Arthur H. Schroeder, 63, an attorney who was active in the Republican Party in Maryland and who was former president of the Federal Communications Bar Association, died of cancer Tuesday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington.

Mr. Schroeder's clients included the Republican national Committee, which he represented during the 1964 campaign in which Sen. Barry M. Goldwater Ariz was the GOP candidate.

One of the legal issues in the campaign was whether Goldwater was entittled to "equal time" from the major broadcasting networks to reply to a foreign policy speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic candidate.

President Johnson had discussed former Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khruschev's forced retirement from politics and the first explosion of a nuclear bomb by Communist China.

Goldwater and the Republican National Committee asserted that the "fairness doctrine" as well as the "equaltime" provision of federal law entitled them to a chance to respond. They argued that Johnson was speaking as an active candidate as well as President.

The Federal Communications Commission denied their request. The U.S. Court of Appeals here divided on the question by a 3-to-3 vote, a development that left the FCC ruling standing. Mr. Schroeder and his colleagues were unable to get the U.S. Supreme Court to review the matter before the election took place.

Apart from his practice, Mr. Schoeder was active in Montgomery County and Maryland state Republican affairs.Last year, he was treasurer of the campaign committee for Rep. Newton 1. Steers (R. Md). He also held various offices in the Montgomery County Republican Men's Club.

Mr. Schoeder was born in Seward, Neb., and graduated from the University of Nebraska. He got his lay degree from Creighton University in Omaha.

He came to Washington in 1932 and worked for the late Judge John J. Thomas, a member of the Federal Reserve Board, and then for the National Recovery Administration. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II in Europe. He founded his law practice in Washington in 1945 with the late Neville Miller.

Mr. Schoeder was a member of the American Bar Association and was president of the Federal Communications Bar Association from 1966 to 1967. He also was a member of the Chevy Chase Club and the Annapolis Yacht Club.

Survivors include his wife, Josephine, of the home in Chevy Chase and two daughters, Mary Josephine Schroeder of St. Louis, and Jane Schoeder, of Philadelphia.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy to the Washington Cathedral or to Children's Hospital.