The federal government would seek a taxpayer bailout to repay depositors at failed savings and loan institutions rather than let anyone lose a penny of insured savings, the nation's chief S&L regulator said yesterday.

Federal Home Loan Bank Board Chairman M. Danny Wall, whose agency regulates the savings and loan industry, made the promise in response to remarks by Texas Gov. William P. Clements Jr. that depositors only would get 30 cents for every $1 of insured money at insolvent savings and loan institutions in Texas and elsewhere. Federal officials said Clements' statements set off runs at several S&Ls in Amarillo, Texas.

In an article in The Amarillo Daily News, Clements accused the bank board of committing "fraud on the general public" by keeping hundreds of insolvent institutions open. He said the agency lacks the money to repay 100 percent on every insured dollar at the sick institutions.

"The governor is wrong," Wall told a news conference yesterday. "All insured deposits are good and will be honored." In giving his assurances, Wall said Congress has pledged the use of taxpayer money as a last resort.

Wall said Clements' office had confirmed that the newspaper accurately quoted the governor.

Wall called the news conference to rebut Clements' statements. He said he was concerned that the governor's comments might upset an already fragile situation in Texas.

"To say that depositors may end up with only 30 cents on the insured dollar is a complete fiction -- that has absolutely no basis whatsoever in fact," Wall said. "I assure all {federally} insured depositors in Texas and across the country that there is no reason to be concerned about the safety of federally insured money."

Clements, in a statement released late yesterday, applauded the reaffirmation of the government to stand behind federally insured S&L deposits.

A bank board spokesman said of the runs in Amarillo, "We knew there was activity out there and crowds in the lobbies of many institutions. We anticipate there were withdrawals. We just don't know how much." The spokesman said he knew of no runs elsewhere in the state.

Clements said in the newspaper story that the federal government would end up giving depositors 30 cents in cash for every insured $1 and a paper IOU for the remaining 70 cents.

Wall said the bank board has never considered, and would not consider, issuing IOUs to cover depositors' claims.

"We are prepared should there be problems," he said. "Liquidity will be provided."

Because of widespread publicity surrounding the problems of S&Ls in Texas and elsewhere in the Southwest, S&L deposits in the region have been on the decline for months.

Many of the troubled S&Ls in Texas are victims of falling oil and real estate prices, but many suffer from bad, often corrupt, management, according to officials at the bank board and in Congress.

The Justice Department has sent a team of lawyers and FBI agents to Texas to investigate allegations of corruption and fraud in the state's S&L industry.

President Reagan signed a bill Monday that will allow the bank board to issue bonds to raise $10.8 billion for the insolvent agency fund that insures S&L deposits, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp.

Record S&L failures have depleted FSLIC's funds, leaving it more than $6 billion in the red at the end of 1986.

Although Wall and many S&L industry executives say no one can estimate the ultimate cost of closing or selling hundreds of insolvent S&Ls across the country, including at least 41 in Texas, many industry and government leaders say the tab is likely to run as high as $40 billion.

The $10.8 billion in new funding, coupled with fees the bank board charges the S&L industry, will provide FSLIC with about $6 billion each year in additional funding for the next three years, Wall said.

Wall objected to Clements' statements that keeping insolvent S&Ls open amounted to defrauding the public. Wall called the statements "implausible and undesirable."

"Wholesale closing of thrifts is no answer. That would only hurt depositors and further affect local markets and communities." Wall said.

"What we need to do -- and what we are going to do -- is find in many, many cases solutions such as mergers or acquisitions that will rehabilitate troubled thrifts and provide for continued financial services to their communities and depositors," he said.