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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 'Either you open up or I'm coming Editorial Page Friday, 20, 1974 Aliens buying Iowa land The appetite of foreign business men for investment in American agriculture is no secret to anyone following business trends. Land- buying ventures have increased in line with the overall doubling of foreign investments to an impres- sive billion yearly. But the interest of European investors in East Iowa acreage went un- disclosed until Gazette Farm Edi- tor Al Swegle began assembling the sum of the elusive parts recently. As reported in The Gazette's banner-headline story last Sun- day, several European investors have purchased farmland in Ben- ton and Van Buren counties and transactions are pending in Cedar and Fayette counties. The forth- coming Fayette county deals are especially interesting: three Italian investors planning to buy separate properties of 799, 400 and 258 acres. The 799-acre tract alone will sell for If foreign investors eyeing Iowa farmland have any characteristic in common (other than big it is reticence toward publicity. As Swegle's research indicated, foreign buyers and would-be non-native home land- owners have not exactly rented billboard space to advertise their acquisitions. Curiously, Iowa law encourages the proliferation of dummy own- ership records: County recorders' cannot compel individuals recording property transfers to list the name or address of owners involved. What's more, deeds need not be recorded with county recorders to be considered legal in Iowa. California law reportedly is flawed similarly. There is nothing inherently sinister about foreign investment. One item lo consider when the scope becomes extensive, though, is (hat foreign owners could ship all their Iowa production over- seas, if they chose, no matter how Americans might feel about the meeting of domestic needs from native land first. It too is not xenophobic to demand, accordingly, that American including agriculture be controlled ul- timately by Americans. To relax that goal is to let lapse an impor- tant national insurance know- ing that in times of crisis business resources will be used for national benefit. Thus the people need 20-20 vision in watching the growth of foreign investments. They are fully entitled to know, without a heavy beating of the bushes, how much of the country's best farmland is falling under foreign ownership. How to eliminate secrecy in land purchases without seeming unfriendly and discouraging the inflow of foreign monies? Iowa Senator Clark made a fair proposal Monday: Push for federal legislation requiring iden- tification of foreign investors buying farmland in the United Stales. Clark, a sponsor of the recently-enacted commodity exchange law, said foreign interests should be identified when they buy farmland just as their ownership must be recorded when Ihey purchase contracts on the commodity markets. Would alien wheeler-dealers op- pose an end to their invisibility? In lighl of the care taken to befog some of Ihe East Iowa land deals, one imagines that secrecy is preferred. Yet how would they respond if sizable tracts in their homelands were being acquired by Americans camouflaged by dummy ownership records? The demand then would be for candor by sellers and buyers. In such cases, too, home interests justly would outweigh all others. Little shoppers in limbo Christmas-lime wager (friend- ly, thus If Will Chamber- lain or James Arness were lo hol- iday shop in Cedar Rapids slores, he would be waited on in about a fourth of the average lime it takes little people to win the at- tention of clerks. Diminutive in ihis case does not mean grownup Mickey Roon- ey and Nancy Walker types; Ihey can elbow a swalh Ihrough any Ihrong of shoppers. II means children short, usually shy youngsters making Iheir firsl or second gifl-buying expedition without parents. Why do so many otherwise thoughtful store em- ployes ignore Ihem? Mosl young People's forum No barrier To the Editor: As a person interested in which way I- 380 takes north of Cedar Rapids, I can not help but be amused with some of (he reasons given by the Hiawatha council as to why the interstate is bad for Hiawa- tha. For years, across this great nation, water and sewer mains have been put under roads, railroads and even inter- states, but in Hiawatha there appears lo he some kind of new problem. Fire in- surance rates are not likely to be in- creased due to the interstate, nor would existing services be reduced. The same accesses from one side of Ihc tracks to the other would still exist. Traffic from Edgewood road to high- way 150 is great at present and probably will not decrease even with the develop- ment of 1-380. A help to the Blairs Ferry road congestion would be to extend Edgewood road due north to intersect highway 150, making this extension I lie hypotenuse of a traffic triangle and thereby eliminating much traffic from the Hiawatha area. There is a legitimate objection to a 22-foot embankment through Hiawatha; however, the highway commission has offered lo recess the roadbed. This better alternative has been little publicized Blairs Ferry road could pass over I-3SO new shoppers undoubtedly wish they knew. Not that all clerking crews here slight child shoppers in fa- vor of more assertive and more visible grownups. Some, notably those in amply staffed stores, grant little people and big folks equal courtesy. But in some" of the so-called discount houses, children may wait 20 minutes or more. This isn't lo single out Cedar Rapids as a tough place for youngsters to shop; Ihe problem seems universal. It is so com- mon, in fact, that kid-power ad- vocates should add equal shop- ping services to their rights- sought list. and the remaining railroad track, thus eliminating a dangerous railroad cross- ing. Last, but very important, is Ihe re- moval of homes and potential loss of tax revenue. As a former resident of Hiawa- tha for many years, I know lhat Ihe peo- ple of this community have a special kind of pride in their city. I can not help but feel many of the displaced people would have their homes moved and re- modeled within the cily, offsetting just about any loss in tax revenue. Is there anyone who takes Ihe positive side of 1-380 in Hiawatha? It may be the GOP image dilemma What's to advertise? By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON Only reluctant sym- pathy for Mary Louise Smith, chairman of the Republican national committee, and her embattled aides saved the pro- jected 12 million advertising campaign lo "rebuild" the shattered Republican parly from speedy interment without (ears on Dec. 6. (he whole program, un- der contract to the Omaha-based adver- tising firm of Bozell and Jacobs, may ac- tually be carried out as planned, but some members of the party's executive committee doubt it. "We just couldn't say one highly skeptical party leader said after Mrs. Smith and her top aide, Edward Mahe, jr., executive director of the national committee, unveiled the highly contro- versial image-making media program here two .weeks ago. "If we had, there might have been resignations by some good people who are totally committed to the party." But despite the conditional approval given the costly ad campaign, key mem- bers of the executive committee are now plotting to have it scrapped or drasti- cally .curtailed when the full national committee meets in early March. The heart of the criticism of Mrs. Smith's effort to give the Republican party an attractive new facade through massive advertising over television, ra- dio and in the daily and periodical press is that there is nothing to advertise. "The 'public relations' of the Republi- can party today is being made by Presi- dent one longtime party opera- tive told the closed-door meeting after Mrs. Smith, Mahe and other committee aides, using a brochure of expensive Madison Avenue slides, gave tholr ra- tionale for the rescue operation. Thus, Invoking the Image of Abraham Lincoln a proposition seriously ad- vanced at the Dec. 14 meeting was ridiculed by startled executive commit- tee members. Indeed, Mrs. Smith's own recital last week of how drastically her party has declined in public esteem gave not the slightest indication of how public relations could cure any of it. Citing statistics from the highly es- teemed political-survey arm of Market Opinion Research of Detroit, the party chairman said that a mere 15 percent of all voters who have registered to vote since I960 call themselves Republicans and only 6 percent regard the party as "honest." But what Mrs. Smith did not tell her bug-eyed audience was the astonishing fact that the wealth of new polling data on which the advertising campaign is supposed to be based has not yet even been compiled. Indeed, Market Opinion Research has not yet completed its re- search, much less turned any of it over to the national committee. The data used by Mrs. Smith Dec. 6 to show the low es- tate of the Republican party came trom earlier, pro-forma political polling done by the Detroit firm, by Dr. George Gal- lup and others. In short, Mrs. Smith committed her party to an initial fee to Bozell and Jacobs, the first payment on the Im- To a gode tunge deighen Literary lions pivot in graves Insights People are usually more convinced by reasons they dis covered than by (hose found by others. Bloke Pascal By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON Edwin Newman, the NBC newsman, raises a doleful ques- tion in his newly published book, "Strict- ly Will America be the death of English? Alas, he sees that end ap- proaching. The last census found fewer than good copy editors in the nation. There were only grammarians and 422 persons who could spell. This, in a na- tion of 212 million. By the turn of the century, all the strict'constructionists will be gone gone the way
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