Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Arthur F. Burns said goodbye to few friends Wednesday, and it took him nearly two hours. During that time, he shook more men's hands and kissed more women than any 73 year old, Republican,retiring chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in recent memory.
It was the largest in a series of farewells for Burns and his wife Helen, and it brought out Washington luminaries from at least five administrations.
Chief Justice Warren Burger, making one of his relatively rare social appearances, remarked that "I only go to cocktail parties for the president and forArthur Burns."
A characteristic tribute was given by Burns' successor, G. William Miller, who said succinctly that "Arthur is worth more than the dollar."
The pipe which has been one of Burn's trademarks for years jutted from his determined jaw most of the two hours, stone cold - receiving lines are not a favourable enviroment for pipe smoking. Occasionally he transferred it to his left hand (the right was chronically occupied with hand shakes) but no smoke issued from it throughout the course of the party.
The Feelings of many of the guest were expressed by one of them when Burns greeted him with: "How are you?"
"I'm worried," was the reply, "now that you're not going to be around."
The reception was given at the elegant 1925 * F St Club by Robert K. Gray of Hill and Knowlton, who has been a friends of Burns since the Eisenhower administration. His invitation, showing the face of Burns on a $1 bill, carried the slogan: "Money is the root of ail evil. . . and we all need roots!"Most of the guests clearly felt that the dollar (at least in its present condition) is an imperfect symbol of the man who has been for so long its watchdog and tireless defender.
On a poster set up against a wall for the guests to autograph, Miller in flated his earlier estimate of Burns' worth. Alluding to the cartoon like "The face for a million dollar bill." Burger was more conservative, saying that "it ought to be at least two dollars."
People from the Embassy Rov crowd rubbed elbows with incumbents from Capitol Hill and excutive branch figures from the Carter, Ford Nixon, Johnson and Eisenhower administrations. Steve Bull, former Nixon aide, recalled that "To us younger people in the White House, Burns was The Professor.'" When Bull spotted a former White House colleague, Rose Mary Woods, he kissed her. They had a brief chat, then moved off in opposite directions.
Bull said he had not read H. R. (Bod) Haideman's new book, "The Ends of Power," so he couldn't attest to accuracy. "Bob has certain insights, which he introduced in a hypothetical sense," said Bull. "Why he didn't present them in a factual sense three year ago, I don't know."
David Lloyd Kreeger discussed the little known aspect of BUrns as an art connoisseur. As Fed chairman, Burns set up a selection committee, of which Kreeger is a member, to acquire a rotating collection on loan to decorate the walls of the Federal Reserve Building. "He has an appreciation for abstractions as well as representational paintings," said Kreeger, who indicated that the Federal Reserve may be about to begin acquiring its own permanent collection of paintings.
On his retirement plans, Burns would say only that he expects to "Keep busy." The next major item on his agenda is a trip to Japan and Australia that will combine business and pleasure . Asked if her husband would take her with him, Mrs. Burns replied, "Let him try not to."
Many of the guests urged Burns to remain in Washington, and Gray told one of them: I'm urging him to do that, and I think I've got him convinced." Mrs. Burns was more positive on the subject: "We are going to stay," she said.
Burns said that he has no deep regrets at leaving the powerful and prestigious position Richard Nixon appointed him to eight years ago.
"I thought I would be pleased if the president requested me to stay," he said, "but I thought if he didn't I would sigh with relief. He didn't, and I signed with relief."