The Editor soys: The tragedy of Man: He starts off with a Country- and winds up with a Government! Our Daily Bread Sliced Thin by The Editor Alex. H, Washbuftt 10* Federal Tax on Gasoline Near, Says LA. Times A Los Angeles Times dis* patch to an out-of-town newspaper reported Thursday that President Ford may ask Congress to increase the federal tax on gasoline to lOc a gallon. Currently the tax is 4c. The increase would be asked, the dispatch said, for the twofold purpose of fighting inflation and conserving energy. This, if true, is a singularly stupid proposal. The American people are already hot under the collar over the gutting of the Highway Trust Fund to subsidize the money-losing rail and bus commuter lines in the big cities. The motoring public was initially taxed 3c a gallon—later raised to present 4c—for the Highway Trust Fund under the government's pledge never to use this money except for construction and maintenance of highways. But the lure of billions of dollars of public funds piled up in the Trust Fund is irresistible to politicians. First, the congressmen from" the metro- 'politan districts began beating the drums for the Highway Trust Fund robbery; then President Nixon joined the congressional hue and cry—and now President Ford is rumored linked to this scandalous public business. The idea that high-taxing gasoline will reduce inflation is, of course, pure nonsense. And given the absolute certainty that with more tax money coming into the Treasury the politicians will spend still more, it is obvious that a lOc tax on gasoline would increase—not decrease—inflation. It was prodigal government spending—putting billions of dollars into circulation without any production of goods—that brought on inflation. Therefore the gas tax proposal attributed to Ford will only force higher the already- too-high cost of living. Park cancels death edicts SEOUL, South Korea (AP) President Chung Hee Park today canceled two decrees that made political dissent punishable by death. His opponents urged him to declare an amnesty for those convicted of violating the decrees and to abandon two other emergency edicts. Politicians from all parties generally praised Park's action, which he said was possible because last week's assassination attempt against him had unified the country and convinced South Koreans of the threat of Communist subversion. But the New Democrats, the chief opposition party, called for abandonment of two other decrees that the president issued between January and April of this year. The smaller Democratic Unification party urged amnesty for the 171 persons convicted under the canceled decrees and the release from custody of those awaiting trial. Presidential spokesman Kim Seong-jin said repeal of the decrees will not affect cases that are still pending. The repealed decrees were issued Jan. 8 issued April 3. The first banned acts "to deny, oppose, misrepresent or defame" Park's rule and made violations punishable by 15 years in prison. The April decree raised the allowable penalty to death. The first decree followed 14 weeks of steadily growing demonstrations by students, Christian church leaders, intellectuals and opjxsition politicians urging the restoration of democracy to Korea. Park said the demonstrations were fomented by Communist subversives. Of the 171 persons convicted under the decrees, 14 were sentenced to death and the others to prison terms ranging from three years to life. VOL. 75—No. 266 2 sections—16 pages Hempjfedd County Home of the Bowie Knife HOPK. ARKANSAS FRIDAY. AUGUST 23. 1974 Av.nct (laid drciilatinii 3 months ending March 31.1974—1,080 As filed with Audit Bureau of Circulations, subject to audit. PRICK iOc SHARRON PARHAM will be a contestant in the Southwest District Junior Miss Pageant this Saturday night at Nashville. The Junior Miss Pageant is open to high school senior girls. Girls are judged on poise, personality, scholastic and extra-curricular activities as well as personal attractiveness. Sharron was the 1973 Miss Arkansas Teenager. For her talent, she will sing Rogers and Hammerstein's "I'm in Love With a Wonderful Guy." The pageant will be held at the Nashville Elementary Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Sharron is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Parham of Highway 67 E. Bombing suspect is still mute LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Yugoslav immigrant accused of terrorizing this city as the "alphabet bomber" remained mute today after his arraignment on murder charges. Authorities said they will press for the death penalty. Muharem Kurbegovic, 31, was ordered held without bail Thursday on request of prosecutor Stephen Trott, who said he will seek execution under the state's capital punishment law, permitting the death penalty in cases involving multiple slayings. Kurbegovic, who has not uttered a word to authorities since his arrest Tuesday, is charged in an Aug. 6 bombing that killed three persons at Los Angeles International Airport. Municipal Court Judge Sheldon Sloane ordered a plea of innocent for Kurbegovic Thursday when public defender Gerald Chaleff did not enter a formal plea for his client. Sloan granted a request by Chaleff for a pretrial gag order prohibiting statements by principals in the case. Chaleff argued there was "reasonable likelihood" that such statements would be prejudicial to Kurbe- govic. He is charged with three counts of murder for the three persons killed in the airport bombing. In addition, Kurbe- govic was charged with three counts of arson, four of violations of the dangerous weapons control law and one each of attempted murder and willful and malicious burning of personal property. The arson counts relate to firebombings last year at the homes of police commissioners and a judge against whom Kur- begovig allegedly held grudges. The defendant was dubbed the alphabet bomber for his alleged threat to spell out the name of his purported organization Aliens of America—by bombing sites related to letters in the group's name. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Sept. 6. Pensions protection measure sent to Ford WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill giving much stronger protection to members of private pension plans has been sent to President Ford, climaxing years of work by Congress. The Senate on Thursday passed the compromise version 85-0. The House had cleared it on Tuesday 407-2. Ford has indicated he will sign the bill when a ceremony can be arranged for the congressional sponsors to attend. The bill seeks to guarantee that 35 million to 40 million persons covered by the plans get the retirement benefits they had expected. Congressional studies showed most plans worked satisfactorily but that thousands of persons never received promised benefits. The measure also provides new tax incentives to self-employed persons to improve their own pension programs and for employes to set up individual programs when their companies do not have a plan. Sponsors said it was a major step in improving the pension system but conceded they would like to see further prog- ress. Some critics have said the measure is inadequate because it would not require firms to set up pension plans or raise present payments. About half the U.S. work force now is covered by plans. The average payment is approximately $141 a.month. Major provisions of the bill: Eligibility — All employes would have to be admitted to a pension plan, if the company has one, at age 25 and after one year of service. Vesting (an employe's guaranteed right to a pension after a specified period of service)— The company would have to adopt one of three alternatives under which the employe would have 100 per cent vested rights after being on the payroll no longer than 15 years. Funding — Employers would have to put sufficient amounts into pension funds in the future to meet pension liabilities incurred each year. To make up for any deficits for past service, employers would have to make annual payments so that full funding would be achieved in 30 years, or 40 years in a few cases. Ford to discuss Mideast with Syrian official today WASHINGTON (AP) - President Ford is turning his attention back to the Middle East in a meeting with the Syrian foreign minister after huddling with top Republican campaign leaders to map strategy for the fall elections. . Today's White House meeting with Abdel Halim Khaddam of Syria is part of continuing talks that Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger are 'conducting with Middle East officials to lay groundwork for the next stage of negotiations for a peace settlement. Ford hopes to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Omar Sakkaf over the next three weeks. Before meeting with Khad- dam, Ford greeted 100 farm youths at the White House and told them "in a very few years all of you will be running the country so you had better learn how to run it better." The President strode across the dewy Rose Garden as the 4- H Club members from Michigan and Colorado took his picture. Ford also planned to meet during the day with the "farm family of the year," Mr. and Mrs. Julian Fowler of Fairbanks, Alaska. He moved through a heavy schedule of meetings and ceremonies Thursday, ending with a private dinner at the White House for Vice President-designate Nelson A. Rockefeller and • six long - time congressional friends. Ford stepped up his role as Republican campaign booster, posing for individual photographs with 135 GOP candidates. Earlier he took time to pose with a dozen senators up for re-election. But White House Press Secretary Jerald F. terHorst said Ford will not campaign as much for GOP congressional candidates this year as he had planned before ascending to the presidency. "The best politics is to be right here in the White House tending to the affairs of government. But I cannot rule out the possibility of political appearances," said terHorst. TerHorst said no political trips had been scheduled yet. Ford discussed the fall campaigns for several hours in the Oval Office with Republican National Committee Chairman George Bush and congressional campaign committee chairmen Sen. William E. Brock III, R- Tenn., and Rep. Robert H. Michel, R-I11. Ford also signed landmark legislation revamping federal housing and community development programs and authorizing $11.9 billion in the next three years. About 200 mayors, members of Congress, state and county officials witnessed the signing of the Housing and Community Development Act. The President and his economic advisers reportedly are considering a 10-cent increase in the present 4-cent-per-gallon federal excise tax on gasoline. But officials downplayed Syrian forces alerted chances of any imminent request for such a boost. Further cementing his political foundation with various factions in Congress, Ford signed a proclamation designating Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day and urged ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. "You're making headway every day," Ford told 13 congresswomen who flanked him during the Cabinet Room ceremonies. Europe's farmers demanding action PARIS (AP) — French and German farmers dump tons of liquid manure outside government offices. Belgian farmers block main roads around Brussels with tractors. French pig farmers prevent a ship from unloading 1,200 tons of Chinese pork. Dutch farmers isolate two harbor towns, blocking all freight movements. Europe's millions of small farmers, often cultivating only a few acres, are taking to the roads demanding that their governments and the Common Market take radical action. Gross overproduction has pushed the prices paid the farmers for their beef, pork, wine, fruits and vegetables down while the cost of fuel fertilizer, feed and credit have shot up 25 to 30 per cent. Retail prices do not reflect the drop in farm income. The farmers charge that the governments have taken only limited steps to give them direct aid and meanwhile have done little or nothing to control the booming profits they claim the middlemen are amassing. The Common Market's Common Agricultural Policy— CAP—is supposed to harmonize farm prices and conditions throughout the nine member nations. But it is largely ignored by various governments that adopt policies to meet their own problems. West German Agricultural Minister Josef Ertl warned last week the CAP was in danger of disintegrating completely. Ertl blamed the crisis on exchange rate fluctuations which mean invoking complicated border taxes. However, 30,000 Bavarian farmers thought their government was to blame and marched on Munich to protest against a 10 per cent drop in farm prices. Melon weigh-m today »«•. .. They accused Bonn of doing lYllSS your paper,' nothing while other Common Market countries subsidized their farmers and Italy raised import barriers cagainst German produce. Italian farmers are not happy either. They have gathered in the thousands to close roads and rail lines from Switzerland and Austria in an effort to bar imports of milk, cheese and other produce from those nations and Germany. They fought German truck City Subscribers: If you fail to receive your Star please phone 777-3431 between 6 and 6:30 p.m.—Saturday before or by 5 p.m. and a carrier will deliver your paper. Constitutional officers and state officials of Arkansas and Kansas plan to square off on neutral territory at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the south steps of Kansas City's City Hall to mark the beginning of an annual heated watermelon-growing contest, sponsored by state fairs for each state. Kansas City Mayor Charles B. Wheeler Jr., will serve as refree for the occasion, to be held during a special one-hour "brown bag" lunch concert of authentic Arkansas Ozark folk music to be performed by members of A r kansas' Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View. The performers are in town for a special reception for Kansas-Missouri press and travel agents, hosted by the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Commission and the Arkansas Travel Council to promote travel in Arkansas. The Arkansas delegation will be led by Secretary of State Kelly Bryant, along with Miss Arkansas 1975, Rhonda Kay Pope, and other Arkansas beauty queens. Kansas officials will include Secretary of State Mrs. Elwill M. Shanahan and Robert Teagarden, president of the Kansas State Fair board of managers. Bryant will present Mayor Wheeler with a 100-pound Arkansas melon from Hope, center of the state's melon I Coutinutd ou Pagi- TVMH Ozan youth in accident Vernon Honeycutt, 19-year- old resident of Ozan, was slightly injured Friday morning when the car he was driving left the road and hit a light pole on Highway 4 one mile north of Washington, Ark. State Police Capt. Milton Mosier said that Honeycutt, who was traveling south toward Washington, had apparently fallen asleep at the wheel when his car left the highway. Honeycutt was taken to a local hospital by Herapstead County Ambulance Service. He was treated and released. drivers trying to break through the blockades, emptied milk from tankers and dumped cheeses on the roads. Trains bringing in sugar were another target. French farmers have alternated violence with a "smile campaign," greeting tourists with free cuts of prime beef, trays of fruit and vegetables and bottles of wine, along with pamphlets explaining their problems. The Common Market ordered an 8.5 per cent increase in farm prices for 1974, but farm groups were pressing for 12.5 per cent. The governments of France, Belgium and Italy defied Common Market rules to grant direct aid, price support hikes and tax and credit relief. Farm leaders said these were inadequate. The Dutch parliament debates the situation Tuesday. Dutch farm unions are demanding that the prices paid them be raised to 4 per cent over the Common Market level. There is no sign of an easy solution. Higher prices for the farmers will fuel inflation still further. If governments clamp down on retail prices, they fuel protests from all those in the distribution chain Arab offer is denied LISBON, Portugal (AP) The Portuguese government today denied it had received an Arab offer of $400 million and restored oil supplies in return for a refusal to renew U.S. air base rights in the Azores. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said persistent reports of the offer were untrue. The American Embassy in Usbon declined to comment. U.S. intelligence sources and Lisbon informants said the offer, in which Saudi Arabia was said to be a main participant, was made to Portugal's military government two weeks ago. It was said to include the prospect of ending the Arab oil embargo against Portugal, imposed after Lisbon allowed the United States to use the Azores base in the Atlantic as a staging post to supply Israel with arms during last October's Middle East war. While U.S. intelligence sources said the Arabs were ready to put up $400 million to deny the United States continued use of the Lajes base on Terceira Island, one Lisbon informant said the Arabs were in fact prepared to match any American offer. Current U.S. rights to the base expired Aug. 4 but continue automatically until either party notifies it wants to cancel. CLOUDY BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) Syria has placed its armed forces on the alert to counter Israeli military moves, the pro- Palestinian newspaper Al Mo- harrer said today. Officials in Damascus had no comment'. The newspaper, which gave no source for its report, said the Syrian move followed recent officials Israeli statements that reservists would be called up in the next few days for 'military exercises." Syrian Premier Mahmoud Ayoubi told a Palestinian workers congress in Damascus Thursday that Israel had started mobilizing its forces and was trying to hide its "real intentions of launching new aggression" against Syria. The official Syrian press also has recently been warning that Israel is preparing for a new attack on the Arabs. Meanwhile, the Beirut newspaper Al Baytrak said last week's meeting between Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat resulted in a total break between the two governments instead of the first step toward a reconciliation, as the Egyptian government announced at the time. According to the paper, Sadat said in a message to foreign Arab leaders that Khadafy "has decided to declare economic war against Egypt and called for a complete break of economic relations between them." Cost control methods are under study WASHINGTON (AP) - The Ford administration is considering a 10-cent-per-gallon boost in the federal excise tax on gasoline as a possible anti-inflation move, officials say. "This is one of those proposals under consideration ... along with many, many others," White House Press Secretary Jerald F. terHorst told reporters on Thursday in confirming published reports about a possible tax boost. The excise tax is currently 4 cents a gallon, and nationwide surveys show that the average cost of gasoline now is 55.8 cents a galloa. TerHorst and Treasury Secretary William E. Simon said President Ford has no immediate plans to ask Congress for a tax increase now. And Capitol Hill sources also said it was unlikely that Congress would enact such a tax boost in an election year. TerHorst was asked to comment on a Los Angeles Times report that Ford may seek the gasoline-tax increase to fight inflation and conserve energy. "The President and his economic advisers are reviewing a whole range of possible ideas and recommendations," he said. "This is one of those proposals understudy." Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported today that the administration also is studying whether to decontrol prices on about 75 per cent of domestically produced crude oil. Quoting what it called reliable government sources, the newspaper said the effect would be to permit the price of so-called "old" crude oil to float from the current ceiling of a5.25 a barrel to whatever level the market would bear, probably about $10 or $11. "Old" crude oil refers to that portion of currently produced oil that is equal to or below 1972 production levels. The Post said advocates of the decontrol conceded it would have a short-term inflationary effect but that it would reduce demand in the long run. Reducing demand for goods is one me thod of fighting inflat ion.
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