The four-page memorandum opposing Paul Warnke's nomination to head the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency that circulated anonymously earlier this week was written by the Coalition for a Democratic Majority.
Penn Kemble, executive director of the coalition, said the document was prepared about six weeks ago and never issued because press reports indicated that Warnke was not interested in the ACDA job.
The coalition had given copies of the draft memorandum to a number of Capital Hill offices, Kemble said. He said that he did not circulate the memorandum and does not know who did.
The coalition is a group of Democrats who believe in a strong national defense and sought after 1972 to keep the party out of the hands of its most liberal elements represented by Sen. George McGovern, that year's presidential candidate.
White House press secretary Jody Powell said yesterday that President Carter considers Warnke's appointment "crucial to his administration."
"The President said he felt that Warnke is the best man in the country for the job. He is thoroughly and totally qualified," Powell said.
Warnke was an assistant secretary of defense during the Johnson administration and is an outspoken advocate of exploring new ways to break out of the Soviet-American arms race.
The chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Rep. Clement Zablocki (D-Wisc.), and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Melvin Price (D-Ill.), signed a letter to Carter yesterday supporting Warnke.
The letter was drafted and criculated among House members concerned with foreign and defense policy by Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wisc.). There were 14 signers.