Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 23, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Monday, September 23, 1974 Home and school in Chile Repressive measures being taken by the governing junta in Chile have now reached a seemingly ridiculous extreme. In an upper middle-class residential area in Santiago parents have been ordered, under penalty of "immediate detention :or failure to comply, to attend a parent- teachers' association meeting. The directive to parents was issued by a brigadier general and can be looked at as one solution to attendance problems at such meetings. However, it finally arous- 3d anger in some conservatives who had jacked the overthrow of the government and who have not objected to searches, sweeping -oundups and detention of suspected ac- livists in the poorer areas of Santiago and elsewhere, a practice still going on. Estimates of political prisoners range from given by the chief of state, to a figure supplied church authorities by an official of the ministry of interior. And the Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to shelve its lundreds of habeas corpus cases, on which it was unable to act because of lack of government co-operation. The directive to parents is an evidence of the junta's moves to control the educational system in a belief that marx- ism got its there. They have, ac- cording to a New York Times report, already "cleaned out" the university system and are now turning their atten- tion to elementary and secondary schools. Under the new regime, every school director will have a military officer as his liaison with the government. The ac- tivities for which teachers and ad- ministrators can be denounced include commenting on politics, propagating ill- intentioned rumors about government activities or extremist groups, telling jokes or stories about the junta and its members, distorting patriotic values and conceptions, and failing to comply with schedules and study programs. It is tempting to pass this restrictive policy off with the facetious remark that it would never sell in Alberta. But the serious truth is that this is a classic ex- ample of how a dictatorship works to eradicate all opposition, and there is nothing funny about it. Southeast Asia While world attention has been focuss- ed on Watergate and its aftermath, on inflation, on the drought in the African Sahel, on food production, over popula- tion and the frightening aspects of proliferation of nuclear technology, off in a corner of the world known mainly for Vietnam, emerging countries carved out of old colonial empires are getting restive about their economic and military dependency on democratic countries of the West. They see agreements in these fields altered or nullified with every change of govern- ment in Canberra, Washington and Whitehall and they are suspicious of in- stability and afraid that they are pawns in internal politics. As a result, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, among other Southeast Asia countries, are quietly pursuing common interests and developing common bonds. When Gerald Ford supplanted Richard Nixon, he called for a tough approach toward inflation. If this means protec- tionism and import quotas, this could hurt Asian trade. Australia's Labor government, once open minded about Asian imports, has now imposed restric- tions on textiles and may expand this to include other imports as a protective measure. In military policy, self interest among the larger powers has led to the same kind of vacillation and renunciation of agreements. In the late 1960s, the British government announced that it was pulling out all its military forces east of Suez by the mid 1970s. This deadline was then moved up to 1971. When the Conservatives came to power in 1970, the policy was reversed and a five power agreement known as ANZUK came into being in which Britain, Australia and New Zealand contributed troops, naval units and air- craft to defend their two Commonwealth partners, Singapore and Malaysia, from attack. When the Labor government came to power in Australia late in 1972, it an- nounced that it planned to withdraw all but a handful of men from ANZUK. This move led New Zealand and Britain to make their forces independent. And when Labor came to power (if that is the word) in Britain earlier this year, the two Asian countries were notified that Britain's military commitments were under review. If Labor wins once more in the Oct. 10 election, it can be assumed that the 1968 decision to withdraw will be implemented. With the recognition of the vulnerabili- ty of their defence systems and their economy. to every political wind that blows through western capitals, these developing countries are beginning to build their own military forces and concluding mutual economic agreements. Indonesia and Singapore have signed a treaty delimiting their territorial waters and are discussing agreements on naval patrols. The In- donesian and Malaysian navies have held joint exercises. Indonesia and Singapore have agreed on economic and technical co operation. A two month mul- tinational seminar on mutual defence problems is about to begin in Jakarta. And on the economic front there is some small evidence that the five power Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which also includes Thailand and the Philippines, may some day become another common market. Although they cannot compete with the industrialized west in resources and technology, these countries are not ex- actly helpless and the next step to asserting independence may be to es- tablish the commodity cartels in rubber, tin and non-ferrous metals that have been proposed. As the oil cartel has shown, this may pose more problems than it solves, but at least the problems would belong to the industrialized economies of the developed countries of the world. ART BUCHWALD To tell the truth WASHINGTON There is some question is to whether State Department and CIA (fficials told the truth when they testified in ront of congressional committees oncerning U.S. involvement in the iverthrow of the Allende regime in Chile, itiere is even some talk of perjury charges icing brought against high U.S. government This could play havoc with congressional learings, particularly where our foreign wlicy is concerned, if they can't lie. many "itate Department and CIA types say they refuse to appear on Capitol Hill. This is what could happen "Secretary Sangfroid, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the ruth so help you "I didn't understand the question." "We are going to ask certain questions our foreign policy and we want to ,now if you intend to respond with honest mswers." "Hmmnn. can 1 consult with "Yes. you can "What was the question again, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole ruth and nothing but the truth 50 help you jorT" "Is that a multiple choice question''" "Just answer ves or no. Mr Secretary "Counsel advises me that since national security is involved 1 ran't tell you whether 1 will tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing rat the truth without consulting with Dr Kissinger "There will be a five-minute recess while ,-ou call Dr Kissinger Five minutes later "All right. Secretary Sangfroid. I will pose the question again Do you swear to tell the ruth, the whole truth and nothing but the ruth so help you "Dr Kissinger says I can't swear to that unless you go into executive session." "We are in executive session. Mr. Secretary." "Then could you clarify something for me? If you ask me a question, do you expect me to give a truthful answer to it. even if it compromises the administration and the State Department and the CIA and gets somebody into trouble for making a stupid "That is correct." "Dr. Kissinger was afraid of that. I'll have to consult with him again." Five minutes later. "Mr. Secretary, we really do have to get on with these hearings, and in order to do so we have to swear you in as a witness under oath "Why can't I "Because H is essential that Congress be kept informed as to what this country is doing abroad." "In Russia I could lie." "We're not in Russia. Mr. Secretary. The constitution specifically gives the Senate the right to advise and consent on foreign policy. "In -order to do that we must have information from your department. You fan see that, can't "But if you know what we're doing and you don't agree with it. you'll have to do something about it How can we have a strong foreign policy if you keep asking the State Department to tell you the "Mr Secretary. 1 must warn you that if you refuse to tell us the truth we shall have to hold you in contempt of Congress." "But if I look the oath seriously. Or Kissinger could get very angry with me Thc- way 1 see it. if I'm convicted for lying. I can always get a pardon from the president But who would give a pardon to anyone who told the truth to Congress''" Contradictions By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star commentator "Why can't you find a job to go on strike from like other The way to raise wages By Bruce Whitestone, syndicated commentator It may not seem, at first sight, to be of much significance that the minimum wage is going up in various provinces this autumn. However, this event illustrates another reason why we are in such an economic mess; it typifies the way we try to cure our problems, and in so doing, makes things worse. Most continue to advocate minimum wage laws without misgivings. It ought to be clear that a minimum wage law is not the way to combat the evil of low wages. When the minimum wage is raised to per hour, the first thing that happens is that no one who is not worth per hour will be employed at all. One cannot make a person worth a given amount by mak- ing it illegal for anyone to offer that worker anything less. That person is merely deprived of the right to earn the amount commensurate with his or her abilities and situation. Further, the com- munity loses even the moderate services that the worker is capable of rendering. In brief then, for a low wage, you substitute un- employment. There are exceptions, of course when a group of workers is receiving a wage below its market worth. This could occur only in special cir- cumstances when competitive forces do not operate ade- quately. Now, with un- ionization, communications and mobility so widespread, even the few cases where a group is not adequately paid would soon disappear. One must realize that a minimum wage law tends to become a political football. It may start out to be a reasonable floor and, ad- mittedly, could improve labor productivity, but sooner or later, some will attempt to carry favor by proposing even higher minimum standards. Some may believe that if the law forces the payment of a higher wage in a given in- dustry, that industry can then charge higher prices for its product, so that the burden of paying the higher wages is thereby shifted to the con- sumer. That kind of short- term "thinking" does not cor- respond with reality. A charge so that the higher wage is added to the selling price is not easily made, a higher price for the product may not be possible. Con- sumers may buy a substitute, or if prices rise, the consumer may just buy less of the item. This would mean, of course, that while some workers may benefit from the higher wage, others will lose their jobs. Others bravely proclaim, that if a company cannot pay a "decent" minimum wage, it should not exist. However, the consumer will suffer the loss of that product, and workers therein will be condemned to unemployment. The workers who become unemployed will look for jobs and exert downward pressure on other wages. Actually, of course, many workers will apply for and receive unemployment in- surance benefits rather than get another job, for the time being anyway. All of this leads to other problems. The new minimum wage of per hour (or for a 40-hour week) forbids the employment of anyone under that figure. Yet the unemploy- ment insurance commission pays only two-thirds of one's weekly wages. Thus, if a worker had been earning per week, (less than the minimum of per hour for forty he would now be compelled to accept per week, two-thirds of the new minimum wage, and less than he was earning! Society has been deprived of the value of the worker's ser- vices and his ability to be independent, and taxpayers have to pay this person's un- employment cheque. The only way to raise wages is to raise labor productivity. This can be accomplished by an increase in capital ac- cumulation, machines which enhance better productivity, and by more efficient management and labor. The more the individual produces, the more wealth is produced. Real wages come of produc- tion, not government laws. Was Ford conned on Chile? By Tom Wicker, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON The dis- closure that the Central Intelligence Agency financed the series of strikes that preceded the overthrow of President Allende in Chile ought to make Gerald Ford hide his face. Either he has been conned by the CIA into grossly misleading the American people and giving his approval to international gangsterism, or he did it on his own. Ford, confirming at his re- cent news conference that the CIA had carried out covert operations in Chile, suggested that it happened "three or four years ago" and that it -was merely an attempt to "assist the preservation of op- position newspapers and electronic media and to preserve opposition political parties." The facts are that the Allende government did not try. as Ford charged it did, to "destroy opposition news media and to destroy op- position political parties." The parties continued to function throughout the Ailende regime. No govern- ment censorship of the press was established. A one-day shutdown of an opposition paper. El Mercuric, was made possible by a Isbel Saw passed jn the previous regime of Eduardo Frei, who was sup- ported by the CIA. Even that one-day shutdown did not occur until June 22, 3973, jusl a few months before the military coup thai overthrew Allende. The InterAmerican Press Associa- tion said then that the shut- down was the "first deliberate attempt to silence or in- timidate" El Mercuric. Allende had been elected in 3970. The Ford statement was misleading in every par- ticular. Whatever pressures Allende occasionally brought on the opposition press, he im- posed no censorship, and made no attempt to "destroy" it. He did not try to destroy op- position parties. The CIA intervention was not "three or four years ago." It was by no means limited to support for opposition press and parties, as the latest dis- closures make clear. Even if any part of Ford's statement had been true, the plain fact is that the United States supports any number of regimes where press and politics are harshly repressed South Vietnam. South Korea, until recently Greece, just to name a few. But when the Chilean military junta, its path paved by the "destablization" paid for and fomented by the CIA. took power, it immediately silenc- ed both the press and the political parties, murdered thousands of Chileans and jail- ed thousands more. Aside from misleading the American people. Ford's statement was one of the most unfortunate ever made by the head of a supposedly law- abiding government. It claim- ed Ihe right of this nation to go clandestinely into others and "take certain actions in the intelligence field to help im- plement foreign policy and protect national security." That is a beautified way of saying "to subvert legitimate governments by bribery, trickery and violence." Ford then justified this claim by saying Communist governments did the same thing, and that other countries did too. He took this to the ul- timate length of saying that, in the case of Chile, the sub- version had been in the "best interest" of the Chilean people. Who gave the United States the right to make such a judgment in opposition to a free Chilean election? The "candor" of Ford's remarks, far from being praiseworthy, had the effects not just of admitting that international subversion goes on. but of giving it public, of- ficial approval, and from the president of the United States. What does this tell us about a man who in pardoning Richard Nixon said he believ- ed that "right makes might" and who has just called in the United Nations for a co- operate world order based on "accommodation, moderation and consideration of the interests of It probably tells us that Gerald Ford has been sold a bill of goods by the CIA and Secretary of State Kissinger, who presided over the national security body that authorized the CIA interven- tions in Chile. Inexperienced in foreign affairs, no doubt in- timidated by the "experts" at his elbow, unwilling to reverse long-standing policies of previous presidents, political- ly dependent on Kissinger at home and abroad. Ford an instinctive hawk anyway no doubt said what they wanted him to say in their best interest. And that tells us further that if the wings of the CIA are to be clipped any time soon, and if Kissinger's responsibility for the reprehensible events in Chile is to be clarified, Congress will have to do it, with no help from the White House. The two incidents have noth- ing directly ir. common. The link is that each incident con- tradicts the other, and by so doing reveals a great deal, I think, about how Canadians really feel these days about our troubled economy. Scene One. The Ontario Club, a businessman's waterhole just off Bay Street in Toronto. Red plush all over the place; expense-account food; waiters discreet enough not to listen as members buy and sell General Motors over the smoked salmon. I'd been invited there by a prominent investment dealer. He is deep in the dumps. "Repressed hysteria" is the best way to describe the mood of his in- dustry, he says. People are quitting for safe jobs in government: "They just can't stand the pace any more." Scene Two. A downtown taxi an hour or so later. An overflowing ashtray and a St. Christopher's medal dangling from the mirror. A Toronto paper that morning had reported that house prices were dropping. Did I believe the story, the driver asks. Yes, I answered, it sounded right. "I think so too, I'm go- ing to buy me a house. This is the time to do it." The point about the taxi driver, a member of the rag- ged ranks of the men-on-the- street, is that he hadn't lost confidence in the system. He'd read all that stuff about runaway inflation today and depression tomorrow, and in his heart he didn't believe it. There are, I am certain, thousands more like him. For one reason or another I've had the chance recently to talk to quite a number of people in Toronto, Ottawa, the small towns of Western Ontario and in Newfoundland on holiday. These people are worried, angry, puzzled about the economy. But they don't real- ly expect the sky to fall. Cer- tainly they are not acting that way. Examples. A bright young editor of three weekly news- papers in Western Ontario who describes, with enthusiasm and with exper- tise, his plans to start a new magazine all about auctions. An Ottawa contractor who is lining up supplies and capital for the housing boom he's cer- tain wili happen next spring. A Newfoundland union leader who's out to revolutionize his industry by turning the fishermen, traditionally de- pendents of the merchants, into fulltime professionals. All of these individuals, and others, are banking on the fu- ture. With all its problems and difficulties, being at the very least tolerable. The experts and the in- siders, many of them, tell a quite different tale. As research for future columns on the state of private pension plans (hard hit by inflation) and on the state of labour- management bargaining (hard hit by everything you can think I've interviewed a couple of authorities on both these subjects. Both experts used the lethal phrase "break- down" to describe what they felt was happening. More gloom. A successful Toronto businessman and a senior Opposition MP describe in considered tones what they see as their alter- natives; either anticipate runaway inflation by going as heavily into debt as possible so you'll be paying off in de- preciated dollars, or an- ticipate a depression by stay- ing as liquid as possible because once a crash comes everything will drop in price and you'll be able to buy cheap. Such attitudes can talk us into a depression. So also can the self-indulgent and trendy alarmism of a Morton Shulman, the maverick New Democrat member of the On- tario legislature, who in a re- cent column enjoined his readers to "put your money into gold, Swiss francs, cann- ed goods, a gun and a refuge in the country." Some of the causes of pessimism are valid. The international monetary system is in a perilous state. The stock market is sick, sick, sick. Some of the causes, though, are superficial and destructive. First, it's easier to attract an audience if you say the world is about to come to an end. Second, some com- mentators are wallowing in a kind of puritanical masochism: they sound angry that Canada has had it so good for so long and pleased therefore that things might turn bad. At the recent premiers con- ference, Premier Alex Camp- bell of Prince Edward Island refused to follow the easy path toward pessimism and made the point that while people are hurting from inflation, "they aren't hurting to the point where they will tell their gov- build that senior citizen's home, don't build that road." P.E.I, hardly pulls weight on the national scene. And that's the point. Campbell live? close to how people ac- tually feel and act. The conflict boils down to a choice between instinct and inside expertise. My money is on instinct, and on common sense. The experts are talking too much to each other. They should get out of their office and walk down the I did the other day and counted 18 high-rise building cranes visible within a two-block radius from my office. FSTVBK 750 MORTCO 1-71 9 3.tO 3 B 11974 by USA. "Let me assure you, madam. The sky is NOT The lethbridge Herald SW 7tti St. S. Alberta IETMBRIDGE MERM.O CO. 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