In the dusky stillness of a Capitol Hill garden, the headquarters of the Fund for Peace, the loyal peaceniks had gathered. After years of opposing war, pushing detente, and advocating arms reduction, they had one reason to celebrate-the SALT II agreements covered celebrities to toast.

"Oh yes, I have been on the phone to Time, ABC, all the Baltimore papers, and tomorrow I have to do a half hour with Pauline Frederick. Then there's a two-hour show," said retired Rear Adm. Gene La-Rochque. Nearby, Herbert Scoville Jr., former officials of the CIA and the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, who under Lyndon Johnson had drafted the first American policy paper in SALT, was rattling off a similar list.

"I've been contacted by a few congressional committee members to testify on SALT. O just think it signals a new era," I said LaRocque. LaRocque is director of the Center for Defense Information, a foundation supported partially by the Peace Fund, which is a priority project of liberal philanthropist Stewart Mott. Which is why 100 people were assembled in the garden. Mott and 24 members of the fund had traveled to China last month and had an hour's worth of slides to show.

"Ho-ping!" said Mott, leading a cheer with the Chinese word for peace. Standing on the rear steps of the fund's headquarters, dressed in a pale lemon. Chinese jacket, Mott offered a toast with the phrase "ganbei," which, loosely translated means 'bottoms up.'

The sunset reception had none of the lavishness Mott has frequently mixed with his favourite causes. There was plenty of Chinese food, principally dim sum pastries, beef kabobs and fortune cookies.

After the reception, half the party filed over to the Dirksen Senate Office Building, where slides and fortune cookies were offered. "I have a confession to make, I feel like a young bride," said Mott, as he explained that this was his first slide show.And they were the slides of a tourist, starting with a picture of Mott's airplane ticket. CAPTION: Picture, From left, William Spencer, Stewart Mott and Randolph Compton; by Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post