A top international official of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who called Ronald Reagan's chief foreign policy adviser, Richard V. Allen, "despicable and untethical" in a newpaper interview last month is being allowed to resign "by mutual agreement."
A spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce confirmed yesterday that John L. Caldwell, vice president of the organization's global division, was not in the office yesterday and will be leaving soon at a date still to be determined.
Chamber of Commerce officials reportedly recieved phone calls and a letter from Allen, trying to save Caldwell's job.
The derogatory remarks attributed to Caldwell appeared in The Washington Star on Oct. 27 in a profile on Allen, the controversial Reagan strategist who withdrew under fire in the final days of the campaign and was reinstated immediately after victory.
The Star story, by reporter Jeannette Smyth, emphasied that the organization Caldwell represents "endorses no candidates" and then stated:
"Caldwell alleges, and Allen denies, that Allen promoted is private consulting business in 1971-72 while serving as Nixon's assistant for international trade and economic policy. Allen disputes completely the incident described."
The story quoting Caldwell appeared one day before an article in The Wall Street journal which made similar accusations against Allen, charging that he used his White House prestige as a member of the Presedent's Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy to line up international business consulting accounts with the Japanese and others.
Allen denied the Journal story, saying that it was "shot through with inaccuracies."
Reagan campaign officials investigated the charges against Allen and concluded that "any allegagtion or implication of improper conduct is untrue."
Civil Service records examined by The Washington Post showed that, during the entire period in question, Alen was a private citizen not working for the government, and there was no conflict of interest.
To Allen's conservative supporters on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, the timing of the two stories seemed to lend credence to the theories that he has been the victim of carefully orchestrated leaks from his enemies.
Caldwell could not be reached for comment yesterday. But other sources said that he has told his superiors that he made the remarks about Allen to reporter Smyth in what he believed was to have been an off-the-record interview.
Smyth said yesterday that there had been "absolutely no discussion" before the story was written about putting her telephone interview with Caldwell off the record. "If there had been I certainly wouldn't have violated it."
Caldwell called her the morning after the story ran, she said, "to say he thought the conversation had been off the record."
"He was polite . . . he didn't accuse me of anything," she said. "I asked him if he was in any trouble over the story, and he said 'no.' He asked me if I had seen the Wall Street Journal article -- as if it had been some vindicaion of himself."
She added: "He's really angry at Allen."
Allen, ironcally, does not appear to be angry at Caldwell.
"No one complained from the outside," a spokesman said yesterday. "The decision was internal.
The 40-year-old Caldwell, who once worked for NATO as a liaison officer, has been with the Chamber of Commerce since 1966.
He is described by those who know him as "brilliant" . . . "decent" . . . and very innovative."