Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 19, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, September 19. 1973 A despicable act Lougheed and oil Premier Lougheed's announcement Tuesday night of the Syncrude agree- ment confuses (or distracts from) the confrontation developing between the provincial and federal governments over oil export taxing and pricing policies And perhaps that is good. The two developments are inter- related. But so far as Albertans are concerned, the ''good news" of the oil sands development may make it less es- sential to force a showdown on the "bad news" of the new federal policy. Mr. Lougheed was careful to apply both pressure and onus on Ottawa. It is a condition of the Syncrude agreement, for instance, that the federal government not control the price of Syncrude oil, and that for taxation purposes it treat the 50 per cent profit-sharing the same as a conventional royalty, that is, as an ex- pense before calculation of profit. The first of these conditions may be either the competence or the good judgment of the federal government Is there any way on earth of limiting the tax powers of a future government9 As for the second con- dition, it raises some interesting and debatable points in tax accounting, and until these questions are fully explored it would be dishonest to attribute potential federal non-concurrence to either mischief-making or an anti-Alberta bias. The formation and scope of the Alberta Energy Company is of prime interest and not be overlooked in the flurry of the other news and the controversy. The company will own all of the Suffield gas fields, most of the Syncrude pipeline, half the power plant, and will have an op- tion on 20 per cent of the main Syncrude operation, and the Alberta Energy Com- pany, in turn, will be owned half by the government and half by "the people of Alberta." How the government will ensure that the latter half will remain with the peo- ple and not be sold by them for a fast buck, will be interesting to see. On this point Mr. Lougheed made an important observation. This is "risk" money. The oil industry is one of the riskiest. Nobody weeps for money lost, but people are quick to complain about profits, about alienation of resources, about the burden of foreign capital. And the complaints are loudest from those who enjoy the oil prosperity fall-oi't the most but wouldn't risk their own money in the industry. The premier quite properly anticipated the critics. Some will say the govern- ment shouldn't get into the oil business at all. (By foregoing conventional royalties and taking a share of the possible profit instead, it is really getting into the business.) Others will say it should go in all the way. This is probably as good a compromise as any. All in all, it was an important speech, an important day for Alberta. And com- ing just a few hours after the sod- turnings and cabinet exposure in Lethbridge, it was a red-letter day for this part of the province Now what about the new federal oil policy? In diplomatic cuckooland If anyone doubts that the whole Southeast Asian area is a diplomatic cuckooland, they need only read a couple ot paragraphs ot a recent report by an American correspondent in Vientiane Tr> 'Chinese Communist troops are mann- ing anti-aircraft installations along a road they have built in northern Laos, but neither the Laotian government nor the United States embassy seems par- ticularly disturbed. The troops have been there for years, according to both American and Laotian officials Although they occasionally shoot down American planes that stray over the road, their only interest seems to be in protecting what they have built." This is 1973. Theoretically Laos is a neutral, independent country, minding its own business, which at the moment is an internal power struggle between right-wing and Communist forces Theoretically there are no foreign troops in Laos, this was decreed at a Geneva Conference in 1954. and confirmed by another Geneva accord in 1962. Theoretically nations that shoot at one another's troops, ships or aircraft are committing acts of war ERIC NICOL Goodbye, Mr. Chips VANCOUVER Secondary school students in British Columbia may be organiz- ed into a union Closed shop Time and a half for homework The right to withhold their ig- norance The whole bit A labor union of school children could be the most effective method of birth control yet devised woman may forget to take an oral contraceptive but she is not apt to overlook the pill that has joined a walk-out from Lord Elgin Secondary and sits around the kitchen all day writing mash notes to Stanley Knowles Aside from guaranteeing Zero Population Growth, a students' labor union poses exciti- ng possibilities in speeding up the process of .society's transition to total anarchy The prospect of Prime Minister Trudeau having to recall Parliament in order to force half a million kids to their school desks, for in- stance, should draw a chuckle from such gods as aro still watching Already under a cloud considerably larger than a man's hand, organized labor needs af- filiation bv the Association of School Students i S S like a boot in the bargaining process Labor has prospered because it represented an elite the workess The sanctity of the picket line lav in the circumstance that only a privileged minority was able to use it to gar- rot management If school students start picketing schools and other public buildings, to back up their demand for a new contract that raises the basic minimum grade from C-pIus to B- rnmus the whole mystique of trudging back and forth wearing a placard is placed in jeopardy No housewife and mother is going to put up with having her children as well as her husband hanging around the house in respcc- Retirement ahead for John Turner? Finance Minister John Tuiner has been staying pri- vdteh toi months that, while ho nun bo the heir apparent, ho is not suie he really wants, to succeed Pierre Trudeau as leader o! the Liberal Party and Pnmc Minister By Anthony Westell, Toronto Star commentator People on Parliament Hill out of politics have tended not to take his A man of ambition aiming disclaimers very seriously one day to win the leadership because politicians are ex- Ot the party would have been at the conference of western Liberals in Vancouver in July, shaking hands and making friends Mr. Turner did not pected to play down their am- bitions But the view is growi- ng that Mr. Turner may in fact be serious and on his way show up, although Vancouver is almost his home base A finance minister seeking to make an impression would have been at his desk through August waging the good fight against rising prices and urgi- ng the government on to The reality, however, is that Chinese troops, somewhere between and oi them, are building a military road across Laos, something they've been doing since the early 1960s Since about 1962. when U S troops first moved into northeast Thailand. American military planes have regularly flown over Laos, and for several years, nobody really knows how mam bombed whatever parts of Laos they thought were being used by troops of still a third intruder, North Vietnam, particularly the supply routes known as the Ho Chi Minn trail. And whenever they strayed across a certain imaginary line, Chinese anti-aircraft batteries shot at them There are a hundred places across the globe where shooting down a plane military or civilian, of another nation could spark a bloody war And no one has ever accused the Americans of being slow to come out shooting Bu! in Laos, of course, the Americans "aren't and the Chinese "aren't so there are no planes to shoot at and no guns with, and so what happened couldn't have happened Anyway, planes are only shot down live struggles for better working conditions A spin-off from the students' union will be a union of homemakers, and the old-line union man doesn't know the meaning of a wildcat strike till he tries to crawl into bed with Mom The students' union is an extension oi the right of public servants to collective bargaini- ng and the strike weapon Once management ceased to be the factory boss wearing the top hat and wielding the whip, the labor moveme- nt was well on its way to utter chaos !t is possible to democratize selfishness, so long as we don't mind reverting to the jungle For this reason the Canadian Congress of Labor is unlikelv to welcome the birth ot a labor union of students The C L C has been spared a union of pensioners and old folks, and further subdivision of the remunerative pie, mostly because the poor old dears don't know what to picket. High school students will have a good deal more clout, however, if they choose to get tough about a 10 per cent wage increase before thev will answer the school Theirs may be the reduotio ad absurdum ol collective bargaining. That is, the disproof of a proposition bv showing an absurdity to which it leads when earned to its logical conclusion Not till we behold the little rod schoolhouse labelled hot" and Mr Chips giv- en his goodbye as a scab shall we perhaps at last cry "Enough1 Let's go back and try to find where organised labor swallowed the shovel There must be a bettei way If the school students can teaoh us this lesson, they will have made an enormous contribution to education Alter all, how much longer can we post-grads go on writing the thesis titled 'I m All Right, Jack''" 'Brother principal? sister Figsby, teacher grade 2, sent me." Different roads to socialism By C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator Even though history's whirlwind proved loo great for him there was something appealing aoout the late Salvador Allende who tried to lead Chile into Marxist Socialism bv parliamentary means This attempt was hampered bv extreme left revolutionary movements as well as conser- vative forces of the right and centre Together they produc- ed economic chaos In the end the president who had never mustered a popular ma- jority, was crushed Allende participated in two Chilean popular front governments each of which endured three years The 1938-1941) produced a new ON THE HILL By Ken Hurlburt, MP for Lethbridge The big question being ask- ed around Ottawa these days is When is an opposition member of Parliament not an opposition member? The answer of course, is when he happens to be one of the Hurts-one New Democratic Parts vIPs and unfortunately and increasingly, when he happens to be a member of the fit teen-strong group of Quebec Social Credit MPs It s ironic when you think that in only one province, Quebec did the Liberals win more seats than Robert Stan- neld s Progressive Conser- vatives With the exception of Quebec, where the Conser- vatives hold just two eats, we bettered the government in cnerv province except New Brunswick where we each won five seats In a minority government situation, with the Liberals holding only two more seats than the Conservatives and with the three Opposition par- ties holding 153 seats it doesn t take an expert to that the majority of Canadians prefer the Oppositi- on parties to the governing Liberals During my firt year in the House of Commons representing the con- st ttutency of Lethbridge I've t o un d it kind of sad. therefore, to see our party's attempts to give the Canadian people a better deal frustrated at everv move by NDP Leader David Lewis and his party In fact when our party put a motion bclore the Commons demanding better pensions for our old people the NDP, and in particular Winnipeg MP Stanoly Knowles who says he has boon championing the cause of old people since 1942, voted against the old people Strange, isn't it? There's no wonder that Mr Stanfield contends that on Parliament Hill todav il isn't a case of tin oe Opposition parties op- posing the government as historic allv thev are supposed to do but of the government and two Opposition parties op- posing the Progressive Conservatives' from being bad for Canada as a whole this is par- ticularly bad for Alberta and Albertans who sent nnneteen out of a possible nineteen Federal Conservatives to tawa last year and who have shown their absolute support tor Premier Peter Lougheed in the recent Calgary- Foothills by-election Why does the NDP insist on supporting the Liberal government and neglecting its role as an Opposition party? Quite a few Western NDF' members don't try to hide the reason They frankly point ou t that as far as Western Canada is concerned their main op- position comes from the revitalized Conservatives With only seven out of thn sixtv-eight Western seats bei ng held by the Liberals, the' NDP feels threatened by the Conservatives and hopes to stall off an election as long possible My good friend Ged Baldwin, the MP for Peace River. Alta and Conser- vative House Leader, has pointed out that Mr Lewis and his men "will huff and pulf but never bring the House down' He's right, of course, Mr Lewis will criticize the Liberals but will never vote against them Mind vou. the Western NDP members none of them from Alberta, of course, are starting to feel the heat Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trucleau's so-called three- pronged attack on inflation which turned out to be a three pronged attack on the West controls on beef exports, a ceiling on wheat prices, and controls which will kill some ol the incentive to explorp for oil bv our entrepreneurs has come under hefty ctriticism The Progressive Conservatives, with which I am proud to associate myself believe in a rational and stro- ng attack on inflation and an attack that does not simply backfire on Western Canada As Western NDP MP's feel the heat of criticism coming on stronger perhaps they too will start thinking about the people who elected them basis for collaboration betwe- en middle class and workers' parties Allende, its health minister, already a Socialist, was immensely proud that he introduced free milk for children The second (1970- 1973) just smashed by a military putsch, resembled its predecessor in that neither was able to carry out its full program Comparing these ex- periments, the president once said to me (Santiago, March 23 1971) "That first popular front regime was on the left ol the capitalistic system But the popular unity government now wants to transform the capitalistic system entirely At that time the leading role in the popular front government was taken by the Radical party, representing the small bourgeoisie Now the leading role is not bourgeois at all This time the president, myself is a Socialist and not a Radical Allende was very much a political animal, a small, stocky, quick-moving man with grey moustache, ruddy face, thick, heavily rimmed spectacles He was unique in his effort to achieve full revolution on a relatively slow-motion, democratic basis and it is arguable that the latter restrictions, which added left-wing impatience to right-wing rage, made his ul- timate downfall inevitable. He boasted "In 30 years political life, I never failed to do what I said I would do It could be possible that the dynamic of events might eventually create a revolutionary party, one party of the revolution" (containing the Socialist, Communist and Radical elements which back- ed him) But this is not possible for the imminent future. After all. the Socialists don't want to be changed and the Radicals, who in Chile have had a party for 110 years, sur- ely commit suicide Don't forget that Karl Marx foresaw a time when there would be no governments at all But when9 It hasn't come yet "The strategy of Socialism must depend on the realities of any country where it is attempted To be a Socialist is obviously not the same thing as being a Communist There are different roads to Socialism Allende insisted his credo would never restrict basic freedoms He said, "My word is formally engaged to respect all the fundamental rights of man No matter how exten- sive our economic and social reform will be, we will not only respect human rights but actually increase them Hum- an rights are not merely political, they are also social and economic He promised he would never allow any foreign power to ex- ert influence over Chilean sovereignty or to establish bases that could be used against the United States But many of his actions were clearly hostile to the U.S. and its interests He never exclud- ed the chance that violent confrontation might smash his program "Sadly, very sadly, I admit this possibility the president told me "That is the lesson of history I know it would come from the right because it has already done something that never before occurred in Chilean history namely assassinated the army commander There have already been two attempts on my life Nevertheless, he boasted that certain of his ac- complishments were indelible "If I were to die tomorrow he said, "no one in Chile would ever dare to abolish the system I instituted ol giving every child free milk No one would ever attempt to end our system of social security No one would dream ot taking away from il- literate citizens the right to vote which they have been legally granted Chileans are an orderly people and less subject than most South Americans to armed coups One may hope that junta that ousted Allende will restrain its obvious pre- judices in favor of the right and will seek to incorporate into any new regime some of the beneficial reforms of the old, while tempering economic Socialism with social democracy This would be a suitable monument to the late president whose aims were revolutionary but whose means were intended to be moderate So they say The whole idea of obsceni- ty is tied up with an unhealthy belief in sin which most or- dinary people in this country have now rejected along with the other superstititons of past for the British National Secular Society, on the Longford report greater efforts. Mr. Turner was at a family cottage and had to be persuaded to return to Ottawa for a cabinet meeti- ng to prepare the government's deifence against the opposition onslaught. Mr Turner may of course be suffering only from the sense of hopelessness which seems to grip all finance ministers after a year or so in office. Nothing they ever do is right Three years ago, the government was being told by every expert critic that inflation was an international affair, caused largely by the United States, and that Canada could do nothing much about it Now, when the government suggests that food prices are largely the result of world-wide shor- tages, the critics are deman- ding action A year ago, Mr Turner was much praised for shifting the emphasis of government policy from fighting inflation to fighting unemployment. Today he is a villain because inflation is again the major problem. It's enough to discourage any politician, but Mr Turner may have even better reasons for thinking seriously of quit- ting He has been an MP for 11 years, a minister for almost eight years The glamor of of- fice has worn off and he knows how demanding and thankless is the life of a prime minister, how immensely difficult the task of changing the course of the federal bureaucracy Mr Turner is still only 44. If he left politics now, he could make a new career in and there are rumors that he as been sounding out the partnerships that might be available in Vancouver. If he wants to succeed Mr Trudeau, he will have to wait at least through the next elec- tion, and possibly for four or nve with no guarantee that the prize will be his even then It's enough to make even the most ambitious man hesitate Mr Turner is hesitating Those who think that wage and price restraints are a simple answer to inflation should study the British ex- perience, as outlined in the recent report of the Food Prices Review Board 1 Britain has had a larger number of experiments with incomes policy than any other country since the end of the Second World War Briefly, the sequence has been A largely voluntary wage restraint policy from 1948 to 1950. a shortlived attempt to maintain a price plateau in 1956, a nine-month appeal for a pay pause from mid 1961, an attempt to review pay claims through a National Incomes Commission from 1962 to 1964 an effort to develop a long-term, comprehensive in- comes and price policy begin- ning at the end of 1964, a six month compulsory incomes and price freeze beginning in mid-1966, followed by a six- month period of severe restraint, a shift in 1967 to a longer-term, less compulsory policv which began to dis- integrate in 1968 but which was moving in the direction of a merger with the institutions of competition policy if the Labor party had won the June 1970 elections, an initiative by the employers' federation in 1971-72 to demonstrate price restiamt and an exploration with union and business leaders of a longer-term tary wage and price restraint program, which did not succe- ed and which led to the direct control program announced in November, 1972 "Many statistical studies have been made which have sought to estimate the divergence between actual wage and price movements and those which would have occurred in the absence of the (incomes) policy The results suggest at times a short- run small positive effect, at times a short-run small perverse effect, and at other times no discernible effect; over the longer-run the studies have not found any lasting effect Discouraging, isn't it? The 504 7lh St S Lethbridqe Alberta 1ETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954 by Hon W A BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 Member ol The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers Association and the Audit Bureau ot Circulations Cl TO W MOWERS Tnitor and Publisher THOMAS H ADAMS General Manaqer DONPILIING Wll 1 1AM HAY Manaqinq Hlitor Editor ROY .lOUfilASK WAI KTR Advertising Manager I dilorml P iqe Fdilor HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"