W. E. Williamson, 71, chief clerk and staff director of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce for the past 22 years, died of cancer Tuesday at Fairfax Hospital.

A native of Magnolia, Ark., Mr. Williamson was mayor of that city when former Rep. Oren Harris (D-Ark.) appointed him to the committee in 1957.

Mr. Williamson graduated from Henderson State College in Arkadelphia, Ark. Before World War ii, he was a high school principal and football coach in Arkansas.

After serving in the Navy during the war, he became circuit and chancery court clerk in Magnolia, and was elected mayor in 1950.

Mr. Williamson, who lived in Falls Church, was a former officer of the board of Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington. He was a Mason, a member of the American Legion and a past district governor of Lions International.

Survivors include his wife, the former Sue Harris, of the home; two sons, W. E. Jr. with the Navy in California, and James T., of Arlington, two daughters Sussanne Barr, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Beth Fennell, of Arlington; two brothers Fred, of Magnolia, and J. T. of Little Rock, Ark.; a sister, Mary Katherine Wyrick, also of Magnolia, and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society, Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, or Fairfax Hospital. CAPTION: Picture, W. E. Williamson