At the urging of Virginia beer wholesalers, six state delegates have introduced a bill to require that the state be carved up into exclusive beer distributorships where competition is prohibited.

Officials of the new Dalton administration are giving favorable consideration to this bill, which would replace a similar measure that has been found unconstitutional in part.

No evaluation of its potential impact on consumers or small business has been made. "We don't see that there is any strong consumer interest in this proposal," said to Rodman Layman, appointed last week by Republican Gov. John N. Dalton to be chairman of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC).

"Beer wholesalers," Layman said, "can argue that the ABC controls to be able to look to us for protection, them tightly and therefore they ought. We are sympathetic with the idea of a franchise act and if one is passed we think it ought to be extended to the wine distributors also."

Although the bill would not alter the present competitive arrangement among beer distributors in Virginia, Melvin R. Manning, a Richmond lawyer and lobbyist for the U.S. Brewers Association, said it clearly would reinforce the barriers that keep entrepreneurs from starting or expanding distributorships by offering lower prices or better service to retailers.

"A bill like this would prevent someone from picking up agreements to wholesale a few small brands of beer and getting into business in Norfolk or any other place where those brands were already being distributed, he said.

Although the bill would not alter the present competitve arrangement among beer distributors in Virginia, Melvin R. Manning, a Richmond lawyer and lobbyist for the U.S. Brewers Association, said it clearly would reinforce the barriers that keep entrepreneurs fr om starting or expanding distributorships by offering low er prices or better service to retailers.

"A bill like this would prevent someone from picking up agreements to wholesale a few small brands of beer and getting into business in Norfolk or any other place where those brands were already being distributed, he said.

A franchise act has been under consideration by the ABC for months, but Layman said he is not aware of any advice that has been given to the three-member commission from the attorney general's office or any other agency of the government about possible harm it could cause consumers or retailers or limits it could place on the opportunities to start or expand a beer distribution business.

Consideration of the issue began during the administration of former Gov. Mills E. Godwin, but there apparently has been no change of attitude since Dalton took office on Jan. 14. The membership of the ABC remains unchanged although Layman, a Republican, was named chairman by Dalton to replace Archer Yeatts, a Democrat. Yeatts remained on the commission.

About half of the states have franchise acts to protect beer and wine distributors, but there has been a recent movement among consumers and antitrust enforcement agencies to resist them.

A bill that would have created a strong beer and wine franchise protection law in the state of Washington was defeated in a state Senate committee last year as a result of opposition by consumers and the Wine Institute, a trade organization of wine makers.

At about the same time, however, the Minnesota legislature passed what is regarded as the most anticompetitive franchise act in the country. The bill introduced in the Virginia House of Delegates by Del. John D. Gray (D-Hampton) is modeled after the Minnesota l aw.

William G. Thomas, an Alexandria lawyer, political figure and lobbyist for the Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association, said in an interview that the sole purpose of the bill is to protect distributors from unfair practices by breweries that supply them with beer.

The Gray bill anticipates potential brewery abuses by prohibiting a beer supplier from doing such things as forcing a distributor to buy brands he does not want or prohibiting a distributor from selling the brands of other breweries.

Another feature of the bill requires breweries to award sales territories to distributors and prohibits them from allowing more than one distributor to sell the same brand of beer in that territory.

Thomas defended that aspect of the bill by saying that it simply conforms to existing law and practices. "There is no intent at all in that bill to materially affect the structure of competition as it is today," he said.

Thomas said he knows of no place where "dual distributorships" - competition between distributors of the same brand of beer - exist, at least among distributors of domestic beer.

Existing state law already prohibits dual distributorships, but other features of that act have been ruled unconstitutional because of vague requirements it imposes on breweries, casting the whole statute in doubt.

On Dec. 27, former chairman Yeatts wrote to lobbyists for both beer and wine distributors, saying ". . . We feel from the regulatory standpoint, a franchise law similar to that in some other states and which includes both beer and wine would be in the commission's, as well as the industry's, best interest."

The purpose of the state ABC law is to regulate sales of alcoholic beverages in a way that will prevent alcohol abuse. However, Thomas, Manning and Layman all said in answer to questions that franchise acts have more to do with government regulation of market activity than with alcohol control.

The effort to include the distribution of wine as well as beer in the franchise bill may make it a controversial issue in this session of the Assembly and jeopardize its chances for passage.

Sydney A. Abrams, a lobbyist for the Wine Institute in Washington state who worked to kill the franchise bill there, was in Richmond as the Assembly session opened to recruit opposition to the measure.