy. Thare is also concern in the U.S., he said, about the possi- bility of large U.S. investments by the oil-rich Arab states. In seine cases this could involve Arab government money. Meanwhile, in House of Representatives, Congressman John H. Dent, a Pennsylvania Democrat, has already in- troduced a bill to restrict for- eim investment to thirty-five per cent of any U.S. company. Dent says his bill is not aimed at halting foreign in- vestment, but to prevent for- eigners from acquiring a con- trolling interest in any corpo- ration. Thare is also a move in Cali- fornia to get the state legisla- ture to approve a bill restric- ting foreign investment in banks. Foreign banking assets in California total five point three billion dollars, some of them Canadian investment. Among recent foreign bids for control of U.S. corporations is an offer of one hundred and twenty-live million by Mitsui and Co. Ltd. of Japan for fifcy per cent intarest in an alumi- num company, American Metal Climax. It is expected that foreign in- vestment will accelerate if U.S. stocks continue to decline. A government, official de- scribed the opposition to the sit- uaJon as ''minor" at present. He said that many Americans would probably resent firm mcasarss abroad to limit U.S. investment there. However, trade legislation being considered in congress could provide for some restric- tions, because administration officials have asked for the power to close "tax holiday" loopholes enjoyed by some U.S. companies and subsidiaries in countries which encourage them to locate there. The Lcthbridge Herald 5w 7th St. S., Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD LTD., Proprietors and PuMwtow Published 1905 -1954, by Hon. W. A. BUCHANAN Second Man No. 0012 Mtmbtr af Tht Canadian Prasi and the Canadian Dally PuMMwn' Association and Audit Bureau of CLEO W MOWERS, Editor anci Publisher THOMAS H. ADAMS, General Manager CON PILLIN6 WILLIAW HAY Managing Editor Associsie Editor ROY f. MILES eOUCLAi K. Mimjlf editorial Mttar -THE HWUU) SNVM THE ;