The first closed-circuit test of a controversial plan for televising all House proceedings is scheduled yo take place today.
Leaders had been hoping to keep the test secret because the method being used - one promoted by Rep. Jack Brooks (D-Tex.) - would let the house retain strict control over what is televised and how. A competing group of House members favors a more liberal plan. After reporters learned of the test, an aide to Speker THomas P. ?(Tip) O'Neil said it might be "rescheduled" because of the publicity.
Mini-cameras hve been set uo at three locations in the public gallery, and the plans calls for turning them on at 4 p.m. today after the House adjourns and televising the chamber via closed circuit to the Rayburn building.
The plan also calls for the test to be viewed only by members of the democratic leadership and Brooks.
building is capable of picking up TV sets would simply have to turn up to Channel 3 to pick up the broadcast.
THe secrecy of the movie irritated the authors of the competing plan, Reps. B.F. Sisk (D-Calif.) and John Anderson (R-11). They have long advocated allowing the networks the right to do the televising on a pool basis, with no restrictions on what the cameras might show in the chamber and freedom to use the coverage any way they want.
The Sisk-Anderson plan was killed in the Rules Committee last year afetr strong opposition from O'Neil.
The Brooks plans call for the HOuse be fixed on the twocommittee tables and the rostrum in the House well, with no ability to "pan" around the chamber. It calls for a 60-day trial period on closed-circuit televising to a select number of offivces, followed by another 30-day trial televising to all member's offices.
After the first trial period the coverage would be made avaible to networks and local stations by the HOuse.
Neither Sisk nor Anderson was informed of the test. An aide to Sisk said the test was "irroitated" at not being informed.
Anderson said, "To some extent I appreciate the snow of interest in a matter the leadership has avoided up till now . . . but I am not plesed at what seems to be an end run" around the Sisk-Anderson plan.
Anderson said the Brooks method would destroy the purpose of lettine the public see the House in action and woulprobably discourage the media from using the service.