Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 12, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LETHBRIDQE Scptombtr Consider the facts The Cardston Municipal District coun- cil this week was told Magrath district farmers don't know where they will be delivering their grain after Jan. 1, 1975. That's puzzling to say the least. In all the mind-boggling complexities of this country's shakey grain handling system linked with the uncertain fate of several low density rural Canadian National and CP Rail branch lines, there is nothing the farmer can be surer of than that his country elevator delivery point will not disappear overnight. Those who say otherwise are not aware of the facts. It's true that Jan. 1, 1975 was eight years ago set as the date after which the Canadian Transport Commission would begin processing CN and CP applications that ask permission to abandon branch lines that can be proven unprofitable. If the processing of those railroad applications does begin Jan. 1, 1975 and there is considerable doubt about that in the light of statements emanating from politicians such as the minister in charge of the Canadian wheat board it could conceivably take years before final permission could be given for ac- tual abandonment. The CTC must investigate each branch line individually, examine railroad cost figures and compare them with its own figures, determine whether the line is indeed incapable of making money and look at ways the line might be made to turn a profit. The data which the railroads must supply to the CTC is so extensive it could be well into spring of 1975 before all the latest figures could be available since 1974 figures must be provided along with previous Hearings in the areas of lines proposed for abandonment must be held by the CTC. Local people will be able to prepare arguments and give their case. A CTC spokesman has informed a Herald reporter all this could take as long as four years before the first line is abandoned, if any are abandoned. To say as the Cardston MD council was also told, that CP Rail merely has to "get in touch with the transport commis- sion and ask them to deal with the applications that are already on file "is preposterous. Railroad branch lines play a vital role in our Southern Alberta economy. They transport grain from country elevators to export position. And any abandonment of any branch line must be seriously and fairly considered from social and economic angles. Opponents of branch line abandonment will be far more effective when their arguments are based on fact. They should understand that spreading misin- formation will do their cause much more harm than good. Opposition unjustified A real deficiency jn Lethbridge social services appeared on the way to being partially rectified until serious opposi- tion formed. A subsidized day care centre for parents unable to afford child care under the private day care system, could be in operation Oct. 1, if opposition can be overcome in time. Day care centres meet real needs in communities today. They have not been accepted easily, but once it was proven that parents are not abdicating their responsibilities, and that the centres are professionally run by responsible per- sons, they are usually accepted. The centre proposed for the Bridge Villa Estates will start with 20 children; it could easily accommodate five times that many. A facility to be used for day care must meet stringent health and building regulations, making it difficult to find a proper centre. The recreation hall at Bridge Villa meets the regulations, and is seldom used during the day by residents of the mobile home park. The owner who voluntarily built and main- tains the hall is fully in favor of using the building. Arguments against the day care centre, presented in a petition, are main- ly irrelevent; most could be ironed out by discussions with the park management. Other objections are less clearly presented and appear to arise from unfamiliarity with the day to day operations of child care centres. Lethbridge already has an unenviable reputation for turning down worthwhile social projects. It could do without another confirmation of it. Considering that the purpose of a day care centre is to give a woman a choice between working mainly in or outside of her home, sub- sidized care may make it possible to reduce the social assistance needed, with all of the resulting benefits. Hopefully then, forward looking people who oppos- ed the day care centre's establishment on the basis of misinformation will now actively encourage it. ART BUCHWALD The human engineer There is a new science in this country which is called human engineering. The ob- ject of human engineering, as I understand it, is 10 fit human beings into inhuman con- ditions. I made this discovery while riding on an airplane from New York to Washington the other day. Seated next to me was a man who was taking very careful measurements of the space between us and then writing it in a notebook. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was a human engineer, and it was his job to see how many more people he could squeeze on an airplane without doing perma- nent bodily harm to the passengers. "We used to have five seats across." he said proudly, "but we've managed to put another seat in each row. and as you can see we can now get six people across." "How on earth did you do I asked him. "We cut the centre aisle in half. The passengers have to walk sideways, but just think of what extra seats mean to the com- pany's payload." "Which. course, is all that you're worried about." "You can bet your sweet whistle on that." he said. "I'm very- concerned, though, that there still seems to be room between your knees and the seat in front of you." "Only about two inches." I said. "Well, if you take two inches away here and two inches away there, you can put another row of seals on the plane." "Then my knees should be flush against the .seat "Naturally, my dear boy. You can't expect Jegroom on such a short hop. One more thing f was wondering how you feel about a reclin- ing seat as opposed to a stationary one." "I prefer a reclining seat. It gives me a chance to rest a little." He started writing in his book: "Customer too tempted by reclining chair, so I strongly recommend stationary kind which will allow us two more rows in back." He looked at me. "You came on board with a package. What did you do with "I put it under my seat." He wrote again: "Customer can still get package under seat, which means we're wasting valuable space which could better be used for air freight." "You people really think of I said. "We try to." he replied, "but it's a tough struggle. There are a lot of people in the avia- tion business who are behind the times, and we have to show them that their best interests lie not with the passengers but with the stockholders. I'm having a devil of a time trying to get the company to remove the armrests." "You want to do away with the "Of course. If you did away with the armrests, everyone would be forced to sit closer together, and we could get eight people in a row. "Say. have you ever thought of putting peo- ple in the baggage rack I asked him. He studied it for a few moments, "it could be done, if we could fit them in horizontally." He made another note: "Check about stuff ing people into overhead baggage rack." "You covered all the I said in ad- Not quite." he said, staring at the Making an impression By Doug Walker Dr. Keith Robin conducted the service at McKiHop United Church one Sunday this -.ummer His sermon theme was family life. He made a lasting impression on our son Paul, unfortunately. One of Keith's quotations was that parents ;xjst to serve their children. Although he went on to explain this in such a way that it became more acceptable to parents, the damage was donp Paul seized on the quote and luned out. At least Keith can console himself that Paul remembered something he said. Lots of preachers suffer the fate of having people recall things they never said or, worse still perhaps, recollect nothing at all. Wasted resources By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator "Well old timer what do you think we should spend it on? A trip to Hawaii, a new car or two quarts of Democracy in trouble By James Reston, New York Times commentator DUBLIN A political jour- ney across Western Europe these days is a depressing and expensive business. Inflation has produced doubt and anxiety about the institutions of liberal democracy. Never since the last world war have the free nations been so dependent on one another so much at the mercy of events beyond their borders or at the same time so stubbornly nationalistic and preoccupied with their own internal struggles. Ireland is only the most dramatic and tragic symbol of this narrow and separatist mood. Geographically and economically, it is bound, north and south, and linked to Britain and Europe, but it is also separated by history and religion. And the crowning paradox: it is engaged in a religious war among unbelievers, tyrannized by a minority of extremists on both sides. Two powerful but contradictory forces seem to be in conflict in Europe today. Its old empires are gone. Separated one nation from another, it is weak. Divided within each nation, it is weaker still. But united, it has the people, brains, and resources to stand in the forefront of the coming age alongside the United States, Soviet Union, and the emerging power of China and Latin America., This, however, is not the way Europe is going today. Looking from west to east, Ireland is hating the British army in Ulster, but fearing that the withdrawal of that army for financial reasons in London, might lead to a disastrous civil war. Portugal is finally abolishing its African empire, but it is run by a weak and distracted government and confronted by a well organized Communist party. Spain is also trying to make the transition from the authoritarian government of Generalissimo Francisco Franco to a monarchy also opposed by a strong Communist party, which has kept its organization and discipline ever since the civil war of the Thirties. France, almost by accident and the shrewdness of Valery Giscard-d'Estaing, just missed a popular front government of socialists and Communists under Mitterand, but it will take all of Giscard d'Estaing's intelligence and style to establish the peaceful revolution of reform he has proclaimed. Italy is broke and in such a political tangle that even political leaders in West Germany and France now suggest that maybe a coalition government in Rome, including the Communists, might not be a bad thing. Greece has made such a mess of things that it has come to the verge of war with Turkey over Cyprus, and, like France, it has pulled its troops out of NATO. Meanwhile, Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, the stabilizing influence between East and West in the Balkans, is coming to the end of his days. The last of the old generation of the First World War leaders Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai in China; Franco in Spain; Chiang Kai-shek on Formosa: Haile Selassie in Ethiopia are all on their way out. Accordingly, the question is what the new leaders of the world Ford in Washington, Giscard d'Estaing in Paris. Chancellor Schmidt in Bonn, Tanaka in Japan, and Wilson or Heath in Britain, will do about this critical transitional period in world history. For the moment, they are doing very little about it. Like the Irish, they are preoccupied with the narrow and immediate political and economic problems at home, and the more they try to solve world problems by national political tactics, the deeper they get into trouble. Fortunately, in Europe there is another force at work in the universities, in the newspapers, and particularly among the rising young generation. The teachers, the reporters and the students are more mobile now than ever before. They are seeing a different coming age. They are talking not about separation of the nations and generations but about integration. Even some politicians in Europe are beginning to think beyond the divisions of the present to the possibility of unity in the future. Giscard d'Estaing in France and Schmidt in Germany are searching for new answers to the -new economic and political problems. The republic of Ireland, for example, has a brilliant young foreign secretary, Garret Fitzgerald, who is risking his political position by arguing publicly for a new unified Ireland. "I believe the time has he wrote, "for all Irish politicians who genuinely believe in a united Ireland, so organized that people from both communities will feel equally at home within it, to speak out and to lead the people of Ireland toward this goal. We may find that some of our people reject this lead, and that in the process existing political structures become cracked or even shattered; this is the price we shall have to pay if called upon to do so." So in the short run the outlook in Europe is bleak, but there is a new rising generation and it is beginning to emphasize not separation but integration. Pardon complicates justice By William V. Shannon, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON The Nixon pardon is profoundly disturbing for what it forecasts about the Ford presidency. The decision itself, the way it was arrived at, the quality of the persons the president chose to advise him. and the thought processes which he disclosed in his statement of explanation all bode ill for his future conduct in office. The decision is widely recognized as a mistake, morally. legally, politically. Morally, it introduced intolerable inequities into all the Watergate-related trials. Cynicism, deadly and disfiguring, has been flung like a corrosive acid into the fair face of American justice. Legally, it complicates and may fatally compromise the trials of Nixon's former associates. Politically, it associates a Republican president and the Republican party with the corruption, the lying, and the blatant hypocrisy of Watergate less than a month after the GOP thought it had been freed of the Nixon incubus. M the decision was a major blunder, it was also arrived at in exactly the wrong wav. President Ford acted in haste and failed to consult the special prosecutor or the attorney-general. He relied on Philip W. Buchen, his former law partner from Grand Rapids who is now White House counsel, and Benton L. Becker, a young Washington attorney who acted as secret intermediary between the White House and Nixon. Neither of them has the experience in public life, the standing with the public, or the professions! attainments to advise and assist the president on a matter so delicate and possessed of so many complicated ramifications. The agreement they negotiated and to which Ford assented was a complete sell-out of the public interest. The intellectual and moral confusion of Ford's statement is dismaying. It derives from his faulty premise. He compares Watergate to a story in a book which it is within his power to finish by writing "the end" and closing forever. That might be true if Nixon, as an isolated individual, had committed a single wrongful act. But Watergate is actually a one-word description for a complex web of crimes and conspiracies involving millions of dollars and dozens of individuals in both public and private life. Much more remains to be learned about this web. The milk case and the Hughes-Rebozo case are only two of a dozen subjects that the special prosecutor was investigating when Ford pardoned Nixon. Disconcerted by the adverse reaction to the pardon, the president now contemplates pardoning eveiyone. But if these and other cases are not pursued in a thorough and responsible manner. partially- substantiated facts and ugly rumors will circulate for years. There is no way to close the book on them. The president would do belter to revoke the agreement yielding the tapes and documents to Nixon's custody, transfer them to the special prosecutor, and allow the various trials to go forward. A mass pardon limited to Watergate defendants would multiply the mistake of the Nixon pardon and might provoke such disbelief in his integrity as to threaten his capacity to govern over the next two years. The debate itself seems almost trivial. A short time ago former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, normally a critic of government spen- ding, proposed a new federal ministry for old people. Health and Welfare Minister Marc Lalonde, when I asked him to comment, dismissed the idea as "a symbolic gesture." The issue behind the debate is something quite else. It has to do with the place of old peo- ple in our society, whether they just survive or whether they contribute, "a natural resource that we squander" as Diefenbaker put it. Sheer numbers shape part of the issue. Two million Canadians today are 65 years or older; within 15 years there will be nearly three million. Canada is becoming one of the oldest countries in the world. By the end of the century, 11- 12 per cent of Canadians will be 65 years of age or more; the world average for all over 60 years old will then be only nine per cent. Social attitudes are the more important factor. "The way we treat old people, says Bill Zimmerman, ex- ecutive director of the Ottawa Social Planning Council, "amounts to saying: if you're so smart, how come you're not young." A recent report by the World Health Organization found that old people are worse off comparatively in in- dustrial countries than in under-developed countries, for among other reasons, "the traditional support given to the aged in these cultures by members of the family and the community." In straight material terms Canada's care for the aged compares, in Lalonde's words, "more than favorably with any country's." Within a decade the minimum social security for a retired in- dividual has gone from a month to and now is indexed to inflation. Ontario and British Columbia provide income supplements. Several provinces provide free drugs; denticare started this month in Saskatchewan. In 1970, there were dwelling un- its for the elderly built under the National Housing Act; to- day there are some Dramatic improvements will be harder to achieve. As old people grow in numbers so does their political influence; so also, though, does the cost of new programs. "There's a limit to how much we can load the says Lalonde. By the end of this year Lalonde will have completed a study of the problems of private pen- sion plans: at 10 per cent inflation, some million a year is cut from the real value of these savings. Lalonde's present priorities, though, are other disadvantaged groups: the disabled, the single parent family, the working poor. A multitude of specific problems remain. Urban tran- sit systems that one expert has called, "an obstacle course for the aged." The quality of private nursing homes. The terror of retirement, "almost a taboo subject, like says counsellor Frank McGuigan, and one to be shared in the future by career women as well as men. "The real problem when it comes to the elderly, "Toronto Alderman Anne Johnston said recently, "is that we can't legislate caring." The media are the worst offenders. "Like everyone else, old people measure part of their self-image by whether the press pays any attention to says Zimmerman. Old people, though, don't make dramatic news, and they don't buy enough to interest adver- tisers. After four years of pressure the CBC has started a regular, half-hour television program for senior citizens. At least three newspapers, Winnipeg Tribune and Free Press and the Ottawa Journal, now run regular columns about old people's affairs. The Toronto Star doesn't. Universities have begun to change. About a dozen have followed the University of Prince Edward Island's lead in offering free courses to those over 65. Ottawa's instrument for caring is New Horizons. In less than two years the million-a-year program has funded projects involv- ing a half-million senior citizens in everything from renovating covered wooden bridges in New Brunswick to a Kingston, Ont. choral group, its average age 75, that took a 22-day concert tour by bus to Victoria. New Horizons will be ex- panded, promises Lalonde. A decision to applaud, except that elsewhere in Ottawa the department of manpower has just abolished its Older Workers policy unit. "They just weren't a high enough explained an of- ficial. A department for the aged isn't needed. The lack instead is of a political spokesman in exactly the same way that Lalonde is responsible for women's interests and Secretary of State Hugh Faulkner for those of youth. (Senior citizens, unlike in the United States, lack also a single national association to speak for them.) In a recent speech Lalonde pointed out that the "peak performance" of philosophers, so studies show, is between 45 and 83 years of age. The debate between him and Diefenbaker may be because Lalonde made it to 45 just six weeks ago; Diefen- baker is 79. LETTER Information for parents On August 21 a city elemen- tary school sent home a notice to the parents, listing six items of information. The following item greatly concerns me and others in the community: "Children who misbehave in or out of the classroom will be sent home and will only be allowed to report back if they are accompanied by their parents. After the third offence, they will be asked to go to another school." To begin with it would be interesting to know what is classified as "misbehave." I am appalled that an elementary school, has to use this type of scare tactic in attempting to educate children, if that is indeed their purpose. I understand the job of our schools to develop a child's self-image, then treat them as children and guide them through positive means. This notice sounded like it belonged in an institution for juvenile delinquents. It almost appears as if this particular school would be happiest with no students left in the building and if there were they would be asked to go to another school." I suggest our public school boa.-d look into this matter and stress that our first concern in education is the student. A CONCERNED CITIZEN AND PARENT Lethbridge Well, anyway Mother, now we know what a blue line means The Lethbridge Herald 7ft S. UBttjrtOge. Alberta IETHBWOGE HERALD CO. LTD Proprietors Second Ctas Man Registration No. 0012 OLEO MOWERS. Editor and PuWWner DON H PILLING OONAJ.O OORAM Managing Editor General Manager WOY F MIIES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WAtKER Editorial Page Editor M. FENTOTI Crrcaflalion Manager KENNETH E 8ARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"