Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 26, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Monday, August 26, 1974
Who owns public papers?
PRESIDENT FORI) DID tho right thing in ordering former President Nixon’s tapes and documents held temporarily in White House custody pending a review by Special Prosecutor Jaworski’s office.
Better yet, the President would be serving the public interest, not only for the moment but for the long-range future, if he would press for a way to get a court ruling on who owns public papers of public servants acquired while they held public office.
Nixon’s Watergate lawyers, James St. Clair and J. Fred Buzhardt, are of the opinion that all Nixon tapes and documents not yet subpoenaed or made public are his personal property. But what would the court say if confronted with making a decision on who owns public papers?
New York Times Columnist James Reston pointed out in an article on this page recently that by tradition, which seems to have taken on the force of law, the departing President always has determined what papers belong to him.
But should this tradition have the force of law? That is the real question. We think not. We think that, aside from purely personal papers, all other papers and materials generated during any President’s term of office
properly belong to the people of the United States. In other words, they belong to the presidency, not to the President.
In recent years, as Reston pointed out, presidential papers have gone back to memorial libraries — like the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library at West Branch — in the home towns of the Presidents. The libraries have been built with funds furnished by friends and supporters of each President and maintained by the General Services Administration. OSA furnishes and pays the staff to catalogue, watch over and make available for scholarly study, these presidential papers.
But even this system doesn't assure the true scholar that he w ill have access to ALL tin' papers of the particular President whose library he is visiting.
Papers of a President acquire historic value, not because of the individual involved but because he was elevated to the highest office in the land by the people he served.
Those papers, then, should be the property of the people, not of the individual. A departing President enjoys enough emoluments as a result of having held the office without including ownership of public presidential papers as one of those rights.
Let s have the truth
THE TESTIMONY of several doctors employed by the federal food and drug administration (EDA) before a senate subcommittee recently had a chilling effect that should stir the interest of every American.
They told a senate labor-wel-fare-judiciary subcommittee that they are harassed and disciplined frequently by superiors when they report adversely on new drugs. Six of the ll doctors who testified said they were transferred from their field of expertise after speaking out against certain drugs and other substances under EDA review.
FDA is charged with reviewing all new drugs pharmaceutical companies hope to market and supposedly is looking after the public interest as well as that of the companies.
The testifying doctors said that in many cases their unfavorable reports later were changed, without their consent, to indicate more favorable findings. If true, that is unforgivable.
Senator Ted Kennedy, subcommittee chairman, made it clear none of the doctors had appeared voluntarily; that each was subpoenaed. The senator made it clear he doesn’t want the testify-
MKgiMliK* v> ■**$!
‘Keep on running’
By Jim Fiebig
BACK WHEN the majority of Americans were quoting the domino theory ' and supporting the Vietnam war, most of us had a pretty clear-cut mental image of the draft dodger and military deserter. He was an irresponsible, longhaired, potsmoking, cowardly creep who would have been extremely comfortable working as Benedict Arnold’s valet
A lot of them were like that — a lot of them weren't.
Anyway, the image is clouding over With President Ford calling for conditional amnesty and the euphemism 'war resister” creeping in to replace “draft dodger” and “deserter.” the former creeps are taking on a more heroic role
Now the image gaining popularity is one of a gentle, peace-loving, sensitive young man whose conscience was ahead of his time. We see him living in some foreign hovel — broke, betrayed, depress*^ and longing for just one more glimpse of the State of Liberty before he dies. And each night, before kneeling down to say his prayers, he pulls a small, tattered American flag from the pocket nearest his heart and stains it anew with great wet tears
Some of them are like that. Most of them aren't.
mg doctors to be reprimanded by superiors for appearing.
Well, we’d think not. Rather, their superiors should be called in, subpoenaed if necessary, to give their side of the story. If it turns out to bt' contradictory to the testimony of the doctors, then the committee should launch a probe of its own, of Watergate intensity if necessary, to determine the truth.
The American people have every right to think that EDA is thinking of their physical health and welfare, in the testing of new drugs, before it considers the economic health and welfare of the companies manufacturing the drugs. Presumably, the companies themselves have the individual’s welfare uppermost in mind before submitting new drugs for tests. But it hasn’t always worked out that way in the past as the record will show .
What the American people want, of course, is what the companies should want and what trie senate subcommittee should be most interested in — the truth
After Watergate, it should not be difficult to impress upon all in government service that anyone failing to tell the truth faces dismissal.
I tend ti* agree with Lt. Gen Leo I* Benade, a deputy assistant defense secretary, who estimates that only 3 percent of military deserters were motivated by antiwar feelings. While he makes no estimates as to what percentage of draft dodgers were admirably motivated, 3 percent is again probably as g<*od a guess as any
The man who refuses to serve for reasons of conscience — and sticks around to take the consequences — is a genuine American hero
The guy who simply runs, as far as I’m concerned, can just keep right on running.
Generol Fratyes Core
By Louis Harris
The Harris Survey
BV A DECISIVE 69-17 percent, Americans are opposed to the United States’ announced intention of giving nuclear reactors to Egypt to allow her to develop atomic power By an almost identical 66-21 percent, a similar majority also opposes the V S giving nuclear reactors to Israel.
Two-thirds of the public have a deepseated worry that both Egypt and Israel will end up making atomic bombs with the atomic capability furnished by the U. S People jaunt to India, which began with nuclear-reactor help from Canada and other western countries and recently
announced it had set off an atomic explosion
The ultimate fear in the minds of a lopsided 78-14 percent is expressed in the statement, “If too many nations get nuclear capability, some irresponsible country is bound to set off a bomb that could blow up the earth in World war III ”
Former President Nixon’s offer of nuclear reactors to Egypt and Israel set off a public opposition of major proportions By 73-13 percent, people agreed with the statement that “it was wrong for the Nixon administration to have promised nuclear help to Egypt and
Israel without telling congress about it first ”
The (lej)th of the public’s feeling can be observed in the 75-12 percent who agreed with the reasoning that “if the price of a settlement of the Middle East war is to run the risk of atomic warfare, then that settlement is not worthwhile.” Up to now, the American people have hailed the Mladle East cease-fire negotiated by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger The promise of nuclear reactors, however places a cloud over public support for that effort.
By 82-23 percent. th*- public thinks the U S. senate should not approve giving
We in Detroit are so distressed by inflation, we just hod to slash our prices somewhere... ’
•What is Ford waiting for?’
Holdovers retard inflation tight
By William V. Shannon
WASHINGTON - How long will it be before the Ford administration and the Democratic congress decide to impose mandatory w age and price controls?
Let us say another seven months By next March, prices will still be rising at mer** than IO percent a year and unemployment, now above 5 jjercent, will be above 7 percent. By then, the already demoralized financial markets will need only one failure by a sizable bank or corporation caught in the high-interest rate squeeze to turn their steady bearish retreat1 into panicky flight
Under those grim circumstances, the Democrats in congress who are now silent or only murmuring about the need for an aggressive and comprehensive
William V. Shannon
It s not much, Mr. President, ond we hope it s only tem porary. ”
economic program will be yelling for one The President, being the responsive politician he has already shown himself to be, will smoothly aeeommi*date himself to reality and call for actions that this week he is insisting he has no intention of seeking
There is no need for Ibis grim scenario to be acted out Much of what needs to bo done is already evident What will probably be done next spring could be done now
President Ford has missed a major opportunity to act in timely fashion He should have been thinking about his economic program during the dosing weeks of his vice-presidency and been intellectually prepared to present such a program in his address to congress on Aug 12 It is unfortunate that the economy and the society will have to suffer considerably more damage while he educates himself on the problem
In the meantime, he has chosen to retain at least temporarily the four economic policymakers he inherited from former President Nixon — Secretary of the Treasury William Simon, Economic Counselor Kenneth Hush Budget Director Roy Ash and Economic Adviser Alan Greenspan
Keeping them on was a misguided gesture toward continuity Given the dismal economic record of the second Nixon administration, continuity was the last thing anyone should have wanted Insofar as he heeds it, the bad advice of this extremely reactionary quartet can only retard Ford’s economic education
The President hopes to avoid mandatory controls by public pressure and private persuasion Sophisticated ob
servers have little confidence this approach can do much good. The "economic summit meeting" is likely to be only a grand ally of conflicting opinions. Unbacked by the force of law . any “social contract” between labor and business to restrain prices and wages voluntarily probably cannot be sustained for long.
Mandatory wage and price controls are, of course, only one element in a national economic program Other elements are clearly desirable.
All wage increases above a certain level such as 5 percent might by law be paid only in individually owned U. S savings bonds which could be redeemed in five to eight years when inflationary pressures would presumably have eased Compulsory deferral of additional income would make strict wage controls more acceptable to workers and managers who are trying to save for their old age or their children’s education.
At the same time, there should be immediate tax relief for the p<»or and the elderly
Since these low-income persons have to spend most of their earnings on necessities. they have been hardest hit by the sharp rise in the cost of food, heat, and electricity. It is unconscionable that they should be jtunished much longer by inflation
A national economic plan should include fiscal restraint, but also an easing of interest rates. On July 23. Sen Charles Percy (R ill ) wrote Nixon a letter outlining ways in which the current budget for fiscal 1975 could be brought into balance
People s forum
Safe route intended
To the Editor
This is in response to Mrs Born s latter (Forum, Aug 2(1) concerning the cyclists on highway 151 The organizer of the rid** across the stat** did riot schedule any riding along 151 Th** planned route for Saturday, Aug Id. was south on highway 38, then back north on highway 136, crossing 151 at Cascade',
A number of riders discovered that they could “save” III miles by riding directly up 151 rather than joining the riders on th** scheduled route Iii Dubuque, when on** of these jH*oj)le asked in** if I had taken the short cut and saved Id miles, I suggested that he could have saved nearly 5dd miles bv staying horn** all week
Lots of traffic was disrupted during th**
Percy proposes a budget reduction of $6.7 billion by deferring or stretching out army corps of engineers’ civil construction projects, interstate highway construction and military procurement He would raise an additional $3 4 billion in revenue by repealing the federal deduction for the payment of state gasoline taxes, raising the minimum income tax for the very wealthy, and repealing depletion allowance and other special tax benefits for the oil and gas industry
This relatively painless package of budget reductions and tax increases could be used to offset the cost of the tax relief for low-income groups that from the standjxnnt of social justice is essential
Finally, Ford has to arouse the public to a renewed awareness of the energy crisis. The country ought not to be allowed to go off Daylight Saving Time in th** winter, go back to buying oversized, gas-guzzling automobiles, and otherwise resume energy-wasting habits An intensive oil conservation program aimed at ultimately reducing U S. oil imports from the Middle East to zero would relieve one inflationary pressure
lf the Ford administration and congress fail to adopt tough wage-and-priee controls, tax reforms, an easing of interest rates, fiscal restraint though not a balanced budget, and energy conservation. the nation faces a roaring inflation, savage rates of unemployment, and misery for the poor and the elderly. The time t*i act is now, not next spring
Ne* york Times Service
w»***k of the ride, but the organizers tried to keep th** horde off busy roads
W U Laubcngayer. President Hawkeye Bicycle Assn 2335 First avenue Marion
nuclear reactors arid nuclear develop men! assistance to Egypt, arid a 59 25 percent majority opposes similar nuclear hel|> to Israel. Heavy majorities of the public, ranging from 66 75 percent, also opj>oso developing nuclear power in eight key countries tested in the survey
Recently, th** Harris Survey asked a nationwide cross-section of I Jill households:
When President Muon visited Egypt, he on pounced that the U S wa* going to give Egypt nuclear reactor* which would let the Egyptian* develop atomic power later, he announced he wa* giving Israel the tame nuclear help Do you favor or oppose the U S giving nuclear reactors to (Egypt, Israel) or not? '
Favor Oppose Not sure
Agree Dis X ao ree
54 25 21
In order to accurately gauge public thinking on this issue, the cross-section was asked another series of questions.
“Now, let me rend you some statement* about the situation on nuclear development For each, tell me if you tend to agree or disagree (Read statements)"
It is better for nations like Egypt to get an atomic capability from the U S than to receive it from Russia
Atomic power will be the future source of cheap energy and the thing to ' do is to give it to all nations under proper safeguard conditions
Sooner or later countries such as Egypt and Israel would have developed their own nuclear capabilities, so it was not wrong for the U S to promise it to them
lf too mony countries get a nuclear capability, some irresponsible country is bound to set off a bomb that could blow up the earth in World War III
lf the price of a settlement of the Middle East war is to run the risk of atomic warfare next time, then that settlement is not worthwhile
It was wrong for the Nixon administration lo hove promised nuclear help to Egypt and Israel without telling Congress about it first
35 43 22
The one argument that carried a majority of public support was that “it is better for nations such as Egypt to get an atomic capability from the U.S. than to receive it from Russia ” But this kind of Cold-war argument j>ales before the outright hostility and worry people express about converting peacetime atomic capabilities to nuclear weapons.
In addition to Egypt and Israel, not a single country of the eight tested could muster over 20 percent support for receiving American nuclear reactors People were asked
Would you approve or disapprove of th* U S giving nuclear reactors and nuclear assistance to :Reod list)?"
simply do not believe the
repeated assurances of Secretary Kissinger and others that safeguards can be employed to make certain that a country does not convert a peacetime nuclear capability into a warm aking capacity.
The public is convinced that sooner or later such countries will begin exploding nuclear bombs. And th** proliferation of nuclear weaponry is just about the ultimate apprehension haunting the people of the United States
Chic090 Tribune New York News Syndicate
We also suggest that if someone finds that he absolutely must drink, he stay out of these kinds of public places. Do they go to drink or to play golf0
I guess we three teenagers learned a lesson Just how hideous this kind of thing is and that it is very truly annoying.
To the Editor
Just the other night we went golfing at the Twm Pines course Ahead of us » , .
was a foursome who were obviously jtar- I ii St L*llt$
Dally, if not totally, intoxicated They were slowing us down and the people behind us Because of this we played a total of five holes in 2l4 hours Since there is a curfew for people of our age we could not wait around to play even nine
Our gripe is not necessarily with the municipal golf courses (we don’t want a refund), big we do suggest that beer and other intoxicants be banned from the courses.
Kristy Hansel Randy Hansel 924 Regent street NE Mark A Kelchen 917 Regent street NE
Besides misusing the greens the four golfers were dangerous, as they were getting so they couldn’t hit th** ball straight It (vmld have hit someone and possibly killed them.
Fame is the thirst of youth