Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 22, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
LETHBRIDGE September Easing the interest pinch necessary The Chile lesson A syndicated commentator has observ- ed about the military coup in Chile, made "necessary" by the chaos in the country, that it serves as a further indication that, economically, the Marxist approach to government seems doomed to failure wherever attempted. This is a curious bit ot reasoning. There have been Marxist governments in the U.S.S.R. and other eastern Euro- pean nations, as well as in China and Cuba, tor varying lengths of time. Judg- ed by some standards of performance the economies of these countries may leave something to be desired but failure is scarcely an appropriate description. The most obvious conclusion to draw from the Chile experiment is that Marx- ism cannot come by democratic processes: it is brought in by revolution violently, in general. This is what doctrinaire Marxists have always contended. In 1971, for instance, Chou Kn-lai. ol the People's Republic of China said President Salvador Allende of Chile would not likely be successful because communism is not mid-wifed by parliamentary means. Anyone who thinks that what happened in Chile will warn against thinking social ills can be cured by embracing Marxism is deluded. It is far more likely that it will be taken as a lesson that forceful and complete imposition of Marxism is to be preferred to gradualism. Allende might still be alive today and in control of Chile had he used the power available to him to snull out opposition. Thus the events in Chile are not such as to give rise to comforting thoughts in the minds of non-Marxists. A small comparison The Sync-rude deal to develop oil production from the Athabasca tarsands is certainly more advantageous to the people of Alberta than many of the deals that have been negotiated by provincial governments in Canada. But by no means is it the best deal a consortium of oil companies has ever accepted Norway, where important off-shore oil deposits have been found, offers a current illustration of how far the oil cor- porations will go to get hold of additional oil supplies. Norway is prepared to sell rights to exploit these deposits, but only on its own terms, terms that oilmen claim are more demanding than any they have been ottered to date. But the "blue- eyed Arabs." as they have come to be called, decline to compromise in any way. as they patiently and politely point out. Norwegians have been managing verv nicelv without even knowing about this oil. and are quite able to continue do- ing so. Moreover, any oil they don't sell today is almost certain to be more valuable tomorrow. Norway's terms start with the oil com- panies accepting a 50 per cent partnership with Statoil, the Norwegian state oil company. Then they must form Norwegian oil companies, wholly under Norwegian laws and subject to full Norwegian corporate tax rates. They must pay licence fees and rentals at the prevailing rates and also pay to the government production royalties that are at present 16 per cent, and may be higher if the government should so decide. Even with those terms, the toughest that oil companies have ever en- countered, there is a line-up of oil com- panies anxiously waiting to submit their bids. Indecisive elections Both Norway and Sweden have recent- ly held elections which have resulted in stalemates. It is a situation which provokes a sympathetic feeling on the part of Canadians because of a similar A facile assumption might be that there are just too many parties contending for the vote. But there is no assurance that if only two parties were in 'the field in each country a decisive result might have been obtained; the voters might have been equally divided between the two. country a decisive result might have been obtained; the voters might have been equally divided between the two. Increasingly in most countries it is dif- ficult to distinguish between parties if not in their policies certainly in their per- formance when they get the opportunity to govern. Between external economic forces and internal managerial pressures the opportunity for dramatic new directions seem very limited. The promises inherent in the emergence of popular leaders somehow fail to materialize. Stalemated elections are probably a fairly accurate indication of the indecisive state of mind of the elec- torate. Maybe it is as well that governments in such a time are unab to make radical changes because then t ey govern most nearly as the people wish. But it is troubling nonetheless that with major changes taking place in the world some of the people who ought to be trying to do some directing are being dragged along instead. Jim Maybie Jim Maybie was a reporter and a fighter. He was full of silent courage as he fought the ill health that had plagued him from childhood. In his final years, blindness stalk- ed him and he found it necessary to put himself completely in the hands of less-than- reassuring doctors. Knowing it could mean his life, he sub- mitted to desperate surgery but not before willing his body to the medical science that, in the end. could not save him. He spent 13 years in the daily newspaper field, most of them with The Herald. He was a credit to his profession. He was dedicated and he was thorough. He was a reporter whose integrity was beyond reproached. He was a reporter who left no stone unturned in his efforts to uncover the facts, and present them in an unbiased and accurate manner Jim Maybie was that and much more. The men and women of The Lethbridge Herald will miss him. The newspaper in- dustry will miss him. Reporters of his calibre are rare. DON PILLING, Managing Editor Weekend Meditation The imperative Bv Dr. F. S. Morley No virtue is more necessary to a good life or a good society than truth, no virtue is more derided and abused. The old Quakers were famous for telling the truth. They not only refused to take oaths because Jesjjs had for- bidden them but because unnecessary emphasis a form of lying m itself It would be good :f we had more of them today! Their word in business was absolutely honest. But today the whole of our public life is shot through with lying. How Jesus hated deceit1 He said, woe unto you. Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you are like unto whited sepulchres which outwardly appear beautiful to men. but inwardly are full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness Even so you also outwardly appear rightous unto men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and ini- quity So the criticism of Jesus was that the Pharisee had the profession without the prac- tice, the appearance without the reality, and sanctimoniousness without sanctity. "Beauty is truth, truth said Keats, "That is all you know on earth and all you need to know." All beauty, whether of character, music, art. or architecture, must be truthful, that is its secret. Without scrupulous fidelity to truth science cannot ad- vance The progress of civilization depends on the discovery of truth. It is the truth that makes men free. One shudders at the too fre- quet opposition of the church to truth, remembering that the church is appointed to be thr custodian of the truth Belief in truth is an essential part of belief in God. To abandon 11 as merely relative is to deny democracy and all faith in reason, justice, and goodness. All discovery of truth is a discovery of a dis- closure of God, so we say, "I suddenly realized." or came over or "the thought struck me Truth is not easy, since it requires a brave heart, a fearless facing of the facts, and a ter- mination ot self-deception enormously dif- ficult for every man. Custom, convention, and self-interest are strong. Who does not to some degree play a part? Charles Kingsley resigned his chair of history contending that there is no such thing as history, only inac- curate and prejudiced accounts of past events. Often one reads an account of some event he witnessed and sees little resemblance to the incident he saw and ex- perienced To reject or fight against the truth is to light against the Holy Spirit who is the "Spirit ol Truth." It is the unpardonable sin. Is our society not committing it? The collapse of civilization appears certain as one sees the enormous stockpile of lies, and intrigue which erode national integrity and hold the moral law in derision. No gracious life is possible without truth. PRAYER: From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth, From the laziness that is content with half- truths. From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth, God of Truth, deliver us ian old prayer anonymous.) By Maurice Western, Herald Ottawa commentator OTTAWA In Vancouver last June Ron Basford, ac- cording to a Canadian Press report, declared that housing prices were rising at an un- acceptable rate, and that the situation was intolerable, "not only for low-income people, who are perhaps the hardest hit, but for the middle-income families as well." The intolerable situation is now worse. One indication is the Liberal resolution of last week-end favouring tax deduc- tions for mortgage interest. This was a plain rejection, by those who bothered to vote, of arguments pressed upon the convention earlier by the minister ot finance. Another indication is the new Conservative policy enun- ciated by James Gillies which would ease pressure against the interest structure in this country by setting in place an interest equalization tax John Turner, in his unsuc- cessful attempt to side track the convention proposal, argued that the proposed deductions would be too ex- pensive, costing about millions, and that such a policy would be unfair to tenants. As usual, what's fair is a matter of opinion. It may have appeared to objecting delegates that there is a pro- tenant bias in present policy. Mr. Basford's speeches have probably reinforced this im- pression. Perhaps govern- ment policy has been largely an adaptation to social trends for in the last decade, with the explosion of metropolitan.pop- ulations, there has been a marked shift away from own- ership and towards apartment living. In any case there has been a notable change from the philosophy of the post-war Liberal governments which regarded ownership as a positive good and sought vigorously to promote it. The resolution may be ques- tionable for a different reason. In answer to his opinion, Mr. Basford has argued that 75 per cent of CMHC funds directed towards home ownership is going into mortgage with interest rates not exceeding 8 per cent. With so much housing already sub- sidized, it would seem that the resolution could only lead to further subsidization of those already subsidized and aid for others who do not need it. The people most severely pinched in the present situa- tion are those in the lower middle income categories who cannot qualify for Mr. Basford's preferential rates. They are forced to pay up- wards of 10 per cent on prices which in some areas have risen as much as in a few months. As the Government regular- ly argues when it is taxed with high unemployment figures, one of the disconcerting facts of life today is the un- precedented expansion of the labor force. One reason for this is the influx of women. It has become the rule in young families of the 1970s that both parents work. No doubt, this is in large measure a response to inflation. In so far as housing "I'm beginning to wonder just what does go on at that hunting Financial heads hunting in Kenya By Leonard Silk, New York Times commentator NEW YORK The great monetary safari is about to begin. By the end of this week, the top financial officials of over 120 nations will be assembling in Nairobi. Kenya, to continue their hunt for a new world monetary system "Now it is pleasant to hunt something that you want very much over a long period of time, being outwitted, out- maneuvered, and failing at the end of each day, but hav- ing the hunt and knowing every time you are out that, sooner or later, your luck will change and that you will get the chance that you are seeking." Thus wrote Ernest Hemingway in "Green Hills of Africa." The world's finance ministers, central bankers and international monetary economists pretty much agree with the economists. They have nothing but patience as they pursue their quarry from Bellagin to Copenhagen to Tokyo to Washington and'now to Nairobi. Some observers think this endless conferring is just an excuse for the monetary experts to visit exotic places and have grand cocktail parties. However, it would be a mis- take to suppose that the monetary experts are no closer to a solution of how to build a less crisis-prone inter- national monetary system now than they were a decade and a half ago, when the seemingly endless series of monetary crises began In (act. it is possible that the problem of recurrent currency crises has already been solved by the present ad hoc system of floating ex- change rates, which most economists in the United States favor and which the members of the international monetary fund were compell- ed to accept when the Bretton Woods system of fixed ex- change rates collapsed. The United States wants to hold the floating system open in any new world monetary system, for .countries that decide that course is best suited to their needs. They would make floating subject to international surveillance and standards. As the norm, however, the United States wants a system of "stable but adjustable" par values for currencies As hot as the United States is for exchange-rate flex- ibility, other countries are equally hot for the conver- tibility of the dollar into primary monetary reserves: gold, "paper gold" special Letter Face-saving project Readers of The Herald may have been amused by the report of Premier Lougheed's government's whirlwind tour of Southern Alberta, ft appears that in every centre. Highway Minister Clarence Copithorne came under heavy criticism for his so-called road program or lack of road program. According to The Albertan (September 18th, 1973) "Mr. Copithorne manag- ed to keep cool throughout the criticism of the highway program, stating there is only so much money allotted for highway construction If this is so, then why did the government build the Kananaskis highway that almost no one wanted? Why do they continue to pour millions into the construction of the Kananaskis highway and the continued destruction of that beautiful valley? Isn't it time that Mr. Lougheed and associates stopped the destruction of the Kananaskis and used public money for purposes the public want. Or is the continuation of the Kananaskis road project now nothing but a face-saving project to save Clarence Copithorne's tattered image? Next time the people need a road don't listen to the "short of money" nonsense. If there's money to build roads we don't want, then surely there's money to build the roads we do want ALFRED L. MORRIS Calgary drawing rights created by the IMF or credits at the IMF. Nominally the United States is for restoration of dollar convertibility, too but not now. and not on terms that would strap it tor funds and force it to follow highly restrictive policies Some countries would like nothing better than to see the United States put in a tight debtor position, as a means of curbing "the American challenge At the Tokyo trade talks last week. France in par- ticular appeared to be threatening to foul up the trade negotiations unless the United States agreed to the kind of new monetary system the French want: one that ends the dollar's role as a reserve currency, requires the dollar to be convertible into other reserves or currenices and restores a system of fixed exchange rates. The French threat on trade will hang over the monteary talks in Nairobi. American leaders hope France's Euro- pean partners will "get sore" and make the French pull back from a position hazar- dious to both trade and monetary reform. Gold will be under pressure from the Americans in Nairobi The United States will press its view that "the historic decline in gold's role should continue, although we recognize that it cannot be demonetized overnight." The Americans will contend that the limited supply of gold and the competing private de- mand for it make it "wholly unrelated" to the monetary system's needs and they are against continuously marking up the price of gold to provide the s.ystem with ex- panding reserves. The wild gyrations in the gold price during the past year, as the U.S. government sees it, only proves that gold cannot provide a stable basis for the world monetary system. The United States and most other countries prefer SDR's as the principal monetary reserve medium and as the system's unit ot ac- count Intense pressure will be applied to the rich countries in Nairobi by representatives of the poor countries of Africa. Asia and Latin America. They want newly created SDR's to be linked to foreign aid The United States is opposed, contending that this would cause an over-issue of SDR's, worsen world inflation, create monetary disorder and result in no net increase in real aid to the poor countries mm WORLD is concerned, however, it is a response that denies them the protection against inflation af- forded to others. Mr. Basford's preferential rates are subject to the test of family income: the earnings of both partners. Income tax law now permits a deduction for child care expenses, ob- viously a heavy charge against the income of the mother. But there is no such consideration for people seek- ing to qualify for 8 cent mortgages. Some are ineligi- ble by reason of income which is apparent rather than real. Others whose combined salaries are extremely modest in relation to present costs find no help whatever in present national housing policy It may be that the best an- swer would be liberalization of present regulations respecting income. If this would be costly, the govern- ment should reconsider its priorities. The essen- including shel- have preference over the merely desirable and the conspicuously wasteful which account for such large sums nowadays. Mr Gillies' proposal is at- tractive at first glance because it would insulate rates generally against high winds from the south. But it would invite serious dangers which the Conservative finan- cial critic has yet to deal with in his public pronouncements. It is an advantage to Cana- dian government and business to have access to the U.S money markets. Even Socialist treasurers have been known to make pilgrimages to New York, as Real Caouette delights to remind David Lewis In the 1960s, under the Ken- nedy and Johnson adminis- the U.S. introduced an interest equalization tax and successive sets of guidelines. Canada was exempted from the tax and accorded special consideration in the guidelines. But, of course, we could not argue very per- suasively for such considera- tion if we now instituted a tax of our own against the United States. We would be seeking short-term advantage at the price of much greater long- term advantage. The Gillies proposal would throw out the baby with the bath water, a course not usually considered wise. The Conservatives argue, and with some force, that the Liberals have permitted a considerable deterioration of U.S.-Canauian relations. This is one of the objections to the new oil policy achieved through Mr. Macdonald's ex- ercise in instant consultation. It is strange that Mr. Gillies should at this time end in almost casual fashion put the stamp of Conservative approval on an interest equalization tax. 1973 by NEA, Inc "Hey, Judge Sirica, anytime you want to hear OUR tapes, just stop in." The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th St S. Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors and Publishers Published 1905-1954, by Hon WA BUCHANAN Second Class Mail Registration No 0012 Member of The Canadian Press and the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers' Association and the Audit Bureau ol Circulations CLEOW MOWERS. Editor and Publisher THOMAS H ADAMS. General Manager DON PILLING WILLIAM HAY Managing Editor Associate Editor ROY MILES DOUGLAS K WALKER Advertising Manager Editorial Editor "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"