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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 17, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 4-THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD TuMday, Stptmnbtr 17, 1974 National conferences unproductive Hospital custom and child abuse Concern over the incidence of child battering led Alberta to form a province wide registry in February to encourage people to report cases or suspected cases of child battery. Child specialists do not completely understand the influences on mothers that lead to child abuse, but at the same time the number of oc- currences rise higher, with an estimated 400 cases in Alberta alone last year. Now the latest research, reported in London's Sunday Times, says that modern prac- tices prevailing in most hospitals may themselves be responsible for some cases of the abuse of children. The usual procedure in hospitals is for babies to be removed from their mothers immediately after birth, especially in the case of premature babies, for periods up to several days. Two doctors at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Drs. John Kennell and Marshall Klaus, found the situation analagous to conditions in certain ex- periments carried out on non human mammals, as a result of which the animals abused their offspring sometimes to the point of killing them. For the past two years they have been studying two groups of mothers the first group following usual hospital treat- ment (separation except for identifica- tion and while the second group was given the naked babies in bed for one hour immediately after birth and allow- ed to see their babies for five hours each day. on top of regular meals. The first noticeable difference in the way the mothers treated the children showed up after the first month. Mothers in group two spent three times as long as group one in cuddling, kissing and fondl- ing their infants. As well, there was an unexpected difference in the way the mothers held their children, with group two mothers more likely to hold the child closely and face to face when feeding them. Group one mothers held their children more at a distance, and rarely looked at them in the face to face way. The most significant difference between the mothers shown so far, and which especially relates to the battered child, is how ready the mothers were to hit or comfort the child when it cried. (Crying is accepted as being one of the reasons behind abuse of a child.) Mothers given their babies immediately alter birth were more than three times as likely to soothe their crying child, and the other mothers equally likely to strike theirs. The doctors concluded that the study must be done on a much larger scale before hospitals could be asked to change their present policy, but added that until studies are complete, both mothers and doctors should be aware of the possible long term effects, both negative and positive, of separating a newborn infant from its mother. This unusual and informative study should be followed closely, and results anxiously awaited, by all concerned with the welfare of children. Setback for transit One of the side effects of a lengthy strike in a mass transit system is a noticeable and more or less permanent shift to private vehicular transportation. This occurs regardless of the justice in- volved in the strike and regardless of the conditions of a settlement. Car pool arrangements and other substitutes tend to outlast the duration of any strike which has gone on long enough for them to be cemented into habit. The strike in the Montreal transit system falls into this category. At a time in the development of urban patterns when traffic congestion and pollution are leading planners to put more attention and politicians more money into public transportation systems this is most un- fortunate. Possibly when the Montreal strike is settled all the commuters who have found alternate transport will return to the system, but experience has not shown this to be the case and the enthusiasm for public transportation as an answer to energy problems and desires for cleaner air will have been nullified to some extent. THE CASSEROLE There's a real battle in the teaching business over the new planning scheme QBE, which stands for Objective-based Education. It's a system in which "educators spell out their goals, and set guidelines for reaching those according to a recent article on the subject. Sounds almost as if someone thinks it would be a good idea if the educators were to say what they're trying to do, and how they expect to do it. If nothing else, the outcry over prices is giving consumers some notion of what various financial terms mean. Take vertical integration, for instance. The layman now un- derstands that this means you own the whole ball of wax, so you can increase the price the producer charges the wholesaler, who thereupon jacks up the price to the retailer, who then charges the customer more, but can swear he couldn't help it. A hard line pays off for retailers, it seems. GEE BEE, a Pennsylvania discount chain, has cut pilferage losses from three per cent of sales to 1.5 per cent, by prosecuting every shoplifter it can catch, and persuading local newspapers to publish each offender's name. The Consumers Association of Canada says _ the cost of furnishings should be kept to between one-third and one-half the cost of the house. At today's prices for houses, that allows for some pretty fancy furniture, doesn't it? A senior staff member at the Royal Vic- toria Hospital in London, Ontario, has con- firmed that a male patient seeking help in es- tablishing normal heterosexual relations was "made aware" that the services of a certain woman could be made available to him. The doctor referred to this as therapy. There's a less polite term, too. ART BUCHWALD Sleeping bag generation WASHINGTON I was very surprised to -ead in the newspaper last week that Mrs. Ford said her family was cutting down on their food bills as a way of fighting inflation. The reason why I was.surprised was that Mrs. Ford has teen-agers, and there is no way un- der the sun you can cut a food budget when you have teen-agers living in the house. It isn't the immediate family that costs money it's feeding everyone else's children that sends your food costs skyrocketing. In the past most of us could get away with living a strange child a glass of milk and a rookie. But in recent years we seem to be sustaining large masses of youth, which iave dubbed, for the want of a better name, the Sleeping Bag Generation. Last month my grocery bill for a family of four on Martha's Vineyard was This is what happened. Three sleeping bags showed up at the door. voice from one of the sleeping bags said. 'We're very good friends of your daughter Hilda, and she said we could camp on your property when we got here '1 have no daughter named Hilda." 1 said "What's her a voice from another .keeping bag asked. "Jenny "That's it." the voice said "We're good nends of -Jenny, and she said we could sleep on your lawn so we won't be arrested and tor- urcd by the police with chains and rubber rose, 'We won't be any bother." a voice from mother sleeping bag said "We have stale lougmits for dinner 1 gave permission for them to camp out on he lawn When my daughter came home 1 m- orrned her that three of her dearest friends tad arrived and set up camp Boys or Jenny asked "How the hell would I know." I replied It turns out that sleeping bags require large amounts of nourishment. While those of us who lived in the house could get by on bluefish or eggs, the sleeping bags had to be fed steak, ham. imported cheeses. French bread, butter and a good brand of beer. Every day my daughter, who never did find out their names, carried down provisions to the sleeping bags. The zippers would open up automatically and they would consume woith of groceries al a feeding. In exchange for the food, the sleeping bags strummed music on a guitar in our living room while I was trying to watch the evening news. After the sleeping bags departed, a new group of sleeping bags arrived and said they were fnends of my son Edward. I probably would have been nicer except I have no son named Edward The nearest thing to it was While it bothered me. it didn't seem to bother Joel He Jook all the sleeping bags to Kromg's grocery store where they charged to me lor a picnic they were holding with some other sleeping bags on the beach Now 1hat I'm back in Washington, the sleeping bags are starting to show up here Many turn out lo be Iricnds of the sleeping bags who ramped on my properly in Martha's Vineyard If 1 refuse hospitality for them 1 itn considered an ogre by my children. Hilda Edward, or whatever their names are Hut 1 let them spread out on the grass I'm eoing to get another grocery bill. 1m sure Mrs Ford is telling the truUi when she's been able to cut back on her food bills But 1 figure the only way she has bc-en able to do it is by having the Secret Ser- vice hoot all the goose-feather sleeping bag acquaintances of her children nght off the White House lawn. By W. A. Wilson, Montreal Star commentator OTTAWA Prime Minister Trudeau may have lacked tact when he suggested the prov- inces want strong federal ac- tion on the economy because they seek to avoid tough measures themselves but he both justice and history on his side. The last time around, back in February 1970, it was the federal side that wanted a big, set-piece conference on the economy of the sort the provinces would like now. The prime minister and his associates wanted it then as a means of dressing Dr. John Young's efforts with the Prices and Incomes Com- mission, with all the authority and prestige they could muster. The provinces went along with the idea. The premiers all came to Ottawa and the conference went ahead. The thing that emerged most clearly when it was over was that if any further strong ac- tion was to be taken it would have to come from the federal side, not the provinces. The most important ele- ment of that conference, however, was quite different. It was the shrewdness with which Ontario warned that strong action already had gone far enough and that the time had come for steps to restimulate the economy. John Robarts, then On- tario's premier, put his case with a sort of courteous firmness that established the point without provoking a quarrel. Despite that, he ran into the same brick wall that Dr. Arthur Smith, then of the Economic Council, had hit a bit earlier with his warning that the measures of restraint in effect were very tough and might have more effect than anyone wanted. A year or so later, with the economy in the doldrums and unemployment rising, no one would seriously have dis- agreed with either Smith or Robarts but neither man had much effect at the moment when he uttered his warning. By that time the government had lost faith in Young's ef- forts and the conference that had absorbed a good deal of time and energy had come to seem irrelevant. A good deal of the provincial bluster over conferences com- ing from the premiers' meeting in Toronto last week was political posturing. There will be the usual conference of first ministers this winter. It is a regular affair. There will the equally habitual meeting of finance ministers. These are probably highly useful sessions because they are information exchanges. A ..sol said to myself, any man who has the keen foresight and good business sense to invest in anything from airlines to magnetic levitation will surely be interested in my self-cleaning phosphorescent semi-automatic collapsible Munro calls for labor relations study By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA John Munro has been one of the more frustrated Ministers in recent weeks; a fact which should probably be borne in mind in considering the peculiar logic of his speech to Canadian publishers. The address was notable for the announcement that Mr. Munro plans to invite business and labor to join with govern- ment officials in a continuing study of labor relations. There are some sound arguments for such a study, including those mentioned in his text. According to the Minister, public confidence in the system of settling disputes is falling. Signs of public ex- asperation are. indeed, very widespread. It is not surpris- ing in this situation that Mr. Munro senses "growing pressure on governments... to play a stronger and perhaps more dominating role in in- dustrial relations." There are other reasons for national disquiet emphasized not by Mr. Munro but by his colleague. John Turner, in a Vancouver speech. Discussing the unsatisfactory perfor- mance of the economy in re- cent months, the Minister of Finance observed: "But circumstances during that period from April to June were certainly not the most favorable. The contraction or crazy For who we are about tr receive... slow growth of the economies of virtually all of our major trading partners abroad resulted in some decline in the volume of our exports. Much more important is the fact that between January and June industrial disputes resulted in 5.2 million man- days of lost work and output. That is an unenviable record for any six-month period in the last 12 years. It is more than twice the total of man- days lost during the same pe- riod last year and. in fact, is nearly equal to the total for the whole of 1973." What an interesting contrast. The Minister of Finance speaks of "the heavy drag imposed on (the economy) by widespread strikes." The Minister of Labor, lecturing publishers on the duties of "the press, an- nounces with apparent pride that work stoppages occurred "in only 25 of 181 major contracts settled." Mr. Munro, making a case for his proposal, said: "What is desirable, surely, is greater understanding of the fact that the onus for improved in- dustrial relations falls jointly on labor, management and government." No one. surely, would quarrel with that although the onus may vary, depending on circumstances, from one situation to another. But having made a case for study, the Minister then pro- ceeded to demonstrate that his mind is made up on con- troversial issues. Governments cannot legislate industrial harmony