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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - September 28, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta By JOHN BURNS, Special to The Herald Chou illness dims Chinese birthday foy PEKING On Tuesday, it will be 25 years since Mao Tse-tung mounted the gate of heavenly peace in the centre of Peking and proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China. ____________________ A quarter of a century that has transformed a land scourged by hunger, disease and war into a proud and self sufficient nation that serves as a model of development for much of the developing world. For several days now, workers have been busily scraping and repainting the vermilion walls of the gate where Mao stood on that epochal day, preparing for a fireworks display that is apparently scheduled for the evening of National Day. In the parks on either side of the gate, once the private gardens of emperors, teams are at work erecting open-air stages where performers of all kinds will entertain the crowds in the hours before fireworks light up the evening sky. The propaganda media, meanwhile, are gearing up for the anniversary with a flood of articles trumpeting the progress that this once backward land has made under Communist rule. Even discounting their hyper- bole it is manifest that the achievements they list in industry, agriculture, education, sports and a dozen other fields are on a scale for which'history provides few parallels. Yet there is a mood of uncertainty hanging over the land that must vex the people almost as much as the achievements of the past quarter century swell their pride. It is not the material prospects that are in question, for the emphasis on self-reliance has secured the economy against the shocks that are unsettling much of the rest of the world, but the outlook on the political front the worry that must derive from the certainty that the age and failing health must sooner or later, and probably sooner, oblige the men who have over the history of the republic thus far to devolve their power on others whose abilities and per- suasions are less sure. Mao's legacy? It is an irony that the Communists should approach this landmark in their rule with the succession dilemma that has been stalking them down the years suddenly pressing in. Compounding the irony is the fact that what is lending immediacy to the problem now is not so much the health of Chairman Mao Tse- tung, often in question in the past, as that of Premier Chou En-lai the Chou whom the Western press has characterized so often in the past as indestructible and indefatigable, as somehow immune to the ravages of time. It may have been a legacy of the experience with Mao, whose survival at 80 mocks all past forecasts of his impending demise, that caused the world to un- derestimate the gravity of Chou's ailment when word of it first leaked. When the 76-year-old premier cut back his schedule in May there was a predisposition among China watchers to look for political reasons, and though Chou himself subsequently said he was not feeling up to par, it was not until the revelation in July that he was in hospital with heart trouble that the seriousness of it was generally recognized. National Day will show whether Premier Chou has recovered sufficiently to join other leaders at the public celebrations, but even if he does some skep- ticism will persist about the likelihood of his ever regaining the strength that formerly enabled him to dominate the government machinery. Rumors of resignation can probably be discounted, if only because it would be uncharacteristic of the man and the political system, but the probabilities seem to lie in his retreating from stage centre into a position akin to that occupied in recent years by Chairman Mao a position of enormous personal prestige and authority but one that leaves the vitally important control of day to day affairs in the hands of men of lesser reknown. It is probably no coincidence that the party organs that took the unprecedented step of chronicling the premier's illness abandoning their normal reticence on the subject of the party principals' health, they have had him into hospital, out for the reception and now back in again have simultaneously contrived to pre- sent a picture of an invigorated Mao. The visible activities of government at the highest level mostly protocol in nature, since all deliberations are held in secret have been perform- ed since the beginning of the summer by Chou's two senior deputies. Vice-Premiers Teng Hsiao-ping and Li Hsiennien. and politically alert Chinese must have long since concluded that these two men and the coterie of advertisers around them have been entrusted with much of the managerial responsibility that was once almost exclusively Chou's Not highly rated Though each is a member of the powerful Polit- buro and wields considerable influence in the party through a network of close associates built up over half a century, neither Teng nor Li has hitherto rated very- high on the list of future possibilities that every China watcher has filed away in his mind. Looking beyond the present uncertainties to the time when a new man or men will emerge to inherit the power vested in Mao and Chou an enterprise not much more certain than playing the numberrs in a casino, given how little is known of the power relationships between individuals at the highest level. Before he fell ill. Premier Chou used !o handle visitors' queries on the subject by saying that the succession would devolve on a collective, and provision for such a group seemed to have been made when the party Congress last year named five vice-chairmen as deputies to Mao. The five took the place of the ill- starred Lin Piao. who simultaneously identified as sole vice-chairman and Mao's heir by the previous Congress in 1969, yet scarcely a year later the arrange- mem seems to have fallen into desuetude with three of the five Chou, Kang Sheng and Yen varying slates of health, a fourth, Li Teh sheng under something of a political cloud and only Wang un- qesUonably physically and politically fit. The real test of cohesion will come only with the departure of Mao and Chou. When that happens, it will take a rare degree of self-discipline and farsightedness among the survivors to ensure that there is no renewal of the fighting that has rent the party in the past Court protects secrecy of embarrassing RCMP files OTTAWA (CP) The Fed- eral Court of Appeal ruled Fri- day that top secret RCMP documents dealing with dis- missal of two former officers shall be returned to RCMP files and not made public. Reasons for the judgment were not released. The documents were fur- nished by the RCMP as evi- dence in the appeal by former undercover sergeants Gilles Brunet and Don McCleery of Montreal against their dis- missal from the force. But after the documents were produced in support of the RCMP case, the former policemen applied to withdraw their appeal last Wednesday. The court granted their application. The men also applied to the court to order the return of the documents to the RCMP commissioner. The court's decision Friday granted this request as well. But the application by Arthur Campeau, lawyer for the former officers, came as a surprise. It had been expected that if anybody would want to hide the contents of the documents, which deal at least in part with security operations of-the RCMP, it would be the government. The case already has arous- ed a storm of controversy about the propriety of hiding documents which might em- barrass the government. The Canadian Civil Liber- ties Union has said it will seek changes in the law enabling the government to arbitrarily refuse to produce documents for use in court. Gordon Fairweather, MP for Fundy Royal and Progressive Conservative justice critic, and Alan Borovoy, general counsel of the Civil Liberties Union in Toronto, have said in separate interviews that Section 41 (2) of the four-year-old Federal Courts Act is too broad and open to possible abuse. In the Brunet-McCleery case, however, the Federal Court has saved the govern- ment the embarrassment of acting to keep the documents from public view. A court official said Friday night that reasons for the deci- sion probably will be made public next week. The government had, how- ever, moved to prevent any publication of documents mentioning two undercover agents named in some of the documents. This action came before the application was made for McCleery and Brunet to with- draw the case, and the govern- ment assented to publication of the rest of the documents Mr. Campeau told reporters Wednesday that the two former Mounties withdrew their cases reluctantly because they would have been unable in court to answer m- nuendos and falsehoods con- tained in the documents He said they were reluctant to withdraw their cases because it meant they cannot now pursue their goal of clear- ing their names. The LetHbridge Herald VOL. LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1974 20 Cents 68 Pages Grain walkout costs millions Test shows malignancy in Betty Ford's breast WASHINGTON (AP) The results of the biopsy on Betty Ford were unfavorable and an opeiation will remove her right breast, a White House spokesman said today. President Ford was informed by the White House physician, Dr William Lukash, about a.m. and was expected to come to the hospital this morning, the spokesman said. The surgery began after 8 a.m. Navy Capt. William Fouty, chief of surgery at Bethesda Medical Centre, headed the operating team. The schedule called first for removal of a small nodule in the breast to determine whether or not it was cancerous. An examination of a section of tissue was made immediately Shortly after 9 a.m. assistant press secretary William Rob- erts from the White House issued the following brief statement to reporters: "The results of the biopsy performed on Mrs. Ford were un- favorable. An operation to remove her breast is now under way." AMA to tackle money problem So near, yet. A young beagle displays an unusually strong longing as he appears to bend a bus stop in an attempt to reach a desired destination in Montreal Thursday. But the little tyke's strength is illusory. The stop in reality had been bent by an erring motor- ist. Tough Argentine security law to stop terrorism, killings BUENOS AIRES (AP) A sweeping security bill design- ed to halt the rising tide of terrorism in Argentina was given final congressional approval today. President Isabel Peron is expected to sign the legislative package into law shortly. The measure was adopted one day after right-wing terrorists kidnapped and kill- ed the alleged founder of a lef- tist guerrilla group and shot to death his son-in-law in the centre of the capital. Police sources said the bullet-riddled body of Silvio Frondizi. the brother of Indian denies bomb squad plan LONDON. Ont. (CP) Louis Cameron. Ojibwa Warrior Society leader, denied Friday that he said members of an Ottawa-bound native caravan would invade Parliament with bombs strapped to their legs if their demands were not met He accused the press in Can- ada of a conspiracy to destroy the Indian cause. Mr. Cameron said the Thursday news story which- referred to caravan members as a "suicide squad" was an attempt to discourage would- be Indian supporters. The press "is trying to say that if you join the struggles of the native peoples, if you recognize native peoples as brothers and sisters, you are committing he told about 150 persons at the London Public Library. He compared the Indians' struggle to that of Quebec separatists. "The history books have been wrong." he said. "Their