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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Monday, September 23, 1974 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 17 U.S. exasperated 'B.C. like China; both inscrutable By FRANK RUTTER Herald Washington Bureau WASHINGTON Dealing with the B C government, says a U S official here who sometimes does so, is like dealing with China "Like Red China, the trouble is trying to figure out what's in their mind he said The B C component of Canada U S relations is becoming increasingly disrup- tive according to a number of U S of- ficials There is evidence that Ottawa agrees The New Democratic Party government of Premier David Barrett is regarded as rambunctious and highly unpredictable and a common question asked by U S of- ficials in a number of recent conversations is, 'what shape are they in up there how popular are they9" Barrett's reputation here has never properly recovered from his visit in March, 1973, when he presented to incredulous Americans his proposal for the way out, as he titled it, of the tanker route for Alaska Oil, a fanciful plan to carry billions of barrels of oil by railway from the Arctic to Vancouver The scheme was appropriately titled A more recent visit by B C emissaries' Attorney General Alex Macdonald and James Rhodes chairman of the B C Petroleum Corp last month was also a flop, although the entertainment value was high according to officials who attend- ed talks with them here "A hard act to follow said one U S official and he was being facetious The concern of diplomats and civil ser- vants about the inscrutable west of Cana- dian politics is beginning to show up in Congress too The two senators from our good neighbor Washington State recently went public with an extremely hard hitting letter to Secretary of State Kissinger com- plaining about B C 's "concerted actions" to jeopardize the economy of the Pacific Northwest through, "illegal and dis- criminatory" policies on natural gas ex- ports Senators Henry Jackson and Warren Magnuson called B C "a serious problem It should not be overlooked that Jackson is already running for the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination and could conceivably wind up in the White House This weekend, another politician joined the cry Congressman Lloyd Meeds of Washington State s Second District, the northwest corner adjoining B C delivered a hard hitting speech to the Symposium of Canadian American Relations at Western Washington State College I can recall when it would have been politically unwise to make a speech here in Bellmgham that was critical of the governments of British Columbia or Canada Today such criticism would be greeted by Meeds said, ac- cording to a text released by his office here "Conversely, American baiting has become so popular in Canada that being seen with a U S politician is something to be wary Meeds added "There are people on both sides of the border who are not dissatisfied by this un- happy state of affairs Nay-sayers and demogogues may in fact be pleased Meeds went on to cite a number of Canada U S problems all of which in- volve B C and all of which, according to officials here, are being exacerbated by the attitude of the B C government, both toward Americans and toward Ottawa These problems include Point Roberts, the Skagit Valley, natural gas cur- tailments and demands for exorbitant prices, the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which Ottawa wants and B C op- poses, the West coast tanker issue, on which B C has failed to offer a coherent, co operative position, salmon fishing, and some others still in the embryonic stage In short, B C is making a name for itself in the U S capital, although it is not always printable According to one U S government of- ficial, B C has failed to realize the inter relationship of most of those bilateral problems that they are negotiable often within the context of other problems, that what you give on one issue you can gain on another Thus, when B C takes a hard line on natural gas supplies to Washington State it can hurt itself on the Skagit or the routing of oil tankers To a certain extent, Ottawa, too, suffers from this problem, but most people in U S government are aware of the impact of federal provincial relations on Canada's international relations and they sym- pathize with the frustrations it causes As Meeds also observed, "there is a greater limitation on state involvement in international relations than there is on provincial involvement" Americans are accustomed to thinking in national terms This has been par- ticularly brought home by the energy problems of the past year Many Canadians think more in regional terms But the way the governments of Canada and the U S do business is at the federal level Meeds went pretty far when he characterized the situation vis a vis B C as "alarming and potentially dangerous He warned that trans border problems must be faced frankly "or they will con- tinue to fester and ultimately poison our relationship It was a clear warning, and one which, privately, is welcomed in the capital where there are people who want to main- tain a consistent and co operative relationship capable of securing rational agreements on the specific B C issues mentioned as well as others "Little hope for millions' By BRUCE LEVETT WASHINGTON (CP) Without a major, world-wide effort, 800 million people in the developing countries of the world can expect almost no improvement in their lives" during the next five years the World Bank said today "For hundreds of millions more any improvement will, at best be meager without such action The warning is contained in the bank s 1974 annual report, issued a week before the open- ing of the five-day annual joint meetmg with the Inter- national Monetary Fund (IMF) The World Bank report sup- ports warnings issued by the IMF earlier which said appeals for international co- operation and mutual under- standing were made in previous annual reports, "but never with greater urgency than at the present time The meeting of the sister or- gamzalions will attract finance ministers, central bank governors and other economic policymakers from member countries throughout the non-communist world TO HOLD TALKS In addition, the United States will hold an informal conference to discuss world economic and 01! problems with the international experts Finance Minister John Turner plans to head the Canadian delegation to the WorJd Bank-IMF meeting Energy Minister Donald Mac-