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One of California's most colorful political figures is United States senator as I hire car. The 72 year old Republican is just rounding out his first two years of service in the U.S. Senate. The first and only elected office he has ever held. KOCO TV channel 15 now presents an exclusive interview with the senator for public television. Now here is your host Jim Cooper. Senator who has now served two years in the United States Senate. He's been heard from on many issues ranging from the Panama Canal to U.S. relations with Rhodesia. He's also taking a wide interest in many issues which affect the welfare of California. We'll talk to him today of current problems and his thoughts about the new session of Congress which begins in January. Senator Hiatt Kawas an internationally renowned semanticists and president emeritus of San Francisco State University he holds a Ph.D. in English English and American literature is a certified psychologist and the author of many books and publications. He served as president of San Francisco State from one thousand sixty eight to nine hundred seventy
three. He collects African sculptures Chinese ceramics and old jazz records and enjoys tap dancing scuba diving and fishing. Senator how you served on the budget agriculture and human resources committees of the U.S. Senate. Senator I'd like to start by asking you how well you have endured these two years in the grilling arena of the U.S. Senate. Well I think those two years have been awfully good for me the quickest most intensive years of adult education I've ever had. And it's been good for me. It's been good for my health too. You seem to have a good head that had been working on your health. The hour another time I don't know I seem to be in very good shape. I'd like to put at the head of our list in our discussion today to talk about three areas the national interest the international interest in things of concern to California. And the reason I put the national interest first is because in serving all of the issues that we could be talking about in this program I can think of none that is more crucial more important for decision making
then the matter of the economy. We're seeing double digit inflation double digit interest rates and we're seeing terrible trade deficits. You know the dollar seems to be going to hell in general if I can use a phrase on the international market. What about it is the president's plan enough is it going to work. I don't think the president's plan is enough though I do hope it will work as I hope it will contribute to the solution. But I do think the administration is not being. Clearly candid in blaming so much of our problems to let's say the excessive importation of Middle Eastern oil. Germany and Japan import practically all the oil you see that they're doing fine financially in the German market the Japanese yen are pretty strong. Now I think that the trade deficit of the United States suffers from these really read a serious matter. And throughout most of our history
we've never had a trade or trade deficit except in the last few years. My trade deficit becomes worse each year and during the past year I've been to Japan twice to worry about whether or not Japan can import more agricultural products from California and we argue with them about meat and citrus fruits and so on. We're very worried about the East European economic community and in the artificial barriers they place upon specialty products from California like walnuts and raisins and so on. I am very much concerned with agriculture. But when you look at the overall trade relations between let's say Japan and the United States. I want to call attention to people to a slogan used by Toyota Motors. What's that they say in their commercials over and over again. You asked for it you got it. Toyota you know all right. What do you mean you asked for it. That is they have
done intensive market research in this country to see what Americans do see whatever happens once and then they make their car the way the Americans want to and so they sell like crazy. Now to what degree has General Motors or Ford or Chrysler gone to the Japanese consumer and say What do you want a big car. Have you asked for it you got it from us. And if you think they we don't even know what they want. First thing we know that they need a right hand drive the steering wheel on the right because they drive on the left hand side of the road. We don't even do that for them. You know when we complain they don't buy enough American cars. They don't have a tariff on American cars now. But this is only one example but there are many many mad items in clothing in applying fashion aware actor highand says housewares and so on that the Japanese would like to import. But we have not exercised the energy to import to export them. There are 20000 Japanese businessmen in New York speaking English and selling like
crazy whatever they've got to sell. What about trade with Red China that wait a minute and they're only 1000 American businessmen in Tokyo few of whom speak Japanese. And no wonder they're out selling us. And so similar to what you're saying is they're doing a more aggressive job they're doing a far more aggressive job of playacting we're not doing much good aggressive job talks. McDonald's has got 200 outlets in Japan. Yes. And that's an aggressive job in Kentucky but I can accept what you're saying that there was an exception here those are the exceptions what about developing trade as Red China hope to do that American trade. I really don't understand that that is where they're going to use for money. I don't have an answer. If you do you know they don't have any raw materials to send to us. You don't have any manufacturing parts to send to us and they're perfectly eager to buy all kinds of things and many of our manufacturers are eager to sell them. But then the whole thing in a painful and well I'm terribly afraid although I'm not an authority on this I mean
I'm terribly afraid that we would have to give them low interest loans with which to pay for them. That would be loaning money to turn around buy them too. That's right and so who's going to pay for those birds in the long run. I don't know but this great anxiety to sell it to the People's Republic of China is because I say there and. Trade has got to be to a problem they haven't got much the border with Mexico. Before we leave this subject and do you do you feel that the president I think you said the president's plan is not going to be enough to get a voluntary wage control voluntary price control. So where do we go from there. Well there's economy still going to continue to go downhill. Well. I would say that there's something to be learned from the enormously increased business in the airline industry in the short time it's been deregulated that planes are for all of the place and not only that airplane companies are getting orders to pre-produced more and more airplanes. Now if we deregulate trucking as
Senator Kennedy suggests if we do get another a few other industries that are obviously over regulated and repressed then we can beef up the economy in a number of respects and most important of all. I think that. The capital gains taxes and the depreciation rates that American industry has to face all discourage the formation of new plants. The discarding of machinery in factories and I just learned this today is just a shocking thing that the newest American steel plant. He is of the same age as the oldest Japanese steel and wood I had when I was cleaning up with technology in the area you mentioned energy. It seems a strange thing that our next door neighbor Mexico seems to be developing enormous reserves of oil discovery of oil and yet Mexico is trying to develop markets to sell that
oil to European countries instead of trading oil with us. Since United States is next door does that offend you does that concern you well in the first place we offended the Mexicans very profoundly. They offered their natural gas to us natural gas and oil. But first let me tell but talk about the natural gas that they offer the natural gas to us at a price that our Department of Energy would not accept and we turned them down flat. Not only do we turn him down we parent we turn them down in a way that offended the Mexican government so they're looking for European markets. So they're selling to Japan this Sunday to Europe back Mexico and people who were in snort I'm mad at us and we brought it on ourselves. You like to see that change turned I certainly would. We've heard about the Prop 13 message mecha been sort of the Prop 13 message and yet the senator Senator Kennedy has been going around the country talking about matters of health insurance. And here's what he said about this problem searching whether it is really being heard in Washington or
whether it's a myth that's going to blow away. He said the nation's current wave of stinginess is transitional he says he predicts that the country will eventually return to a more liberal humane course. And he said I think I am in the mainstream. And he's talking of course toward national health insurance and pushing his nothing Health Insurance Program is the Prop 13 message a myth that's going to blow away or is it something that's being heard loud and clear in Washington. It's being heard loud and clear in every state capital in the United States and on the basis of my recent trip to Japan I can tell you it's being heard in the Japanese diet. It is yes it is not going to go away suddenly and it is not necessarily charitable. It's not necessarily a reflection of lack of care. More social problems but the people are saying is we want more for our money. We want our money's worth for our taxes. And as someone said in San Francisco just before the election when I saw three workmen painting a city fire plug I realized I had to vote for
Proposition 13. It's not that you didn't want the fireplug pated but you didn't think you need three people. That's what you know along with Senator Kennedy who's who has now apparently got the president committed to at least go on record as being in favor of national health insurance. I don't go along with that you will not support a no body. Well I think it's going to be fantastically fabulously expensive and I'm not satisfied with the level of medical care received in other countries which have taken on national care. The most recent news I've had on this is very and satisfactory state of affairs in New Zealand for example. But which I heard quite a bit recently. You know we have. What are called HMO health maintenance organizations prepaid medical care that are private in the burbs either in the private sector. There are group practice you'd rather see that. That's something I've patronized for many many years and I'm very much in favor of that.
Let's talk to something on the international scene you know in recent months demonstrated a considerable interest in international matters yes. It's no secret that you're interested in the. Position of possible in the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee. What about that. Why do you want that seat and what are your chances. Well. There are a lot of reasons why I know why I would like to concern myself with foreign relations for example being of Japanese extraction myself. I know something about the Far East always been interested in for other reasons altogether having nothing to do with my ancestry long long long been interested in Africa and African art to start with and then having a Ph.D. an English teacher I cannot help being interested in. In the stitcher and therefore European history and so on I mean I just got a wide range of interesting things that take place abroad
right now and very very much just heard about things are going on in Iran and Lebanon as well as in Rhodesia. I'm terribly concerned about Cambodia. The alliance between Vietnam and Russia and the peculiar Alliance along with the south another another key peculiar alliance between Cambodia and Peoples Republic of China. These are all very puzzling things I find of a very challenging to think about. I like to read from a couple of sentences from one of your letters in which you were very very critical of current SALT talks and I read this quote Why are we anxiously conducting SALT talks with the Soviet Union while the Soviet Union steadily enlarges Empire Angola Ethiopia Rhodesia next and military advisors in 20 or more African nations and Cambodia one of the world's great bloodbath has been going on there since the Communist takeover of that unhappy nation. Now let's talk a bit about that because I see that you tie in that condition to the SALT talks. Let's talk about the SALT talks in Europe why you're so concerned about on the right.
Since that statement was made. Further progress progress has been made in the salt agreements the Strategic Arms Limitation that strategy's Eucharist imitation. Early next year I think January for us. I am leaving for Brussels and Rome with a group of Republican senators. The principle purpose of this is for us to learn more about the present stage of the talks. Now I don't know if I'd still be against him if I see the revisions that have been made since that time but I'm still skeptical. You're concerned that we haven't demanded enough concessions from the Soviets in addition to the concern. I mean to balance the concessions we're making in this all took not only that you see I am very very concerned that we seem to be so frightened not only of the subjects were even frightened of Cuba. And every time. Foreign relations initiative is proposed but might
fand Russia or Cuba or Red China for that matter. We withdraw and don't do it. Saying no why is it that we are so team it in the face of the Communist nations. Why we nervously chewing our finger Noons of what Russia think we're peaking. Think what will Cuba think if we do this that and the other. We are a great nation so that in Moscow and in Peking they should be worrying about what the United States might think and might do to me but they know darned well we're not going to do anything and that is take a passive position in international affairs which I think is disgraceful for a great nation. Like right now we're saying we're not going to think about Iran. But continued good relations with Iran and the continued protection of Iran against communist expansionism is very very necessary. But still we're saying we're not going to help the show. President Carter said that just the other day.
Let's crack an invitation to the Russians to move in. That's what your concern and I'm very much concerned with what about the president. He's continually talked about human rights everyone in America has heard the expression again the concern for human rights you said just the other day I will not retreat one inch from my stand on human rights. What about that. I'd like to call attention to the fact that human rights of the entire people of Quebec are not could back to bet. Tibet Tibet had been crushed by China by the People's Republic and the people of Tibet have no rights whatsoever and it can be kicked around like serfs by Chinese commissar Singh. Now one word of protest on that has occurred. And then when the Dalai Lama of Tibet who is in exile in India. Had his friends make inquiries as to whether or not he could visit the United States the State Department said no. Better not come at this time. And clearly they were afraid of offending communist China in the belly of the Lamb is not a political leader he's a religious leader but nevertheless
we're afraid of offending Peking and that's what I mean by a timidity. You're going to end it all to familiar with the SALT talks Yes and so and bring back the subs you raise human rights. Yes. What about the human rights of the people of Cambodia not Tibet of many many other parts of the world that administration don't seem to care much about. You have been one of the outstanding spokesmen as far as being critical of our Rhodesia. Yes some people have said that you went to great effort to bring young Smith over here. I did my minister and yet you did not go to any effort to bring over the patriotic Liberation Front. I didn't have to sing because I believe you're saying your honor you're only applying this in one on one style that little President Carter has received. Joshua Nkomo the pres of the Patriotic Front in the White House. President Carter has received. One to
Kenneth Cole and you know I don't fly does dinner I was there so. I can't count is the guy who is giving the Patriotic Front. I shelter in his own country to attack Rhodesia with. So we've given the other side every chance. So you're saying that you're what I'm trying to do is you're tired balanced things by listing to see reference to Tolly. And Cuba and you really I mean Smith Yes yes. Let's come back to salt thing again yeah. Senator Cranston your colleague Democrat on the Democrat side will have the job of leading the fight to get adoption of assault treaty in United States and you have been very critical of the SALT talks and yet and so many many times. Doesn't this put you on a collision course with Senator Cranston Senator Cranston who are very good friends always on a collision course. Someone made an analysis and said that on 80 percent of important issues we have disagreed but we remain friends. And so the fact that
we disagree with each other is the fact that I accept as a fact of life and so does he. How do you relate to him How do you get along with him as a person. How would you evaluate Senator Graham very friendly way and evaluate his offense right every now and then he comes over to me and says says Hey Sam this is something you can support can't you know look at the paper you know I see you have maybe I can let's get together on it. So you'll find yourself in a head on collision very very possibly will play with the SALT talks that you had at the end tell us how the possible I would hope that the South talks are strong enough in the starting right so that I can support that I would hope that I can get together with him you think but you know I'm not altogether optimistic about. You've been very critical of many of the things that you just ration to done certainly the economic policies and many of the foreign relations policies. How would you evaluate the job the president has done. He's been there two years just as you have in Washington. I'm talking about evaluating President Carter as a president. I've already given myself away on that I'm afraid that I don't think he's
been by any means the greatest present we've ever had. You said once he didn't lift you out of your seat when you talk or something to that effect. That is there are many many things he has done or failed to do that bother me very very much. So you have concerns. Yes I really do. All right. I like to talk a bit about the state of California. Would you start out by giving your observations of a man whose name is Jerry Brown. When people say I'm really from California and being governor but he has eyes and a run for the presidency how effective has he been in your judgment in running the state of California. Well being in Washington most the time I don't follow the California papers from day to day so I don't know that I can pass judgment. It did upset me very very much however when members of his administration stopped the development of sun desert. When we are in a nuclear energy project I did that that sets back the
climate for business and future production of energy. When the when the Dow Chemical Company which had plans for a huge petrochemical or some kind of plant in Solana County Governor Brown's own appointees gave them such a bad time that they finally said to hell with it and move their plant somewhere else that costs us a lot of comedy in the surrounding area at least three or five thousand jobs well. So the rumor got around the business community that the that Governor Brown was creating unpeopled climate for business. And you remember yes that strong feeling to that effect. What was Governor Brown's answer to that. Well he had Lepel buttons made. California means business and I don't know how much good that did you know. Yes I'm not sure he's much been done but it does bother me. That. He could oppose Proposition 13 so big
recently and then suddenly changed his mind. The day after the election how does one do that. Is it because he's a complete political opportunist that has no principles. I hate to think that you say but it was a total reversal of his. It was a total reversal of his position and therefore how can you trust his position on anything. And if the wind blows the other way. And so I say to them hear my hear my real doubts. My first doubt is about the firmness of his beliefs whatever they may be. And my second it is. If he isn't applying to be governor of California for four years how good a government Governor we're going to have for the next two years. You're going to have California on his mind or is he going to have Washington on his money. I think to the court that's something we'll have to wait and see here. And that's already been but that was last I'd like to raise it to raise one of the chronic problems that our state has had to deal
with more than other states. Is the question of so-called undocumented workers or illegal aliens which depending on which expression you want to use to describe the problem you've been very critical of the administration's announced efforts to deal with that. Yes. Could you tell us why and what you think ought to be done. Yes well I think the United States has long treated the Latin American nations especially Mexico with neglect and or contempt for example to stop the Brasero program without consulting the Mexican government. We didn't buy natural gas from the one they want when they want us to. But insulted them instead. And then when President Carter pretty proposed a program on illegal aliens that program was developed without again consultation with the Mexican government. And I would like to deal with the problem of the undocumented or illegal alien First of all by forming a bi national commission of an equal number of Mexicans and
Americans sitting in a group and arguing these things back and forth they can be labor leaders they can be employers they can be sociologists economists whoever they needed but bi national commission and develop something that's mutually satisfactory to both sides. Because Mexico. Doesn't want to lose their ambitious young men and women to us and we don't want uncontrolled population growth. But nevertheless the same time we do. Are many of us at least want their work that they contribute to our economy and their country needs the pay that they get and send back to Mexico. So how do you reconcile those two apparent contradictions. Well as I say I would like to leave this ultimately in the hands by national commission but in the meantime my own view is that we should have something like the guest worker program that they have all over Europe in which workers like a green card worker coming over or the old material program.
No no the program had an awful lot of shortcomings. I refer to the European analogy. Yeah the guest the guest worker allowed to get workers to come into work and then go home and go home. What do you do it legally you do do it it is the man's Eagle home too. Yes and then if these guest cards are issued for periods of less than one year and can be renewed so he can come back next year then we can have a constant source of labor. But they're there. Thais will be in their hometown in Mexico and that controls the M.O. of uncontrolled population growth here. It also controls the matter from the point of view of Mexico keeping a tie with the young men and women who want to go a news book out very strongly against the policy of the government to forgive everybody would hear before 977 and say they had amnesty. Yeah. That you still disagree with it. I still disagree with that I think that they should go back and come in as legal residents on let's say a guest worker program in here that the stories of repeatedly come out is that there aren't enough people to stop them and they keep on coming and coming and coming.
Therefore in the dialogue to develop it puts a burden on the schools puts a burden on health puts a burden on other people. That's the other side of the coin to say that they help the economy because they are. They provide work. And both sides are right. So somewhere so somewhere these ideas have to be reconciled and this is why I would like to have a system the guest workers none of which is a legal thing. Yes. And which is control exercised on both sides and neither America or Mexico will have reason to complain of the results because both sides have had their input into the final result. A question about your own future. Many people I think would like to hear from you what your plans are what you see doing you've got four years to go in the Senate. Yes but have you thought that far ahead about another one of the United States Senate. During my campaign people kept saying you are going to be one term Senator aren't you. And my reply during the campaign was to say well at the end of three terms. I'll be 88 years old.
But my my mother is alive and well at 92. So what's the problem. Well my mother is now 94 and she's in very good health so I don't see any problem well at the best but this way given the fact that you say you like it right now we're getting on of course we like to make another run sure. It's been a very interesting and intriguing discussion with you and the like I thank you thank you Jim. Thank you very much. This has been a special interview for public television with Senator S.I. Hayakawa of the state of California. I'm Jim Cooper. Thanks for being with us.
Voter's Pipeline
Interview with Sen. Hayakawa
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Jim Cooper interviews Senator S.I. Hayakawa.
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Voter's Pipeline is a talk show hosted by Jim Cooper and featuring conversations with politicians and experts about local and state politics.
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Politics and Government
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Host: Cooper, Jim
Interviewee: Hayakawa, S.I.
Producing Organization: PBS SoCaL
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Duration: 00:30:00
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