Henry C. Rubin, 65, retired assistant to the assistant secretary of the Interior for mineral resources, died of cancer Monday at his home in Silver Spring.

He had served in that position for six years before his retirement in 1972. Prior to that he had been chairman of the Oil Import Appeals Board for three years and earlier had served as counsel to the board for four years.

Mr. Rubin was born in New Haven, Conn. He grew up in Carbondale, Pa.

He graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1936 and from Georgetown University Law School three years later.

During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army Air Forces. He had joined the Interior Department as an attorney in the office of the solicitor just prior to World War II and returned there after the war.

After he left the Intrior Department in 1972, Mr. Rubin was in private law practice in Washington until two years ago.

He was a member of the Maryland, Pennsyvlania, D.C. and Federal bar associations and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Survivors include his wife, the former Dorris Ellison, of Silver Spring; a son, Mark, of Wheaton; two daughters, Charen, of Charlottesville, and Roberta, of Washington, and a sister, Marcia Goldstein, of Livingston, N.J.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Cancer Society.