President Carter will make his first direct report to the American people in a televised talk from the White House Wednesday night, White House press secretary Jody Powell said yesterday.
Also, Carter will hold his first news conference since his inaguration the following week, either Feb. 7 or 8, Powell said.
But the President does not plan to address Congress in the near future to gice his own State of the Union address or other such message, he said.
Carter's talk from the White House, the first of the so-called "fireside chats" that he promised during the campaign, will be at 10 p.m. (EST). Although Powell said that the White House has not asked the television networks to broadcast the talk, the time set for it is clearly designed to put the talk in prime television time througs Congress early in the administration, the talk also appeared to be an example of Carter's often-stated determination to take his message directly to the American people.
Powell said the talk is expected to last about 20 minutes and will deal with foreign and domestic issues.
"We don't see these particular occassions as the time to make major announcements," the press secretary said.
Rather, he said, Carter views the first fireside chat he will deliver as an "occassion to present in a broad way his thoughts on the problems we face, what he believes are the best approaches to those problems and what results we might reasonably expect" in the first year of the administration. He said Carter also intends t discussed which of his campaign promises he will be in a position "to move on first."
One of Carter campaign promises was to hold at least two news conferences a month. His last, before the inauguration, was on Jan. 8.
Powell also announced that the White House will release early next week copies of the trust agreement the President has signed concerning his poverty in Georgia and his personal wealth. He said copies of the financial disclosure statements that Carter has required from his Cabinet secretaries will be made public no later than Feb. 20.
Earlier yesterday, the President met with House Ways and Means Chairman Al Ullman (D-Ore.), Office of Management and Budget Bert Lance, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Charles L. Schultze and White House congressional relations chief Frank Moore to discuss the administration's economic stimulus package.
Responding to critism of the package, Powell noted that many people consider the $31.2 billion program to be too small and others consider it excessive. "That is an uncomfortable but often wise position to be in," he said.
Carter also had what was described as a "general intelligence overview" meeting yesterday with Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinki and acting CIA director E. Henry Knoche.
In response to a question about the naming of a new CIA director, Powell said that the President is "satisfied with the way the acting director is handling the intelligence operation."
Therefore, he said, Carter does no feel he is under pressure to name a new nominee for the post since the withdrawal under congressional pressure of his first choice, former Kennedy administration aide Theodore C. Soresen.