Star-Phoenix from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada on March 2, 1955 · 15
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Star-Phoenix from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada · 15

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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 2, 1955
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15
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y v , vn r v . , tyn yatoNNFlW W'-'u ' Democracy cannot be maintained without its foundations, free public opinion and free discussion throughout the nation of all matters affecting the state, within the limits set by the criminal code and the common law " Th 8irm Ctirl 1 Canada. 1931 Printed bllthel dally asetfi fiiRtftf t (ha ffe I th Mtiuua fcur-Phl. Limited, Twentieth Sirtel. Etii. Ktikis, Saskatchewan. Ailhriic4 arnd Uh mat) kf Ida Paat Oifict 0artnst OlU I $ ft. M C ANTIOM. Publish ftftlt kOHU Edit WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2, 1955 Transit Troubles It would be rash, we think, to take it for granted that the Saskatoon transit system will incur a $35,399 deficit on its 1955 operations. That is the figure given in the civic budget estimates tabled in City Council Monday evening. But transit revenues, and to a lesser extent, transit operating expenses, are subject to factors whose influence is uhpredictable in advance. Nevertheless, the forecast deficit is an indication that the transit system is in some difficulty. But if the problem is serious, as Superintendent Burt Scharfe suggested the other day, there is all the more reason to welcome Mr. Scharfes assurance that the system is not proposing any increase in fares right now. Precipitate action of that kind might well compound the systems troubles. The first step, indeed, is to try to determine the causes of these troubles. And it will do no harm to begin with the observation that Saskatoons transit system, like its counterparts in other cities, is suffering from automobilitis. More and more people are driving their own cars about the city, with a consequent decrease in the number of potential transit patrons. It remains to be seen whether this disease will run its course, whether a point will be reached when, because of an increase in the area of the city or because the number of private vehicles in it makes driving and parking mere of an annoyance than a convenience, people will begin to turn back to public conveyances. In the meantime, it would be wrong (and probably impracticable) to try to force public transportation down peoples throats. The transit system must do its best to offset the effects pf automobilitis, however, and its efforts are entitled to sympathetic consideration from City Hall and from other departments. In this connection, two pertinent quotations come to mind. One is from the report of Mr. Norman D. Wilson who surveyed our- transit and traffic situation in 1953: , The 80 or so transit vehicles that leave the central downtown in the peak 60 minutes each normal day carry out some 4,500 persons, or the equivalent of the number that would be carried by 2,600 motor cars at the universal average of 1.7 persons per car. There is no question as to what type of traffic causes street congestion, and the surest way, and much the cheapest way of r relieving congestion, is increasing use of the transit system, and to that end increasing the convenience of the transit system to the very limit of its economic possibilities. The other quotation comes from Mr. Balfours preamble to his 1955 budget estimates: ' 1 There is no real answer ... to the problems of the transit system except more riders. We wonder whether this city is following the course indicated by these comments. For some time now the traffic committee has been holding up a transit board decision to re-establish a trolley Time for Scrutiny It is not our intention at this time to undertake detailed reviews of projected expenditures and earnings for each civic department as indicated by the budget Mr. Balfour presented to City Council Monday night. The dominant fact of the moment is that another substantial increase in the property tax mill rate seems certain. Mr. Balfour drew attention to the fact that increases in civic expenditures have not been entirely the result of either the improved quality, or the increased quantity of municipal services. In other words, it cannot be argued as a general principle that taxpayers as a whole are getting more for their money and should pay for the extras without too much reluctance. Taxpayers, in short, have a right to ask whether budgetary increases are necessary. And they have a right to expect the civic administration to ask such a question, and to set about a very critical survey of each budget item with an eye to reducing expenditures. However, while City Council must be economy-minded, it cannot be unmindful of the general health of the community. Care must be taken to maintain a balance among the various departments so that no one branch will suffer. It is better, on the one hand, to trim a little off each budget than to cripplb one department by a severe slashing in funds while leaving others untouched. On the other hand, all increases in revenue cannot be expected to come from the property taxpayers. The problem of finding alternative sources of revenue has not been solved by any means. City Coun-cil has heard much talk about other revenue sources but So far very little has been done about specific plans. Deserved Honor People all over the Commonwealth will welocme Queen Elizabeths decision to make Dr. Albert Schweitzer an honorary member of the Order of Merit. The measure of the recognition thus bestowed is that the membership of the order is stop at Second Avenue and Twentieth Street because it would mean a curtailment of parking facilities in the area. Without passing judgment on this particular case, we think it fair to say that the traffic committees attitude does not indicate a readiness to help the transit system give better service. Nor do we hold the transit system wholly blameless. It turned down a proposal that its drivers should be required to call out transit stops for the benefit of winter-time patrons who cannot see out of frosted or passenger-hidden windows. It has been changing some of its schedules so frequently that it is difficult for patrons to keep track of them. And we doubt that it is serving the rapidly growing area of south Nutana as well as it might though this may be partly due to the poor condition of streets in the area. We are all for sound economy of operation, but if such economies leave transit service unsettled and inadequate they are obviously false. In fairness to the transit system, however, two apparently built-in handicaps must be noted. The first is the weather: In a city of this size a mild winter such as the current one can make a considerable dent in the systems patronage and revenue expectations. The second is wages: It is difficult to make precise calculations from the transit systems annual budgetary statement, but at a conservative estimate the percentage of the systems expenditure devoted - to wages and employee benefits appears to have risen from 35 in 1952 to 43 last year, and to an expected 45 for 1955 without taking the current negotiations into consideration. These figures do not constitute an argument against paying fair wages to good employees; but they do indicate the need to watch the systems wage bill carefully. Maybe a combination of sound economy and aggressive salesmanship in the form of service to patrons will not be enough to bring the transit systems books into balance. What then? Will all the arguments against another fare increase have been disposed of? We think not. Apart from the danger that another fare increase might actually reduce revenues it must be noted that the city is not actually losing money on the transit business. Even on the basis of the 1955 estimates, the system's $43,000 tax contribution will more than cover its $35,000 deficit, and though there is nothing objectionable about a municipal tax on a muni-cipaliy-owned enterprise, the words deficit and tax do pertain to the same civic pocketbook. It must also be noted that the transit system does not serve only the people who ride on it, as we should soon find out if it suddenly disappeared. If all else fails, the case for a deficit-financed transit system will deserve a hearing, limited and that only one non-Common-wealth citizen, President Eisenhower, has until now held an honorary membership. Dr. Schweitzer is, of course, a native of Alsace who has devoted most of his life and remarkable talents to helping the natives of French Equatorial Africa. But his humanitarianism, his philosophy, his intellectual, medical and musical capacities recognize no boundaries of geography, race or creed. He is a citizen of the world, and as such fittingly honored by the head of an institution which rests on beliefs akin to his own. Conservation We were disappointed at the governments rejection, and the consequent defeat by the House of Commons, of a proposal that Ottawa convene a federal-provincial conference to consider a national policy on soil, forest and water conservation and land use The proposal was made by Mr. H. W. Herridge, CCF member for Kootenay West. He and his supporters from aqiong the opposition parties were able to point to the obvious need for interprovincial co-operation in the use and development of resources. Whether the government was afraid that adoption of the suggestion would let it in for heavy financial commitments, or whether its attitude was an instinctively depreciatory' reaction to a proposal coming from Mr. Speakers left, we do not know. In any case, it took refuge in the constitutional observation that resources are a provincial responsibility, and thereby missed an opportunity to initiate a promising venture. A Connecticut doctor claims that people will be shorter in 100 years. Is he predicting an increase in taxes? When you can remember the right things to forget, only then is forgetfulness a virtue. OUR AMBASSADORS ARE ABROAD AGAIN AFTER MORKETIDEN The Serious Fix in Asia By JOSEPH ALSOP TAIPEI, Formosa. It Is high time for people at home to face the full seriousness of the fix we are in out here in Asia. The leaders of world communism are now conducting an elaborate nerve war on the Formosa issue. It may be the prelude to a decisive showdown. Or it may only be intended to put the courage of the members of the Western alliance to an acid test. Either way, the danger to the United States is incalculably great. For the Eisenhower administrations foreign and defence policies have planted the United States into an almost inescapable corner in Asia. For two years, Washington has paid no attention to the prejudices that hag ride the Formosa issue in Britain and western Europe. Only a week ago Mr. Dulles important speech received the usual acknowledgements jubilation from Senator Knowland and doleful cries from London. Even now, no serious effort is being made to form a united front in Asia with our allies. Thus the Communists nerve war has an excellent chance of isolating America on the issue of this controversial island 'T'HISfrvould not be so disturbing, if the Eisenhower administration had ever bothered to match its bold talk with an equally bold defence policy. From Korea onwards. there has been a good case for going it alone to halt Communist aggression in Asia. But going it alone costs a lot of money for defence; and our defence policy has been made in the treasury department. The result of simultaneous' efforts to please Senator Knowland and the secretary of the treasury, Mr. Humphrey, is the fix we are in. The key to that fix, well known to the world Communist leaders but concealed from our people, is the present status of the American strategic air command. Our main weapon and almost our only offensive weapon squarely depends upon its trans-Atlantic bases. The strategic air commands trans-Atlantic bases are controlled, not by us, but by our allies, If our allies part from us over Formosa, the bases will be denied to SAC. And if the bases are denied, SAC will still be able to fight, but SAC will be unable to strike the immediate, decisive blow that it is SACs vital job to strike. In fact you can express the practical effects of the successful isolation of America in a crude equation. It equals denial of the trans-Atlantic bases which equals the destruction of about half of General LeMays airplanes before the shooting even starts. Consider the shock, if the news came over the radio that half the great SAC force has just been destroyed by saboteurs. Imagine how the country would then feel about a final showdown with Red China and the Soviet Union. And despite the loud denials that will be heard from the defence department, remember that this will approximate the real situation if the Communists win their nerve war. , 'T'HESE are the points that must be borne in mind; in weighing the present crisis. It is certainly conceivable that the Communists leaders seriously want a final showdown on Formosa, if they can just contrive to isolate America and thus to bend and blunt our main weapon. Molotovs grim speech seemed An unofficial report says that half of the December husbands are washing the dishes. Leg al Ilelj ) Q Could a wife leave her husband and take the children with her, even though she has no actual proof of any wrongdoing on his part, or can he rorce her to leave the children behind? A A wife has a preferred right over a husband to children under 14 years of age. However, that does not necessarily determine the question in every case. The determining factor is always what is best in the invest of the children. The only way in which a dispute between husband and wife as to custody of children can be settled is by an application to the court. Q I. owe $800to B which is past due for three years. B sued me and recovered judgment' and the same is now in the hands of the sheriff. Can the sheriff seize the home business place or the appliance that 1 am making my living from? A If by the home business place you mean the place you live in as well as carry on business in, then the answer is that such a place Is your homestead, and is exempt from seizure. The appliance mentioned bv you would, we believe, be considered part of your tools and necessary implements or equipment used by you in trade, and chattels of this kind to the extent of $1,000 are also exempt from seizure. to say as much, German rearmament provides a possible motive. And if the masters of the Kremlin really prefer fighting America to seeing Germany rearmed, the ideal place to start the war is here in Asia, where there is such a gaping hole in the Western alliance. It is much more likely that the Communist leaders mean to carry their nerve war only as far as the nerve-shattering brink of final catastrophe. Even so, as matters stand now, they will still have a good chance of isolating America. And how will President Eisenhower choose, wh'-n he is not quite sure the enemy is really blufting, and he has to make the choice between backing down on Formosa or risking a big war with his main weapon half broken in his hand? 'T'HERE would be no need to ask - such questions if we had pursued a different defence policy. But the only course now open is to take out disunity insurance. Let the American government, then, make a little speech to the British government: We will not abandon Formosa, because Formosa is strategically vital and such a sur-render would bring the loss of all of Asia In its train. But if you can get a cease-fire down the middle of the Formosa Strait in exchange for Quemoy and the Matsus, we will back you all the way. You have carte blanche to make a trade. On the other hand, if you cannot make a trade, we think it means the enemy intends to fight anyway. Then we see no reason to give away the offshore islands. And we hope you will back us. This would outrage Senator Knowland, not to mention the same newpapers and magazines which have professed to see perfection in tile defence policy that has put us in our present fix. But it would also get us out of the fix. For such a gesture would give Prime Minister Churchill and Foreign Secretary Eden just the help they need in their rather courageous efforts to cope with British public opinion. It would almost certainly prevent the isolation which is now the great danger. And in the end, even those who dislike the cease-fire idea would probablly be happy. For there is no reason to suppose that the terms which would restore Western unity would be accepted by the Communists. Nw York Herald Tribun Ine) Patient Pronounced Curable tTALTER Lippmanns 1 Public Philosophy is, I The ,... . suspect, the most important book to have been published here in a long time. At any rate it deals with the most important matter that can concern any thoughtful person: The condition of Western society. Western society, the realm of liberal democracy, is obviously sick. Until 1917 the model for every new government was liberal democracy. Since then the process has been going into radical reverse. Only superficial thinking can attribute this to the machinations of its enemies. There is a conspiracy of those who believe they are chosen to be its successors. But they can succeed only when Western society is already moribund. It is not dying of wounds inflicted from without, but of disorders generated from within. Communists and others are not gathering to overthrow it by force and violence. They are waiting to carry off the corpse. The Public Philosophy is not a book by someone who took a few months off to write it. Mr. Lippmann is not a quick maker-up of his mind perhaps because he has a considerable mind to make up. He tells us that the book began to form during the summer of 1938, in an effort to come to terms in my own mind . . . with the mounting disorder in our Western society. This is tlrat same book, interrupted by th events of war and postwar postwar, for one cannot say peace. NOTHING that has occurred since furnishes evidence that the disorder has abated. Rather, it has radically mounted. So now, in 1955, Mr. Lippmann presents the diagnosis, and with a stn.se of urgency. He believes that Western society can recover. But the conditions for its recovery is acceptance of the knowledge that it is sick, and of the compliraied nature of its derangements. Mr. Lippmann is here fulfilling the function of the statesman To be a physician of society. But the statesman cannot be physician under present conditions. For the patient elects the statesman, and an aspect of the disease is that the patient rejects the physicians among them, turning rather to political quacks who deprecate his symptoms or promise to banish them by cheap nostrums. Yet there are those who are By DQROTIIY THOMPSON quite as concerned as Mr. Lippmann is, and to those this book is addressed. It is, one might say, a call for an open conspiracy by those with the mission to heal at the cost of continual discouragement, Regeneration must begin outside the state, for the regeneration of the state cannot be effected in the present climate of opinion. . It is within the universities, the churches, the press, the institutions concerned with the preservation of human values, moral and intellectual, that the physicians must be found. It is to these estates and to individuals outside them but sharing standards of what is important that this book is ad-aressed. Everybody will not read it. Mr. Lippmann assumes a considerable pre-knowledge by the reader. The public philosophy, a short book, is so full of allusions to past and contemporary political and social philosophers that it carries five pages of bibliography. -fa "tx SOME will say, therefore, that it is eclectic. Accurate diag-nosis always is. The physician does not reject what other physicians have discovered, but studies the range of similar cases, adding to these his precise and particular experience find intuition. Mr. Lippmann repeats what others have said before, such as that the problem is to preserve liberty and democracy before the one destroys the other. But he is specific and illustrative in dealing with the derangements of governmental powers; the Jacobinism that in the name of liberalism has been steadily destroying the liberal order; the revolutionism that thinks the revolutionary act in itself will create a new man out of the old Adam; the influence of this doctrine upon mass education; and the eclipse of any public philosophy as a standard of reference and measurement to which actions can be related in reason. He deals with renewal, for he has not pronounced the patient incurable. In a short column one cannot properly review this book. One can only advocate that every responsible person should read it. RglM4d by th BH Syndic!, Inc I The Sun Returns To Norway By K. WESTCOTT JONES 'T'HE phenomenon of the Midnight Sun above the Arctic Circle is familiar to thousands of visitors from lower latitudes every summer. The opposite effect when the sun is near its maximum southerly declination during the winter months is rarely observed by foreigners in northern Norway. Nevertheless, a population of 400,-000 persons living in advanced condmons in Norways three northern-most counties of Nordland, Troms, and Finnmark is plunged into darkness from the end of November to mid-January. This dark period, relieved onlv by a pale glow of Arctic twilight for an hour or so around noon if the sky is clear, is known as Mor-ketiden. It induces a state of mind among many adults described vaguely as dark fright." More than half the persons aged 50 or over suffer from this mental condition during the depths of winter. It causes depression, nerves, inability to sleep at the normal time, yet renders patients virtually comatose once they have fallen asleep, when it may take several hours to awaken them. The return of the sun is therefore extremely welcome to both Laplanders and Norwegians. In order to observe some of the celebrations which take place at the time of the year's first sunrise, I made a January voyage by coastal steamer from Bergen to 26 towns and settle, ments in the Norwegian Artie as far as Kirkenes near the Soviet frontier. tV A LTHOUGH calculations show A that the disc of the sun cannot be visible until after January 23 in the region of North Cape, its oblique rays below the horizon cause a surprisingly powerful twilight which heralds its return at least a fortnight beforehand. This light glows in the sky for as long as eight hours, and the strange effect is called Tussmorke. Most Laplanders are nomadic, but live in tent communities during the winter on the Finnmark nlateau or the desolate Varanger-Halvoy. Each family lives in its own tent, surrounded by branded reindeer which always stay close at hand. On the day that the full disc of the sun becomes visible for the first time after Morketiden, the heads of families announce the Sun Day celebration. This takes the form of general prayer during the period the sun is hnobsrurcd, but it is not sun worship. The Lapps (or Same, as they prefer to be called) are entirely Christian, After the thanksgiving prayers, families gather in their tents to drink black coffee and eat smoked reindeer meat. If any alcoholic drinks have been stocked by the men, they go from tent to tent of-' fering a small sip, but supplies are unobtainable on the high plateau and any liquor acquired during visits to the coastal townships the previous summer is invariably exhausted before the Sun Day feast. The Same are in no way concerned with the fixed date of sunrise, but reserve their celebrations until they can see the disc cloudlessly revealed. As a result, numerous festivals take place on different days across the north of Norway, ANNUAL HEADACHE" NORWEGIANS celebrate the re-turn of the sun in definite ways. They, too. await cloudless vision, even though it may take a week after the krnavn reappearance of the sun above the horizon. A holiday is declared in the town sighting it. and schools close. At Vardo, in Finnmark, guns are fired from the fort to announce the Sun Day. The general custom all over the north is to take Sol Kaffe ("Sun Coffee") at the homes of friends, which practice resembles the Scottish Hogmanay celebrations. Some small townships stage dances and offer coffee and cakes at the community hall, but in most cases the revelry is carried on In private houses. Vardo, facing east into the Arctic Ocean, was Jirst to sight the sun this year and celebrated Sun Dav on January 25. Vadso, gome 50 miles southeast of Vardo, followed with a festival the next day. I was fortunate in seeing the year's first sunrise at Masoy, In 71 degrees North, on January 27, when it presented an unforgettable spectacle, bathing the top promontory of Europe with rich light for the first time for 69 days. Laplanders outside Karasjok on the Finnmark plateau had their first glimpse of the gun and called a Sun Feast on January 28. Reports indicate that several Same who were Journeying across the plateau, in a snowmobile from Kau-tnkeino left the vehicle, to pray in the snow shortly before they were due in Karasjok. ir A LTHOUGH the sun is now well above the horizon each day and advancing as fast as 25 minutes ever 24 hours to the condi-tion whereby the Arctic enjoys constant light, several places on the northwest coast at time of writing) have yet to see it, due to obstructing mountains or persist ten' cloud. Surprisingly, a few mountain-girt villages in southern Norway are unable to obtain a glimpse of the sun until March, and one Telemark village called Rjukan does not celebrate until early April. An attempt was made to reflect the sun Into Rjukan's deep valley by a mirror erected on the top of i mountain, but the artificial cele. brations lacked fervor In spite of the efforts of Sam Eyde, the mirror's builder, and the Rjukan Fes. tival in April has become the latest but most widely attended in Norway. (The Manchester Guardian) Am X A a s f . f I 1 , 0 0 . f . . A $ A ' 4 4 f 4

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