Freda Utley, 79, author, lecturer and former foreign correspondent in Europe and Asia, died of a stroke Saturday at Georgetown University.

Her last book, published in 1970, was an autobiography, "Odyssey of a Liberal." Although she was no longer considered a liberal by others at that time, she insisted:

"I'm a liberal in the original sense. I was a liberal when it meant freedom from tryanny and reform. A liberal today means you want all power to go to the state." A present-day liberal she added, was "an intellectual educated beyond his experience."

Mrs. Utley was a former communist who became a staunch foe of communism. She warned of its dangers in Europe and in the Far East.

She traveled widely during her lifetime and numbered many of the famous among her acquaintances.

Born in London, Mrs. Utley was a graduate of London University and had been a research fellow at the London School of Economics.

She was a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian in Japan in 1926-28. She also became a member of the British Communist Party.

Mrs. Utley married a Russian citizen Arcadi Berdichevsky, and lived in Moscow in 1930-36. While there, she was a senior scientific worker at the Institute of World Economy and Politics, Academy of Sciences.

She became disillusioned with communism when her husband was arrested and exiled to Siberia, where he later died. Of Russia she wrote, "The Dream We Lost."

Mrs. Utley returned to England with her young son, Jon Basil. She then was assigned to China as a war correspondent for the London News Chronicle.

In 1939, she came to this country where she was active in the America First movement. From 1940 to 1945, she was an economic advisor to Starr, Park and Freeman, Inc., in New York, which became the international insurance organization, the American international Group.

Mrs. Utley was a correspondent for the Reader's Digest in China in 1945-46. Her book, "Last Chance in China," warned of a communist takeover. She worked in Germany for the Reader's Digest in 1948 and wrote "The High Cost of Vengeance" on Allied occupation policies.

From 1941 to 1947, Mrs. Utley was a member of the advisory council of the department of politics at Princeton University.

Mrs. Utley, who became an American citizen in 1950, testified at the McCarthy hearings on communist influence over America's Far East politics in the early 1950s.

She wrote other books, "The China Story," and "Will the Middle East Go West," a book warning of Arab resentment against this country because of its treatment favoring Israel.

Her earlier books also included "Japan's Feet of Clay," "Japan's Gamble in China," "China at War" and "Lost Illusion."

In addition to her son, Jon Basil Utley, of Washington, she is survived by two grandchildren.