Wilson E. Sweeney, 68, a retired foreign trade official in the Department of Commerce, died Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland following heart surgery.

Mr. Sweeney joined Commerce in 1945 after 10 years with various New Deal and World War II agencies. He was in the department's office of export control. From 1950 and 1952, he was a commercial attache in Calutta and New Delhi, India.

In Washington he served as director of the strategic controls division and then as assistant director of the office of export controls. In the latter position, he was responsible for administering controls on the export of scarce materials.

In 1971, Mr. Sweeney received the Commerce Department's Gold Medal. He retired in 1973, but remained a consultant to the agency until his death.

Mr Sweeney was born in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Chicago and then earned a master's degree at the university. His subjects were mathematics and economics.

He came to Washington about 1935 and worked for the old Federal Emergency Relief Administration. He later joined the Department of Agriculture and then the old War Department. From 1942 to 1945, he was with the Office of Lend-Lease Administration and spent two of those years in Australia.

Survivors include his wife, Priscilla S., of the home in Sumner, and a sister, Catherine Fadeley of Chevy Chase.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to a charity of one's choice. CAPTION: Picture, WILSON E. SWEENEY