The Peace Corps, which goes all over the world, does not want to go to Arlington.

The agency is balking at a decision to consolidate three Washington offices, involving 540 employes and Peace Corps headquarters now near Farragut Square, in an office building in the Clarendon area.

The General Services Administration, which is responsible for finding space to house federal offices, already has signed a 10-year-lease on behalf of the Peace Corps for about three-fourths of the seven-floor building at 3033 Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon. The agency is supposed to move Dec. 1, but is opposing the idea.

"Arlington is a beautiful place," said Alix R. Glen, a Peace Corps spokeswoman, "but it would be more convenient for the agency to be located downtown."

An amendment that would require the Peace Corps to stay in Washington has been attached to the 1987 supplemental appropriations bill before the Senate. Glen said the agency agrees with the amendment but had nothing to do with the maneuver.

Glen said the Peace Corps, which has 6,000 volunteers serving in 62 countries, needs a location close to the State Department and the embassies, "with which we have constant interaction."

Another concern is for the volunteers who become ill while abroad and are brought to Washington for medical treatment, said Glen. The ill volunteers are treated at George Washington University Hospital, about six blocks from the agency's current offices. Many of these volunteers must go back and forth between the hospital and agency offices daily and a District location would be more convenient for them, she said.

The decision to move Peace Corps offices to Arlington was made after a year-long competitive bidding process in which the Peace Corps participated, said Richard M. Hadsell, regional administrator for the General Services Administration.

The winnowing process narrowed the choices to two buildings of similar quality, one in the District and the one in Clarendon, said Hadsell. The price difference between the two was striking, he said, estimating that the Clarendon site would cost $6.3 million less than the District site during the 10-year lease.

"The mission of the Peace Corps can be handled two miles out" from Washington, he said, adding that the Clarendon building is "practically on top of the Metro."

"They can get to places like George Washington {hospital} as easily as they can from their site downtown and they can get to the State Department, where they have a lot of meetings, a little bit sooner than from their location downtown," said Hadsell.

Glen, the Peace Corps spokeswoman, disputed the savings. "After the costs of travel and costs in other areas are figured in over a 10-year period, the savings are nearly nonexistent," she said.

In choosing the Clarendon building, Hadsell said, the GSA is following a presidential directive to save costs by consolidating offices scattered around a metropolitan area and then "get quality space . . . at the lowest possible cost."

The Office of Management and Budget has also favors the proposed relocation. OMB Director James C. Miller III, in a letter to Peace Corps Director Loret M. Ruppe, praised the "operational savings" of the move and chided the Peace Corps for opposing it.

A Peace Corps move into Clarendon would be welcomed by Arlington, said Tom Parker, chief of the county's economic development division.

Hadsell said federal agencies often are reluctant to move into outlying areas. But he recalled that in the early 1970s the U.S. Geological Survey balked at moving into new offices in what was then considered faraway Reston. Now, "people would kill to work there," he said.