Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 28, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Government refuses to replace school now fire hazard The Letbbrtdge Herald VOL LXVI No. 244 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1973 TEN CENTS 2 SECTIONS 28 PAGES Losses worry local packers INDUSTRY BATTLING COST-PRICE FREEZE Beef feeders in a frenzy By ROBERTS Herald Staff Writer Beef surpluses are bringing smiles to the faces of local consumers but substantial losses to local meat packers. A survey of city meat markets shows retail meat prices have dropped con- siderably in the past three weeks. They are generally 10 to 20 cents a pound lower. At one store a T-bone steak which three weeks ago sold for now sells for and the store manager thinks it will drop to Hamburger which sold for now sells for and this store had it on special at 99 cents a pound. Rump roast has dropped from to and chuck roast has dropped from to 99 cents. The manager says it will go to 95 cents and says he has seen it at 89 cents in some stores. Another store reports bacon has dropped from three weeks ago to It also reports a drop of 36 cents for rump roast but says its ham- burger has stayed about the same. Prices of meats vary at different stores because demands are different for each area of the city. Currie's Foods Ltd., 15169th Ave. S., reports 90 cent a pound decrease in the price of T-bone and a 60 cent a pound decrease for sirloin steaks in the last three weeks. Floyd Currie, manager, says lower prices from the packing houses and the ending of the barbecuing season are responsible. Chicken at Currie's has stayed the same but there has been a 10 cent a pound decrease in pork chops. Chicken and pork usually take about two to three weeks to catch up to beef prices Mr. Currie says. When the price of beef goes down people buy more. As a result they don't buy as much chicken and pork reducing the demand and then the price. Safeway's Southern Alberta merchandising manager, Rick Brackman, says his firm's prices have been declining over the past two weeks. Mr. Brackman and all the store owners and managers say as soon as they receive a reduction in the price of a side of beef from the meat packers they pass it on to the con- sumer. Because consumers are paying less for meat the packers and producers are receiving less. They're not happy about it. One says it's the worst squeeze he has ever ex- perienced and he is taking substantial losses. Another major packer in the area says he is losing about five to iO cents a pound on a side of beef. A side of dressed beef now sells for 77 cents a pound, about 15 cents a pound cheaper than three weeks ago and eight cents cheaper than last week. Both packers agree, however, that the surplus of beef will diminish and prices will level off within the next two or three weeks. These cattle aren't very concerned but their owners are worried His nightmare, phase two Agnew will fight to the end By JAMES RESTON New York Times Service WASHINGTON Vice- President Spiro Agnew has made up his mind about the next phase of what he calls his "nightmare." He does not in- tend to resign, even if he is in- dicted by the Baltimore Grand Jury, but is going to fight for exoneration through the courts, and keep appealing to the House of Representatives for a full and open hearing, no matter how long it takes. Not, he makes clear, because of political ambition or any hopes for the presiden- tial nomination in 1976. All that is over now, he tells his friends. He has been destroyed politically and knows it. but he will not go quietly, for that would look like a confession of guilt, and that, he insists, is a confession he will never make. Agnew decided to appeal to the House of Representatives to hear his case after Fred Graham of the Columbia Broadcasting System quoted Henry Petersen, assistant at- torney general in charge of the justice department's criminal division, as saying he had refused to drop criminal charges against the vice- president because Petersen was confident the government could obtain a conviction against Agnew if the case went to trial. Petersen was quoted by Graham as got the evidence. We've got it cold." On Aug. 6, the vice- president issued a statement saying "I am innocent of any wrong-doing (and) I have confidence in the criminal justice system of the United States and am equally con- fident my innocence will be affirmed." The vice-president is no longer confident in the "criminal justice system of the United States" as it has been interpreted by the U.S. prosecutors in Baltimore and by Petersen and others. Agnew is not critical of the president's handling of his case, but is less sure about members of the president's staff. Inside Classified....... 22-26 Comics............27 animal. By RIC SW1HART Herald Staff Writer Alberta's multi-billion dollar a year beef feeding industry is fighting for its life this week. Federal government intervention and misguided agricultural policies have turned the industry into a complete frenzy and have combined to push live cattle prices down while hiking feed prices beyond all expectations, they charge. This cost-price squeeze, aided by huge importations of cheaper cattle from the United States is costing the cattle feeding industry in the west thousands of dollars every hour, they claim. Don Remington of Cardslon, one of the largest independent cattle feeders in Southern Alberta, claims promises of huge payments for feed grains by the federal government has local farmers "tied up in knots. "They don't know what to do sell their barley now to the feeders or wait and sell it to the Canadian Wheat Board in an- ticipation of higher prices." The result is farmers are refusing to sell any feed grains to anybody. Cattle feeders are being forced to pay 90 cents per bushel more today for barley than they did just six weeks ago, Mr. Remington says feeders have offered per bushel and more but farmers just aren't willing to sell. And these purchase offers are 15 cents to 25 cents more than one week ago. In a desperation move to get sufficient stocks of grain for his cattle, Mr. Remington bought bushels of barley from the Canadian Wheat Board. He paid per bushel. Farmers received only per bushel for the same barley delivered to the elevator more than a month ago. If farmers are to get any more money from the wheat board, the entire barley sales throughout this crop year must bring more than per bushel- More costs to pay Mr. Remington said he has just paid for Wheat Board ser- vices, elevation charges and freight, something which is com- pletely avoided when dealing directly with farmers. "The Wheat Board selling price for barley today (Thur- sday) was per bushel. How in the heck can the Wheat Board tell farmers they can expect to get per bushel for their grain when the Wheat Board always sells it for less. "I feel the high prices announced for the grain by the Wheat Board are simply a sales gimmick to get grain in the elevators so the Wheat Board can fill export commitments. "Farmers will be lucky if they get per bushel." The action of the federal government in the past few months has finally broken the back of the feeding industry, he said. The government has succeeded in moving it to Ontario, Mr. Remington said government intervention started when the price for processed beef was frozen in the United States while the production cost of getting the animals to market was allowed to increase. In only one year, the feed and hay costs have increased 250 per cent. Because the value of the cattle has increased so dramatically, bank loan interest money has doubled for each Comment.......... 4 District............17 Family.........20 21 Joan Waterfield___11 Local News.....15 16 Markets...........19 Mr Remington Sports.......... 12 13 Theatres...........11 Travel............. 7 TV............ 5 6 10 Weayher........... 3 At Home ..........14 When the price for cattle finally started to go up in Canada, the government removed the import tariff on U.S. beef, giving American producers an unfair advantage on the Canadian market. "Even this wasn't too bad until the rail strike hit said "Then the cattle started to build up in the west. Cattle to the east 'You sure you've still got complete faith in me LOW TONIGHT 45, HIGH SAT. 80; SUNNY, WARM. Ontario questions basis of Alberta cabinet order Jewish hostages seized on train VIENNA (Reuter) Arab guerrillas seized five Jews on a train at the Czechoslovak Austrian border today and drove them to Vienna airport. Unconfirmed reports said an Austrian railway official Nuclear blast WASHINGTON (AP) Seismic signals monitored in the United States indicate that an underground nuclear blast detonated Thursday by the Soviet Union was in the 20-to 200-kiloton range, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission said today. A kiloton is equal to the ex- plosive force of a thousand tons of TNT. The AEC said the seismic signals originated at 3 a.m. EOT Thursday in the southern Novaya Zemlya region of the Arctic. was killed by the Arabs and another railway employee in- jured. First reports said two Jewish women were seized as a train carrying Jewish emigrants from the Soviet Union crossed the Czechoslovak border into Austria at Marchegg, 24 miles northeast of here. But police later said the two Arabs, who apparently board- ed the train at Bratislava. Czechoslovakia, originally took seven Jews, including a woman and a child as well as two Austrian customs of- ficials as hostages. At least one of the Jews, ap- parently the woman, and one of the Austrian officials es- caped from the Arabs while a car was being prepared by Austrian police. CALGARY (CP) The Alberta Energy Board has decided to hear evidence on constitutional issues raised by Ontario that question basic Alberta legislation. The board is sitting at the request of the Alberta cabinet to re-examine a gas export permit issued to Consolidated Gas Ltd. in 1969. Consolidated exported the gas to Ontario buyers instead of to the originaiiy-intended United States customers. In opposing any amendment to the permit. Ontario has questioned the legality of Alberta's gas resources preservation act and the order-in-council calling for the hearing. Ontario said the act is in- valid because it regulates interprovincial trade which is the prerogative of the federal government under the con- stitution. Board chairman Dr. George Govier said the board has the gravest doubts that it is the proper forurn for dealing with constitutional issues, but he quoted an Ontario court deci- sion that boards are "masters of their own house" in dealing with matters of law and fact. He also said the board will reserve decision on the validi- ty of the order-in-council." The possible rejection of an order from the lieutenant- governor was an issue ol such magnitude that the board could not rule without further study. Robin Scott, counsel for the Ontario attorney-general's department, opened his arguments on the con- stitutional issue Thursday but the hearings bogged down almost immediately on whether certain documents should be admitted in evidence. He asked to admit certain of the board's ov.-p. reports deal- ing with gas statistics and pricing, indicating if the current matter ended in a court of appeal the reports would provide necessary fac- tual information for the court. J. H. Laycraft, counsel for Consolidated, opposed this, suggesting a ruling on the scope of evidence the board would accept must be made first. He also said a decision on validity of the order-in- council is fundamental. Ontario has questioned the validity of the order. "Then the federal government put on the embargo again in- stead of trying to move western cattle into markets in the east." Now has come the "commercials" telling farmers to sell their feed grain to the government and not to the feeding in- dustry in the west, he said. "I bought only 200 replacement feeder cattle this spring and now I wish I had never seen said Mr. Remington. "Feeders in Alberta can only hope to get out of the business, hopefully with some of their shirts still intact. "The government couldn't have destroyed us any better if they had set out to do it." Ross Nillson, manager of Hi-Way (52) Feeders Ltd. at Ray- mond said some of his clients with cattle on feed have asked that their cattle be put on limited rations because of the high cost of feed. "Its impossible to buy any barley right said Mr. Nillson. "Every time a farmer sold barley during the past six weeks, he sold too low. Now with the government-announced prices, farmers are holding back for more money. "And you really can't blame them." Mr. Nillson said the 35 to 40 feeders holding cattle in his feedlot are taking a licking. Soon, he predicts, "there won't be any men around to feed cattle." "The banks will see to that because they won't lend the feeders any money to buy more cattle. And I don't think the feeders will want to take any more chances." Dick Gray, co-owner of Valley Feeders Ltd. in the river valley west of Lethbridge and president of the Alberta Cattle Feeders' Association, said Thursday the weakening cattle prices and increased feed costs are forcing some feeders out of business. New grain agency 'unfair' The Agricultural Products Board, a new federal feed grain purchasing agent, is set up to promote the interests of Eastern Canadian cattlemen at the expense of western farmers, southern cattlemen claim. The charge was levelled against the federal govern- ment in interviews in Lethbridge late Thursday. Reed Kllison. president of K11 ison Milling Co. in Lethbridge. said, in theory, the Agricultural Products Hoard should never be used by western fanners because the price offered for feed grains by tho board is below the price they can get from the Cana- dian Wheat Board. "I don't think one bushel of barley or oats will be channelled through the Agricultural Products Board." said Mr. Ellison. All country elevator points have been authorized by the federal government to buy- grain for the products board. The government contends the price to be paid by the board will help farmers get rid of their feed grain stocks without fear of distress of selling prices The board has told farmers it will pay per bushel for food barley This figure was sol by adding the initial price all farmers get for barley when delivered to an elevator plus half of the expected final payment at the end of the crop year. All money received from barley sold through the Cana- dian Wheat Board is divided by all farmers delivering barley to the government elevators. The final payment is the amount left after calculating the amount of money left in the fund after the initial payment has been made. Mr. Ellison said if any farmer did deliver barley to the Agricultural Products Board, local farmers and cat- tle feeders would never see that grain again. "All grain delivered to the Agricultural Products Board is reserved for shipment to areas other than those designated Wheat Board areas, namely Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British said Mr. Ellison. "This means any grains delivered to the board will be used by cattle and poultry feeders in parts of British Columbia and the rest of Canada east of Manitoba." Mr. Ellison feels the whole scheme is biased for Eastern Canadian feeders and is op- posed to Western feeders. By JIM GRAiVT HetfcU Sutt Writer A school that an Alberta fire commissioner recommended be renovated or replaced more than two years ago is still a fire hazard for 2S children The provincial government school on the Standoff Hutterite colony may have been acceptable when constructed in 1918. but under school standards today it's inadequate, the fire com- missioner's recommendation sax's. The Cardston School Divi- sion board says a mobile unit may be the answer to the provincial government's refusal to build a new school on the colony. Grant Matkin. superinten- dent of the Cardston School Division, told The Herald he expects the government to assign a mobile unit to the colony within the next two weeks, but it will still take un- til December to make the unit operational as a classroom on the colony. The Lethbridge manager of the Alberta Fire Com- missioner's office says the old one room stucco school house on the colony is still standing firm on its foun- dation, but some of the hazards it presents to children "violate common sense." Andrew OToole says the nace should not be sitting next to the only exit in the building, the schoolroom door and the door on the porch of the school should be constructed to swing out rather than inward and another exit should be cut into the opposite end of the school as a safety exit. In addition to the fire hazards, the school has many other drawbacks that certain- ly don't provide an ideal learn- ing situation. The wind that whistles through the window frames is only surpassed in noise level by the consistent hum of the furnace fan. The school room is lit by two light bulbs one at ceiling level several feet above the students' desk. The library consists of a few short shelves of old textbooks that sit next to a window that has been broken since school started this year. The building is almost a replica of the oldtime one room country schools all it needs to appropriately portray that image is a coat of red paint, says the colony school teacher. Paul Payne says the school should have been replaced several years ago, but nothing has been done because the Cardston School Division board has been dragging its feel rather than making a concerted effort to encourage the government to build a new school on the colony. If the school board knew a school would not be built for at least two years, then why didn't it at least eliminate the fire hazards that it was made aware of more than two years ago, questions Mr. Payne. "Could you imagine them ignoring a similar situation in schools that are not on a Hutterite Mr. Matkin says there have been several reasons for the delay in acting upon the suggestions of the fire com- missioner to renovate or replace the colony school. First, it was found that it would be more feasible to build a new school rather than renovate the old one. When the school board approached the government for funding of a new school on the colony, it was refused because the government is now reluctant to build new schools in rural areas. However, the provincial government agreed to replace the old colony school with a mobile classroom. There were further delays as the government attempted to locate a mobile classroom that was not being used in another location. Mr. Matkin says a unit was located, but it was a dry unit (no plumbing) and the board felt a school on the colony should include modern restroom facilities. The school is now serviced by two outdoor toilets. The Standoff colony school is one of only two colony schools in the Cardston School Division owned by the school board. The other colony schools in the division are owned by the colony where they're situated. Seen and heard About town CONST. Bill Plomp of the. city police finding himself locked in an in- terrogation room Chrli Swltzer sporting a sore shoulder and several dead ducks after his first hunting season of the vear.