Walter Hampton Mallory, 88, director emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and an authority on China and the Far East, died Tuesday at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, N.Y., after a heart attack. He lived in Fredonia, N.Y.

Mr. Mallory became director emeritus of the Council in 1959, after serving as its executive director for 30 years. He was director of the China Institute of America from 1939 to 1946 and was a member of the board of directors of the Asia Foundation.

He lived in China for several years in the 1920s while working with the International Famine Relief Commission and the China International Famine Relief Commission, of which he was executive secretary from 1922 to 1926.

Mr. Mallory wrote numerous articles on Far Eastern affairs and international relations and was the editor for more than 25 years of the Council on Foreign Relations' "Political Handbook of the World."

His 1927 book "China: Land of Famine," published by the American Geographical Society, was then considered to be the definitive work on the subject.

Mr. Mallory was born in Newburgh, N.Y., and graduated from Columbia Universtiy. He was a member of a visiting committee in the Department of Far Eastern Civilization at Harvard University.

He served in the Army in Europe during World War I. In 1916 and 1917, he was a special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. In 1947, he was a U.S. minister to the Allied mission to observe elections in Greece.

Survivors include his wife, the former Alice Evans, and a son, George W., both of Fredonia, and a grandson.