Eppes Wayles Browne Jr., 70, a retired government economist and a consultant on oil and gas matters to public interest groups, died of cancer Sunday at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

He was a staff member of the Senate antitrust and monopoly subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee from 1957 to 1965 and again from 1967 until retiring in 1971.

Earlier, Dr. Browne had been chief statistician for the Senate privileges and elections subcommittee which issued the Gore Report on 1956 presidential campaign contributions.

He began his government career here in 1924 with the Agriculture Department, participated in the 1940 census with the Commerce Department and joined the National Housing Agency in 1941.

During World War II, Dr. Browne saw active duty with the Army in New Guinea and the Philippines. He returned to the NHA after the war, where he handled the veterans housing programs.

From 1948 to 1951, he was with the National Security Resources Board and the Defense Productions Administration. In 1951 and 1952 he served as an authority on gas with the President's Materials Policy Commission. He worked for the Bureau of Mines while earning his doctorate at Harvard University in 1952-54.

Dr. Browne was born in Shreveport, La. He was a graduate of Stanford University. He later earned master's degrees in business administration, public administration and economics at Harvard.

From 1973 to 1975, he was a consultant to a state legislature joint committee on the public domain in California.

Dr. Browne, who maintained homes in Washington and Charles Town, W. Va., had served as a director of the Potomac Basin Federation and on the board of the National Consumers League.

He had been on the board of directors for many years of the American Veterans Committee. He had retired from the Army Reserves as a major in 1960.

His marriage to Virgina Senders Browne ended in divorce.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Barbara Moulton of Washington and Charles Town; a son, E. Wayles III, of Ithaca, N.Y.; a daughter, Martha Finch Browne of New York City, and a sister, Grace Long Browne Williamson of Shreveport.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Veterans Committee here.