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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETH5RIDGE HERALD-Frlday, Pessimistic mood strong since election Surrender inevitable Labor Minister John Munro has appealed for "rationality" among all parties in the grain elevator dispute at Vancouver. What does he mean? Rationality by the grain handlers? Mr. Munro, Mr. Lang and Mr. Trudeau have promised them the Perry report, by legislation if not by management capitulation. They don't need to negotiate any further. All they have to do is wait and they'll get what they want. Rationality by the farmer-owned elevator companies? Is it rational to sub- mit to such an inflationary demand? Rationality by Dr. Perry? It is too late for that. What about rationality by the government, by Mr. Munro and Mr. Lang? Was it rational of them to close the door on further negotiation by promising the union the Perry report? Was it rational to indicate approval of the Perry report? More importantly, will the government be equally committed to conciliation or arbitration reports when they are not so outlandishly favorable to the unions? Would the government have been as fully committed to the Perry report in this case if it had been more moderate and had been accepted by management but not by labor? If the government is ready, by legislation, to force management to pay the Perry scale, what has it to say about the many times unions have defied similar legislation? However, all of the argument about responsibility is rhetorical. Getting the grain moving again is more important than standing on principle. The decision is up to the companies. They are beaten and they ought to admit it. The conse- quences of surrender might be far- reaching, but the responsibility is c'.early the government's. Birth control still needed The comment made Wednesday by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz was predictable following the failure of the Bucharest population conference to take any action of any importance on birth control. Mr. Butz, at a meeting preparing for a world food conference in Rome in November, said the days of huge United States food programs overseas are over and poor countries must do more to feed themselves. A good deal of the opposition to the world plan to curb population growth had political overtones. It was directed more against the U.S. than against the idea that populations need to be controlled. Such perverseness deserves to be rebuk- ed by a reminder that giveway programs are a poor basis on which to build op- timistic estimates of the numbers of peo- ple the world can accommodate. Theoretically, it may be true that a better distribution of the world's resources would make it possible for the earth to sustain the enormous population growth which is inevitable unless there is a determined effort to check it soon. Practically, the idea of the better dis- tribution may be just a dream. In the face of plenty of publicity about malnutrition and starvation in other parts of the world, North Americans show no signs of cutting down their con- sumption so as to be able to share their abundance with the needy. The pet pop- ulation, for instance, continues to grow. According to one pet supply magazine, Americans now own more than 600 million non-farm animals. It is es- timated that of the approximately 203 million tons of feed concentrates grown in the U.S. last year, 20 million tons went to the feeding of pets. Even more disturbing is the fact that this past year when fertilizer has been in short supply it has been the developing countries that have had to go without. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently es- timated the fertilizer shortfall in the developing countries this year to be two million tons. This will probably mean a loss in grain production of 20 million tons enough to sustain 100 million Asians or Africans for a year. The fertilizer actual- ly went where it did the least good. In North America where farmers have been applying nutrients liberally the produc- tion gains are limited in contrast to the results that can be gained by farmers in poor countries. Cruel and mocking as it is for people such as Mr. Butz to advise poor countries to do more to feed their people, it is equally cruel and foolish for others to argue against birth control in the hope that old distinctions between haves and have nots will soon change. THE CASSEROLE No one seriously disputes the Ghitter Report recommendation that the Alberta Li- quor Control Board should be retained, though Mr. Ghitter's rationale, that "it is hardly impressive. The same could be said for the guillotine, or even for Canada's homely old hangman's rope, for that matter. America because English tax levies are so severe. So students of such matters need only compare the British and American tax rates, convert from sterling to dollars, and they'll know the price of citizenship to this type of person. There isn't much to be said for inflation, but if it's any comfort to anyone, the money they don't have isn't worth as much as it used to be. The age-old question, "What price can now be answered. Ac- cording to show business columnists, several stars are emigrating from England to A farmer's wife made an inter- esting point on a radio discussion show the other day. Speaking of cattle prices received by the producer, the way they're docked for this and that, and such things as the 10 cents a pound differen- tial between steers and heifers, she asked if anyone had ever known the supermarket price of a steak or roast to be "docked" because of the grade or sex of the beast it came from. ERIC NICOL Out of touch with reality Bucharest was a mistake. The city should never have been chosen as the site for the world population conference, which just died there. Bucharest has. I understand, a great deal of old-world charm. For example the traffic moves, actually moves, during rush hours. Pedestrians stroll without needing to be on the alert for muggers, air pollution alarms or cabs mounting the pavement to snatch a fare. In short. Bucharest was no place to im- press delegates with the urgency of controll- ing population. The conference should have been held in: Downtown Tokyo or Downtown Manhattan the monsoon or