Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, S.pt.mber 5, 1974 Abolish the oath Another look at the proposal of the Law Reform Commission of Canada to abolish the oath at trials is certainly in order. The rejection of the idea two years ago by lawyers was probably due more to an emotional resistance to tampering with tradition than to any detection of reasonable defect in the suggestion. Perhaps by now the good sense of the proposal will have commended itself to the lawyers. Many lawyers must surely experience some discomfort from having to defend clients whom they must often suspect of not being sincere in the taking of the oath to tell the truth. They have to know from experience that the chances of clients lying after taking the oath are high. Do not lawyers thus themselves become tainted by association in the charade? A solemn admonition by the judge to tell the truth has to be a gain over a mumbled oath by the accused. It would retain the element of ritualism without the taint of hypocrisy. Everyone should feel better about that, especially religious persons whose sensibilities are offended by also associating God with the suspect procedure. Another gain would be the elimination of the necessity of taking the oath on the Bible. The Bible which is taken as an internal authority by members of the Jewish and Christian communities is not thereby necessarily considered to be an external authority in the sense implied when used in court. To be relieved of having to subscribe to such a notion would be appreciated by many with- sophisticated understanding of the Bible. Crime in the U.S.S.R. Crime is declining in the U.S.S.R., according to Alexei Flerovsky in an article in Soviet Union Today. The percentage of very grave crimes murders, rape, assault and battery, burglary, and the like has been steadily dropping over the years of Soviet power. The number of repeated offences is also decreasing, he trumpets. By way of explaining this happy state of affairs-the writer states that the basic causes engendering and nurturing crime unemployment, child homelessness and sharply differing living standards among various categories of the population have been done away with. Another factor "is socialist society's moral climate, the Soviet people's intolerance of any manifestations of parasitism." A recent issue of Time magazine contains a piece at sharp variance with the Soviet writer's views. It says that the Russians are having a serious crime problem. The evidence is to be found in growing press and administrative campaigns against juvenile delinquency, illegal firearms, bribery and graft; in the long waiting list of Muscovites wanting to subscribe to a a month electronic anti-burglar system that links apartments to local militia stations; in the beefing up of voluntary public order squads; and in the increasing severity of punishment. Both these views are doubtless biased; the truth about the crime situation is probably to be found somewhere between them. It seems plausible that a highly organized state such as the U.S.S.R. would manage to keep the crime rate lower than a permissive society such as the U.S. But it also seems reasonable to interpret the evidence noted by the Time writer as indicative of a condition not so rosy as the Soviet writer paints it. RUSSELL BAKER Boys, eats and presidents WASHINGTON President Ford is a cat man and has sons. These facts have been overlooked by the political analysts, although nothing else we know about him tells more precisely what a radical departure he is from the main line of modern presidents. The modern style in presidents has run to daughters and dogs, and while there is nothing wrong with daughters or dogs it is, nevertheless, a fact that daughters-and-dogs men perceive the world quite differently from cats-and-sons men. We are dealing with what the Nixon people called "in- put." The input of daughters and dogs is loyalty and affec- tion. Sons and cats, on the other hand, surround a man with reality. Without being dogmatic about this. I suggest that a sons-and-cats president is better off than a daughters- and-dogs president, simply because of the nature of the presidency. As president, a man automatically acquires more loyalty and affection than is good for him; the added bonus from dogs and daughters merely gives him an excess of riches. The reality introduced into his life by cats and sons is likelier to give him a more balanced view of life, for everything else about the presidency conspires to in- sulate the great man from reality. It is arguable, for example, that we might have been spared the worst of the Viet- nam adventure if any of our previous three presidents had had growing sons in the White House. Instead, we had a run of presidents with loyal, affec- tionate daughters. Richard Nixon with two daughters. Lyndon Johnson with two. John Kennedy with one. Kennedy also had a baby son. of course, but he was not of an age to inform his father how the people he went around with felt about making war in Asia. Both Johnson and Nixon were denied the wisdom that might have flowed from hav- ing a draft-age son who had to decide whether he was moral- ly bound to go to war, prison or Canada. Both were denied intelligence reports on the state of the nation's youth which sons might have filtered through the insulation surrounding the White House. And so both became warlike old men sending young men to die while agonizing publicly about their own sufferings. Sons might have saved them. Why have sons been in such short supply in recent presidencies? Since Roosevelt there have been only two in the White House young John Kennedy and John Eisenhower, who was an army officer while his father was president. His father, it may or may not be interesting to observe, was the least bellicose of the five presidents between Roosevelt and Ford. There is material here for pop psychologists. Do presidents without sons have to be warlike to establish their machismo? Do politicians who have sons become too humbled by the experience those middle-aged defeats at Indian wrestling, those failures to stamp the paternal character on its rightful heir to pursue the presidency with sufficient zest? Dogs, of course, are as firm- ly entrenched in political life as the campaign pledge. Famous political dogs of the modern era include Roosevelt's Fala. those beagles Lyndon Johnson pick- ed up by the ears, Nixon's Checkers (deceased before his and King Timahoe. In American politics it is sound practise to Jove dogs, whether you Jove them or not, for the dog vote has almost as much clout at the polls as the gun lobby. The problem with dogs, if you are president, is that dogs don't criticize. Dogs are always agreeing with you, which is precisely what presidents do not require. They already have too many persons agreeing with them, and the motives of these per- sons are similar to the motives of the dogs. Dogs, like politicians, realize that a dog that disagrees with his boss doesn't stay around very long. Humans expect dogs to agree with them. This is why so many people keep dogs. Dogs are famous for agreeability. and most of us are desperate most of the time in our need to be agreed with. So we acquire dogs, and the dogs sit around with their tongues out pretending to smile and showing us in every possible way what splendid people we are. Cats will not do this. Cats have too much dignity. When a man does something foolish, no cat will hang his tongue out in a loving smile and tell the man he is a'splendid fellow. The cat simply looks at the man with contempt, demands to be fed. then tells the man to get out of the armchair because he. the cat, wants to lie down there, and goes to sleep. Cats, in fact, behave this way even when a man does something noble. A man who keeps a cat is constantly reminded that gratitude is short-lived, that the important things in life are regular meals and periodic bouts of love, and that in the end. no matter how well things seem to be going, there will always be cat hairs on your blue suit. A president willing to sub- ject himself to this kind of wisdom is preferable to one who prefers constantly being agreed with by dogs. Ford may weather very well. The giveaway By Doug Walker At the McKillop United Church family camp late in August it was arranged that mothers with children under eight years would stay with their youngsters while mothers with older children would get a break and have a cabin to themselves The privileged ladies were. Elspeth Walker. Peggy MacKay, Connie GoodaH, Mary dimming and Dons Bessie These ladies were somewhat discomfitted wnen their domicile began to be referred to as "the old ladies' cabin." They were understandably pleased when our Judi decided that she was too old to be housed with the teen-aged girls and moved into the aforementioned cabin. "That brings our average age down to 33." Elspetfi an- nounced triumphantly But Mary Cumming cast serious doubt on that figure when she let it slip that she remembered singing a campfire song 40 years before when she was at a CGIT camp "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be culled the children of God. Matthew MSfiK. HILARION CAPUWI Ominous Mid-East mood By Joseph Fitchett, London Observer commentator BEIRUT The Arabs and Israelis look as if they are about to talk themselves out of a Middle East peace. Stri- dent mutual accusations and hardening negotiating stances have drowned out the restrained tone of voice both sides used in public when Dr. Kissinger was on the scene here last spring. Active military preparations have started, too the informed view here sees no cause for im- mediate alarm about another round of fighting. Israel's call up exercise, armoured manoeuvres and crash rear- mament program are design- ed primarily to rebuild Israeli morale and reassure public opinion that the traumatic Arab gains at the start of the October war can never be repeated. Syria has put some units on permanent alert and suggested reviving tactical military co ordination with Cairo. Yet President Hafez Assad continues to promote pragmatic minded men in the military command and in the government who appear eager for Syria to get on with reconstruction and economic development. More ominous than these developments is the emerging collective pessimism and feel- ing of insecurity left from the summer round of indirect negotiations, called con- sultations, among Arab and Israeli leaders who have seen Dr. Kissinger in recent weeks. Arab leaders fear President Ford will be overmatched by the Iraeli leadership a fear shared by former President Nixon, according to Republican Congressmen briefed by Nixon hours before his resignation speech. As confidence evaporates, Arab leaders have started pressing for firm new promises from American administration. Syria's Foreign Minister Abdul Halim Khaddam sought a commitment in writing from Washington about further Israeli withdrawals on the Golan Heights, where Syrian refugees are still cut off from their fields by the dis- engagement lines. A more serious threat to the industrial countries came from Saudi Arabia. A reluc- tant oil warrior, King Faisal has been campaigning to bring down oil prices and stabilize the supply outlook. Now he has suspended his efforts until political settlement prospects harden. Significantly, it was the Saudi foreign minister who. extracted the news of the return of Kissinger to the Mid- dle East in October. Has Kissinger got a key for deadlock? The most likely for- mula seems a combined Israeli pullback in Sinai and along the Jordan river. Israeli opinion is prepared for a Sinai withdrawal, which would bring Egyptian concessions for openers a pledge of Suez Cana! passage for Israel bound shipping. But any rollback of the West Bank occupation raises tac- tical and ideological problems for Israel, and Arab opinion rightly views it as an acid test of Israeli intentions and American determination. Premier Yitzhak Rabin has committed himself to a national referendum before any withdrawal in occupied Judea and Samaria. Jordanian disengagement raises dissension in the Arab camp, too. The United States has apparently convinced President Sadat that only Jordan stands any chance of negotiating on territory with Israel at this stage. The Palestine Liberation Organization, recognized by the last Arab summit as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians, adamant- ly opposes any restoration of King Hussein's authority to Palestinian territory. Sadat, who suddenly sounds defensive about his own policies, is trying to coax the PLO to Cairo for talks with himself and President Assad. But PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, himself a moderate, has bowed to pressure from hardline Palestinian groups and rejected the invitation un- til Sadat publically retracts last month's Egyptian Jorda- nian communique recognizing Hussein's right to represent West Bank Palestinians. Israel's recent mass arrests in Jerusalem and the' West Bank directed at the Palestine National Front, a PLO linked organization which seeks a Palestinian hardly reassured Arab opinion about Israeli intentions. The only chance for a breakthrough would appear to lie in American guarantees of eventual self determination for Palestinians, after tem- porary Jordanian custody of certain West Bank enclaves, and a decision by the forthcoming Arab summit conference to impose this approach on the PLO. THE CASSEROLE The president of the Animal Protection In- stitute of America says a 55 mile per hour speed limit across the U.S. could save the lives of 100 million animals annually. That's about 15 per cent of the total number of animals kilJed on the highways each year. Frederick A. Laker, the British aviation mavenck. plans to nit transatlantic air fares drastically by getting back to the basics. His airline will provide just what passengers now gel on a bus; no nieaJs, drinks or films, no fancy compartments, no reservations, just transportation from here to there. And that's what tney'H pay for Come to think of it, ail travel was like Uiat a few years ago. Trains took days to cross the country, and only the rich had sleepers or ate in the dining car. So it ran be done. aH right vehicle. GM will accede to pressure from Washington and raise prices "only" by an average per vehicle. That's a mere 89 per cent of the original hike, and, if that's how "rolling back prices" works. Ottawa may be right in saying it wouldn't be worth while to empower the Prices Review Board to do it. There are several interesting things to wonder about, now that Hie Nixon era is over. One of them is the present whereabouts of the executive who persuaded Standard Oil to change ttie name of its U.S. marketing outlet from Esso to Exxon Pradhoe Bay, maybe? The bakery chains are raising the price of bread again; they claim that rising costs leave them no alternative. This time they'd better not blame it on the farmer, or on the price of wheat. According to the U.S. depart- ment of agriculture, the last time they raised the price of a one pound loaf by two cents, the farm value of the wheat used for flour in that same loaf had dropped from 6.4 cents to 4.5 cents. And even Eugene Wbelan can't claim that U.S. wheat prices are much different from ours, or that their bread con- tains a different proportion of floor. "GM rolls back price hikes" cries the headline. Underneath, the article reports that instead of the announced increase of J300 per The director general of the World Health Organization predicts the world will be total- ly free from smallpox by next year. W.H.O. began a determined smallpox eradication campaign in 1967 and, despite a set-back in 3973. is confident that 1975 will see the final end of this once terrible scourge Letters Indian National Army Several times The Herald reporters and commentators tend to write about or com- ment on issues about which they know next to nothing. One such case of bad reporting is evident from an item under The Casserole August 21. I fail to understand what the commentator was trying to convey by referring to the granting of war pensions to veterans of the Indian National Army. It is apparent that the writer of that column does not know anything about the background of the Indian National Army. The Indian National Army was organized during The Second War by a great In- dian national leader (Subhash Chandra Mr. Bose was a popular leader of India and was loved by the masses to the extent that he was the only leader nicknamed as Thee Leader (Neta When it became apparent that the British were not going to leave India by peaceful means, Mr. Bose went to Europe and the Far East to organize the Indian soldiers fighting for the British. These soldiers along with prisoners of war in Germany and Japan listened to the call for freedom of their motherland and joined the Indian National Army. The army was organized by three generals: Sehgal (a Hin- Dhillon (a and Shahniwaz (a Thus, the Indian National Army represented a unity of all the people of India in their com- mon struggle against the British. I feel that more than anything else it was the heroic struggle of this army which convinced the British that they could no longer hold on to India. Toward the end of the war all the members of the Indian National Army were arrested by the British and brought to India. They were tortured in prisons which created a great deal of ill will among the masses. After the war was over there was a strong protest movement aimed at getting these patriots freed. I remember one day that there was a procession of protestors passing by our school (I was in Grade 8 at the Though the head master of the school had lock- ed the doors so that the pupils would not participate in the procession, most of us jumped over the walls of the school and joined the procession. Ultimately the British had to give in to the public sentiment and release all the members of the Indian National Army. Now, if the Indian govern- ment has decided to grant war pensions to veterans; I do not understand what the commen- tator wanted the Indian government to forget. Did he want the government to forget about the heroic struggle of the veterans who were denied their pensions by the British for deserting the army and many of whom were injured and crippled not only in war but also through the atrocities of the British rulers? Yes, the Indian government has forgiven and forgotten about all the oppression and atrocities of the British rulers. That is why there is no ill will in India against the British people and the two countries enjoy cordial and friendly relations. It cannot be expected to forget the role of its heroes. There is a saying in Persian which goes something like this "Semi trained doctor is a threat to life. And a semi trained priest is a threat to faith." After reading the com- ments of your commentator I am forced to add to the above saying the following "A semi trained journalist is a threat to international harmony." SANTOKH S. ANANT University of Lethbridge Editor's note: The casserole item was intended to be com- plimentary of the Indian government's action. The British, who governed India at the time of the formation of the Indian National Army also acted generously in their treatment of the "mutineers." Government oil policy I challenge you to print this letter in Southern Alberta. Alberta has been a heavy OIL producer and exporter for many years. The price of OIL was set by the world market, largely by foreign nations where it could be produced in huge quantities at low costs. The Alberta OIL producers, even though their costs were higher, had to take the world price. Then a year ago the world price doubled and tripled and more, and with it the com- petitive value of Alberta OIL. With production costs only nominally higher, this increase in value represented a huge windfall for the Alberta OIL producers. The governments of Alberta and Canada then intervened on behalf of the consumers. They imposed new taxes and royalties and price ceilings, so the Canadian people would not be stuck with paying the full windfall (unearned) profits to the OIL producers. Now re read the above, substituting the word sugar for OIL. Why should not government policy on sugar be the same as on OIL? SWEET TOOTH Calgary New sidewalk laid Months ago a lady came to my door to sign a petition to get a sidewalk laid on 12 St. A. N., from 3 Ave. to 2 Ave., up to Centre Village Mall. I gladly signed and whether it was due to the petition or the pity, I very happily walked on a sidewalk recently not having to worry about huge tran- sports, or car traffic and mud. The elderly who walk this route also, I am sure, are eter- nally grateful. H. SHIRONT Lethbridge Golfers abuse boaters On September 1. my family and I rented a row boat from Henderson Lake Rentals, and had in mind the privilege of utilizing a segment of our public recreation. While row- ing toward the south portion of the lake, we were verbally abused by several golfers, and someone who appeared to be a grounds keeper of the Henderson Golf Course. My point is this: What is the purpose of establishing a recreation area which cannot be enjoyed. If these golfers cannot play their game any better than this, either move Henderson Lake or the Henderson Lake Golf Course. CARL J. TETZLAFF Lethbridge The Lethbridge Herald SMTItiSI S HERALD CO LTD Proprietor PuWWwrs Second daw Man Registration No 0092 C4LEO MOWERS. DONH PILLING Managing Editor ROY F vm.es DONALD R DORAM General Manager DOUGLAS K WALKER l Page Ednor ROBERT M FEKTOM taxation Manager XEWWETH E 8ARMETT Business Manager "THE HERAUTSERVES THE SOUTH"