Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on June 6, 1974 · Page 5
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June 6, 1974

Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 5

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Carroll, Iowa
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Thursday, June 6, 1974
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Page 5
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India's Nuclear Debut: A Delicate World Balance is Blasted Apart By NKA-Undon Economist News Scrvirn _._,.. . -«• y NKA-London Economist News Service India's debut as a nuclear power was described by its prime minister as ."nothing to get excited about". In these strident times, it is good to learn that the great British tradition of understatement is alive and well, and living in New Delhi. But in any event the successful test explosion of a nuclear device on May 18, below ground in the Rajasthan desert west of Jodhpur (and about 100 miles from the Pakistani frontier), is something Indira Gandhi can well feel bland about. Mrs. Gandhi is once again the best riding figure she was after her army beat Pakistan's in 1971. Indian official statements continue to emphasize that the test explosion was intended to serve strictly peaceful purposes. "India has no intention of 'becoming a nuclear-weapon power, , its delegate to the Geneva disarmament conference. There is no need to challenge the sincerity of these protestations. Similar ones were made about the purpose of French nuclear research in the 1950s, only a few years before France acquired its first bombs. What needs to be understood is that a country's ability to explode any kind of nuclear device shows that it is close to the development of a usable weapon. Among specialists, it has long been widely assumed that India would soon be in a position to make nuclear weapons if it chose to. Now the world knows.And it is the capability, not the stated intention, that impresses people. Unlike their prime minister, India's newspapers have got excited. That would hardly be justified by a mere technical advance in "mining and earthmoving operations," the phrase used in the official announcement of the test. Labor is not so scarce and expensive in India as to make it uneconomic to carry out big earth-moving operations conventionally. And Pakistan's prime minister Bhutto is not thinking only about earth-moving when he Credit Law One of Most Controversial in Years Times Herald, Carroll, la. _ Thursday, June 6, 1974 3 speaks of a fateful development. India's conventional military superiority over Pakistan has been so great since the 1971 war that the equation of power is not greatly affected by the explosion. What most worries Bhutto is the prospect that India will no longer be inhibited by the possibility of running up against Chinese nuclear power. The Chinese, as is their habit, have kept very quiet. But they will be calculating the time it will take India to acquire missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Three years, some say. It is not a perspective likely to encourage the Chinese to intensify their support of Pakistan. By Harrison Weber Iowa Daily Press Association DES MOINES - Iowa's new consumer credit law is one of the most controversial measures to come out of the Iowa Legislature in recent years. Some legislators claim there is a great deal of misunderstanding by the public on the contents of the bill which was signed into law Monday by Governor Robert D. Ray. The main thrust of the act is to allow 18 per cent interest on the first $500 borrowed on revolving charge accounts and 15 per cent on amounts over $500. For many years there was a question as to the maximum amount of interest that could be charged in Iowa on revolving accounts. Although the prevailing rate was 18 per cent per annum, it was a grey area. Piqued over interest rates charged on a personal account, Attorney General Richard C. Turner filed a suit against Younkers Brothers Department Store challenging the 18 per cent rate. Last fall the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in Turner's favor and since then lowans have enjoyed the lowest interest rate in the country — 9 per cent. But knowledgeable people knew this low interest rate could not last. Among other things, national retail chains were threatening to boycott Iowa and not establish any new stores in Iowa unless the allowable interest rates were increased. With this new act, which goes into effect July 1, Iowa becomes the 43rd state to allow 18 per cent interest on retail credit. However, the 18 per cent to $500 rate ceiling puts Iowa in a group of states with the seventh lowest retail revolving rate in the country. The new law is expected to be an issue in the general election campaign between Governor Ray, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent. One person who was very close to the scene in drafting the bill, Robert Oberbilling, director of the Polk County Legal Aid Society, thinks its "a very good bill." It represents a "compromise" from the various factions involved, ranging from consumer groups to business interests, he said. "If I were to draft a bill strictly for consumers, obviously I would change parts of it. But the bill that came out is really an excellent piece of legislation. It shows the legislative process at its GET TOGETHER HERE . . . DINING ROOM available for luncheons, meetings, anniversaries, reunions. Phone 792-9101. Cqtering service available. Ask about our catering service for your next meeting or gathering at your facilities. PAULINE'S CAFE Hi-way 71 South OPEN: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. • Monday thru Thursday 6 a.m. In 12 p.m. Fri. & Sat. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday best because of the compromises that had to be worked out to get support for the bill in its entirety," Oberbilling commented. While the politicians are clashing over the 18 per cent ceiling provided in the bill, Oberbilling said he personally doesn't consider it "all that important." But there are some other interest rates which he feels are extremely important to the consumer. For example, the act increases the rate banks are allowed to charge on installment loans to consumers from 12 to 15 per cent. Oberbilling thinks this will open the door to many people who will now be able to qualify for bank loans where before they could only get small loans or industrial loans and had to pay a much higher interest rate. The director of the Polk County Legal Aid Society believes the consumer protections that are built into the bill will have an indirect benefit to many lowans. He claims these consumer protections will remove one of the principal causes of divorce. "Many times," Oberbilling said, "a woman will get hassled by creditors because her husband has over-extended his credit, their household goods are taken and his wages are garnished. This often leads to divorce and she ends up on welfare." These consumer protections, he said, are putting a limit on garnishments, a ban on taking a security interest in household goods and a limitation on collection practices. Under the new act, debt collection practices are strictly regulated; one of the strongest regulations in the nation. The law prohibits threats, coercion, force, false accusations, harrassment and dissemination of information relating to a debt. PAINT SPECIAL ACRYLIC LATEX House Paint Per Gallon CIRCLE CASHWAY But the Rajasthan blast's implications extend far beyond the triangular relationship of India, Pakistan and China. The first foot is in the door of the club of five nuclear powers whose membership, unchanged since China qualified in 1964, corresponds to the privileged permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. The nuclear nonproliferation treaty that took effect in 1970 was aimed at restricting the club to those five. Its prospects of success were dimmed by he non-adherence of two of the five (China and France) and of a disturbingly large number of countries that could be ranked as near-nuclear by reason of their advanced military technology and their access to nuclear materials used for power production. Of these near-nuclears, only Canada and Sweden were quick to ratify the treaty. Australia and West Germany have, after long hesitation, joined them. Japan, which signed in 1970, has still not ratified. Other non-adherents, in addition to India and Pakistan, include Argentina, Brazil, Israel and South Africa. Now that India has got the club door wedged open, it is pretty plain that other near- nuclear states will reveal a livelier interest in getting in too. The explosion in Ra- jasthan has not yet blown the whole nonproliferation system skyhigh, but it ought to enforce an urgent reappraisal of the system's present and future effectiveness — and limitations. Quite apart from the straight political and military pressures that are pushing several governments towards nuclear weapons, there is the technical problem of controlling the plutonium that is produced in the potential nuclear powers' supposedly peaceful reactors. Plutonium output from reactors is going to multiply rapidly in the next few years, and the job of keeping tabs on it will get far too big for the present resources of the International Atomic Energy Agency. It is pretty clear that if the attempt to curb the proliferation of nuclear arms is to be continued at all, it is going to need a much bigger effort. That rumbling noise from Rajasthan could even prove timely if it helps to shift the Chinese (because Indian bombs would have a special meaning for them) and the French (because they are now shaking free from some of the more cherished dogmas of Gaullism) towards a more positive attitude to the nonproliferation treaty. But does anyone still care enough? Local Soldier Gets Promotion WESTSIDE - Russell A. Brockman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Merlin Brockman, has been promoted from P.V.II to S.P. 4. He is now attending electronics school in Fort Monmouth, N.J. His new address is: S.P.-4-Russell A. Brockman; Co. B. S.C.H. BDE. USA. S.C.S.: Fort Monmouth, N.J. 07703 Pam Slender of Omaha was a weekend guest in the Johnnie Slender home. "^^•^•^^ Your Super Market of Building Supplies "The Brand of Bargains' 7 Hours: Mo n thro Fri. Hwy. 71 North, Carrol! 7.30 to 5 Sat. 7:30 to 4:30 of for Father's Day. You'll find it here we're sure. Shop today! atf* s*o# s»tf ? <*tf »<$

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