Just as there are no free lunches at the State Department neither are there "transferable invitations." That's why Austria's new chancellor, ld,10 Franz Vranitzky, won't be in town next week to confer with President Reagan after all.
Vranitzky gave quite another impression last week in Vienna when he succeeded Fred Sinowatz, the Socialist Party head who resigned after the victory of President-elect Kurt Waldheim and his conservative People's Party. Asked at a press conference about the June 24 visit, originally scheduled by Sinowatz, Vranitzky said it was still on "in principle."
"There are a lot of other world leaders lined up for visits. It's the person not the job who's invited. There are no transferable invitations," says one State Department source of the Austrian visit, which seems to have been quietly filed under the heading of "an indefinite cancellation."
The cancellation eliminates one thorny problem: An Austrian visit almost certainly would have sparked demonstrations protesting the election of Waldheim, whose alleged Nazi past was an issue during the campaign.
Nancy Reagan gave President Reagan an assortment of Father's Day cards but the White House said yesterday that he "also talked with his children" on Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Mark Weinberg said he did not know if the president talked with all four of his children. Neither did he know whether Reagan had read the revealing interview his youngest child, Ron Reagan, gave the new Washington-based magazine called fathers, in which he discusses their own father-son relationship.
*"I can say that about my relationship with him: that as friendly and loving as it is, it only goes so far," Ron is quoted as saying. "You almost get the sense that he gets a little bit antsy if you try and get too close and too personal and too father-and-sonny."
The younger Reagan said he had no idea why that is the case unless it is that the president's childhood -- he was the son of an alcoholic -- had taken its toll. "He didn't really have a role model himself for a father. So what fathering he did, he had to come by on his own . . . So he's not the most naturally equipped to be everybody's idea of a perfect father."
Ron said his father "makes up for it by being a genuinely kind and nice person. He's almost more of a good friend than a father, in a lot of ways."
The theme is familiar: Reagan administration kudos for a democratically elected president after years of authoritarian rule. Only the name has changed in the latest show of U.S. hospitality to a Latin American country that has replaced military rule with a civilian democratic government.
Today, it's Uruguay's turn for a state visit by President Julio Maria Sanguinetti, who took over as president in March 1985 after nearly 12 years of military rule.
Secretary of State George Shultz and his wife Helena give a luncheon for Sanguinetti and his wife Marta Canessa at 12:30 p.m. and the Reagans have them to dinner tonight. The Dave Brubeck Quartet will entertain.
Among the guests: Sarah Caldwell, artistic director and conductor of the Opera Company of Boston; and Tim Reed, costar of TV's "Simon & Simon" and producer of the music video "Stop the Madness," in which Nancy Reagan and another of tonight's guests, Stacy Keach, made appearances last year.
Keach was released from a British jail in June 1985 after serving six months for possession of cocaine. When he returned to the United States he said he was going to tour the country to speak out against drug abuse. With him tonight will be his fiance'e, Malgosia Tomassi.
Octogenarian Mildred Hilson, ranked by those who've been on the receiving end of her hospitality as one of New York's leading hostesses, tapped television, the arts, society and the GOP for the dinner she gave at her Waldorf Towers apartment for Nancy Reagan last week.
ABC's Barbara Walters and her new husband, Merv Adelson of Lorimar Productions, were there. So was Don Hewitt, producer of CBS' "60 Minutes." Other guests included author Louis Auchincloss, socialite-author Brooke Astor and Jeane Kirkpatrick, as a former United Nations ambassador also a former (Waldorf Towers) neighbor of Hilson's.
If Mrs. Reagan didn't already have the lowdown on Liberty Weekend when she arrived, she doubtless had a fill-in by the time she left. A couple of other guests were Emil Mosbacher Jr., chairman of Operation Sail for the July 4 extravaganza, and Happy Rockefeller, whose posh Pocantico Hills estate the Reagans will use during the Fourth of July festivities.
*Hilson's late husband, Edwin Hilson, was a senior member of the investment banking firm of Wertheim and Co.
The Justice Department has cut off financing for the National Partnership to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Youth, an antidrug program kicked off by First Lady Nancy Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese at a meeting with business leaders last fall.
"The grant has been suspended to allow examination of programmatic accomplishments to date and financial management questions," Pat Korten, a spokesman for the Justice Department.
The National Partnership, which encourages civic and business leaders to develop drug abuse prevention campaigns, received a $1.5 million Justice grant, of which about $500,000 has already been spent.
ABC News reported last night that most of that money has gone for salaries and office furniture, and said an internal department memo showed such irregularities as a $2,000 personal loan to one employe and an unauthorized $2,500 raise for another worker.
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Reagan, who serves as honorary head of the program, declined to comment last night.
When author Betty Ross autographed copies of her new book, "A Museum Guide to Washington, D.C.," last week at the Phillips Collection, few who bought it realized that she is also chief executive officer and editor in chief of the book's publisher, the Washington-based Americana Press.
Ross had an abundance of ideas about the rewards but only an inkling of the risks when she decided last year to become a publisher. One thing she did know was that it would take money, so she borrowed on her house. She also bought an hour's worth of advice from a publishing expert and hired an editor, a book designer, a printer in Michigan, an indexer on the Eastern Shore and a Colorado firm to do the cover.
Getting the guide into print was just the beginning. She still had to find a distributor. In fact, she found two -- one in Emeryville, Calif., who has listed it in his fall catalogue going out to bookstores, and another in Chicago, who deals exclusively with libraries.
Ross plans periodic updates of her "Guide," which spotlights 50 Washington museums, historic houses and other special places open to the public. She is also looking for other books (she hopes with best-seller potential) to publish.
At Americana Press' expense, not the author's.