24 Dec Tory Leader Blasts Gov’s For Lack Of Leadership
Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield Tuesday blasted the government for its alleged lack of leadership in the Nigerian-Biafra conflict and for its “deliberate creation of unemployment” in the war on inflation.
Mr. Stanfield issued two separate, and highly critical statements prior to calling a press conference in which he accused Prime Minister Trudeau of being “pretty cold-blooded” in talking of increased unemployment, and External Affairs Minister Mitchell Sharp in being “cold and callous” in talking about the destruction of a Can- airelief plane in Biafra.
The Conservative leader also covered other areas, ranging from the current Canadian visit to Beatle John Lennon to the state of national unity.
He said in a statement that it is “incredible” for a government concerned with a “just society” to rely on one of the oldest, crudest and cruelest economic policies—“the deliberate creation of unemployment to prevent increases in wages and prices.”
And it was “feeble” of the prime minister to blame the Ontario government for not doing enough in the war on inflation.
NOT SPECIFIC ENOUGH
“We can expect him to return to this theme of blaming Ontario during the winter, as unemployment across the country continues to increase.”
It was meaningless of Mr. Trudeau to talk about voluntary restraint when he refused to say what the restraints would be.
Mr. Stanfield called on the government to give “clear and unmistakeable” guidance.
“The government must stop fobbing this business off on the prices and incomes commission and tell the country where it stands. Threatening us all vaguely with sterner measures is simply irresponsible.”
The government should also “develop and announce an adequate set of compensating measures to encourage the employment of those thrown out of work unnecessarily by this government’s clumsy and inhumane measures.”
Total reliance on broad fiscal and monetary measures is bound to produce inhumane results, he said.
On the Nigeria-Biafra conflict, Mr. Stanfield said it is “painfully clear” that the government is not giving leadership.
“Mr. Sharp’s cold and callous response to the destruction of a Can-airelief plane the other day is but another indication of the government’s dedication to detachment.” Mr. Stanfield said he was told the Canadian government did not protest the destruction of the Canadian plane.
He said Mr. Sharp’s comments almost suggests that the Canadian government feels that no flights are better than night flights of relief supplies into Biafra.
“A nice regard for precise protocol is not a sufficient response to one of the great tragedies of our day and age.”
On other questions, Mr. Star field says he believes the sense of unity in the country has deteriorated over the last year. But while he is concerned, he is not alarmed.
“We have to get away from this policy of confrontation and must think in terms of reconciliation.”
About conversations earlier in the day between John Lennon and the prime minister, Mr. Stanfield said he thought it was “excellent” that Mr. Trudeau should try to understand various points of view. While the Conservative leader didn’t think Mr. Lennon “has all the answers at his fingertips in regard to world peace,” he said he would be glad to meet with the Beatle.