May 17 1982


May 17 1982


The economie downturn

In his May 3 Editorial, A Sensible Prescription for Our Self-Inflicted Economic Wounds, Peter C. Newman writes, . . the central bank continues to behave as if the exhausted Keynesian theories still applied.” Good Galbraith! That’s like claiming that Ronald Reagan’s faith in Marxism is unshaken. Keynesians are now the good guys.


It is only in recent years that the Big Three, spurred by Japanese competition, have introduced light, fuel-efficient, front-wheel-drive cars, which the consumer obviously demands. It is precisely this competition that some people now seek to eliminate. I hope we are not as shortsighted as our forefathers. Trade restrictions bring about inefficiency and stagnation, which eventually Keynesians now worsen any economic -

downturn. Free international trade must abound if we are to ride out this recession. —ANDRE HUENIKEN,

Guelph, Ont.

Tougher is not better

Your interview with Dr. George Scott (The World Behind Prison Walls, May 3) got my blood boiling. Suggestions that prisoners should be allowed to shoot themselves, that prison is a place where offenders “learn to grow up,” that a minimum sentence should be five years and that it is “absolutely impossible” that prisoners are ever beaten by guards, are preposterous. I pray that this approach does not mislead readers into believing that “tougher” is “better.” —JOHN HYLTON,

Choosing to retire?

Just how did you ascertain that Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was “ousted” from the 13member Vietnamese ruling Communist Party Politburo (Passages, April 12)? At age 71, after so successfully “masterminding” the military affairs of his country—a country that has defeated and ousted two major military powers—is it not more likely that the gentleman chose to retire?

—CLAIRE CULHANE, North Burnaby, B.C.

Of Anglo guilt and naïveté

I found your Podium on lack of EnglishCanadian pride to be most intriguing (.A Strike Back for the Empire, May 3). I am a 16-year-old second-generation English Canadian who does not feel guilty, is not unsure about his heritage, and is certainly not sorry for “English oppression,” if there is such a thing. English Canadians have contributed more to Canada than has any other group. “Anglo guilt”—how could there be such a thing? —STEPHEN WILLIAMS,


I cannot believe anyone could write anything as naïve as “peasant dances, the gleeful, gut-level music of villagers, a fondness for the massive sparseness of antique Quebec furniture” referring to French Canadians. What is more, I cannot believe that anyone could publish such material.

—JOHN SULLIVAN, Snow Lake, Man.

Three cheers for Margaret Drury Gane’s Podium. Both my parents came to this country as the good guys “Home Children,” deprived of education, fam-

ily ties and basic rights. In spite of this they raised eight children, sent five sons to the Second World War and instilled fair play and stiff backs in all of US. —BEVERLEY KEARNS,

The author is so well-meaning that I am reluctant to say that her generalizations about French Canadians irked me somewhat. She wrote: “French Canadians seem . . . doomed to fuel our future with ancient grievances.” I should like to reassure her. I, as well as the majority of French Canadians, harbor no “ancient grievances.” We are simply true-blue Canadians. Our love for our country, Canada, is just as deep and enduring as hers is for Britain.


The high cost of diplomacy

In the World article Haig Diplomacy, Short-Pants Style (May 3) you state that the hotel bills alone for Haig’s “shuttle diplomacy” have amounted to $2 million. Assuming 30 days since the Falkland Islands invasion occurred, this averages to $66,666 per night. I appreciate the importance of comfort for Haig and his entourage, but this is outrageous!

—JAMES BOVARD, Vancouver

Something for nothing?

Congratulations to Rita Christopher for the stand she took in the April 19 Podium, Time to Drain the Public Trough. It is time more people realized that the real beneficiary of most social programs is the growing administrative bureaucracy. Society as a whole must realize that the government can never give it something for nothing. Where is the reliance on individual initiative that made North America the great continent it is ? —WAYNE DUNN,

Big River, Sask.

Socialism, or the social welfare system, destroys incentive, initiative, ambition and personal pride, leaving us to sit around with our hands out, saying “gimme!” Carry on, Rita Christopher. Maybe we’ll wake up before it’s too late! — A.w. DALES,


Watching television shows and talking to underhanded cabbies hardly smacks of responsible reportage. I watched Our Friend the Atom by Walt Disney when I was seven years old. May I submit an article on nuclear power?

—MURRAY BOWMAN, Smithville, Ont.

Pierre the Lion/Labor the Lamb

It is ironic that the first bash held by the newly formed Canadian Federation of Labour included labor’s antithesis, Pierre Trudeau ( Will Business and Labor Join the PM's Dance?, Canada, April 12). I think that your writer is somewhat naïve if she thinks this asso-


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ciation is a Trudeau turnaround. I will agree that labor and management should be able to work out their problems with their own devices, but the invoker of the War Measures Act and wage and price controls is not labor’s mediator. If you can picture Pierre the Lion lying down with Labor the Lamb, then the next picture will be the Lion burping. The Lamb will be conspicuously absent. — IVAN HILLER,

President, Local 672, Energy and Chemical Workers Union, Sarnia, Ont.

Your reporter referred to Trudeau’s appeal to the Canadian Federation of Labour for help in solving our economic woes as a “vague invitation.” It is obvious that Trudeau was referring to reduced wage demands as a method of lowering inflation. How can he be serious? A government whose fiscal and monetary policies have been the single most important contributor to inflation has no right to go to organized labor and request that it accept lower real incomes. —DAVID ZARUBA,

West Vancouver

Assuring lawyers’ prosperity

Thanks to Barbara Amiel for expressing so well some things that needed to be said amid the shouting about the Constitution (Danger in the Chains of Freedom, Column, April 26). On the other hand, it has been disheartening to find Maclean's joining with text and pictures in the tub-thumping and delirium orchestrated at tremendous waste of the taxpayers’ money by the federal government. The allegedly newfound powers now exercised were clearly stated in the Statute of Westminster (1931), which made legally effective the statements expressed with clarity and economy of words in the Imperial Conference declarations of 1926 and 1930.

Moreover, the Charter of Rights has been so sloppily drafted, in such a plethora of words, that the prosperity of the legal profession for the next half -century is assured. —HAROLD WILLS,


The most important thinker

One can never know for sure about someone in one’s own midst, but I believe that Northrop Frye is not only the greatest and most important Canadian mind, in terms of work done, ever, but he is surely also one of the greatest minds of the 20th century (The Gospel According to Frye, Cover). Frye has even more influence ahead of him than he has had to date. You did yourself proud and your readers a favor on April 5. —WILLIAM MACDONALD,


A stylish end to colonialism

I can sympathize with most of Allan Fotheringham’s utterances, and not least with those in the April 12 column, The Sound of One Hand Clapping. His waspish comment on the various aspects of the final winding down of the curtain on the British Raj in Canada and the end of colonialism and all its trappings (as he puts it), I can readily appreciate. However, I think it must be said that this process had to be seen to be done in that atmosphere and style, otherwise the Queen’s visit for the very purpose would have had no point. Perhaps we have just witnessed one of the last events of any color and pageantry that we are likely to see for some time.

—M.W. ANKETELL-JONES, Castle Hill, Rochester, Kent, England

The Israeli-Palestinian dilemma

Having no personal Middle East axe to grind, I was still offended by your latest coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma (The Struggle for the Holy Land, Cover, April 12). Michael Posner’s article was rife with Israeli bias. He seems to have spent most of his time speaking with Israeli propagandists and poets and very little with the Palestinians.



The plight of West Bank and Gaza Strip Arabs is well documented, but never, ever, is any mention made of the plight of Jews in any Arab country since 1948.


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