Chip Carter, the President's 27-year-old son, is moving out of the White House and returning to Plains, Ga., amid reports of a marital dispute and a trial separation.
Rosalynn Carter's press secretary, Mary Finch Hoyt, confirmed that Chip, who was married in 1973, was leaving. She said chip's wife, Caron, 26, and their infant, James Earl Carter IV, would remain in the White House.
The President's son planned to stay in the White House area until the first of the week, and then return to Plains to work in the Carter family's peanut warehouse, she said. Caron and her 6-month-old baby are expected to travel Tuesday with the First Family to vacation at Camp David, Md.
The White House Press office, however, denied a published report that the President, in a fit of anger, ordered his son to move out because he had said he was breaking up with Caron.
According to the report. Carter, who advocates the sanctity of marriage and family life, had a showdown with Chip upon his son's return from Plains Wednesday night and ordered him out.
In a day marked by a flurry of developments in the First Family, it was also disclosed that the President's brother, Billy, will resign his job as managing partner of the Carter peanut business, and that Mrs. Carter will enter Bethesda Nval Hospital today for treatment described as a "routine gynecological procedure."
Billy Carter's wife, Sybil, who will leave her peanut warehouse job as a bookkeeper, said the number of tourists visiting the family business made it difficult for her husband to remain in his job.
The return of Chip Carter to Plains will leave him as the only immediate family member actively managing the warehouse. The President's 61 per cent interest in the firm is in a blind trust.
Hoyt, describing the abrupt departure of the President's second-oldest son as a "private matter," and refused to comment further.
In a two-sentence statement drafted jointly with presidential press secretary Jody Powell, Hoy said, "Chip is going to Plains. Caron and the baby will remain in the White House for a while. It is expected Caron and James will joun Chip later."
Asked to comment on the reports of a maarital separation. Hoyt said, "My statement is going to have to stand." She said she did not know if the couple is seeing a marriage counselor.
Chip Carter who met Caron during the 1970 Georgia gubernatorial campaign and married her on June 23, 1973, is a gregarious social circle. In the past several months, he has been seen at a number of Democratic Party social functions, often, without his wife.
The Democratic National Committee confirmed last week that Chip had resigned his part-time, $3,000-a-year job there. He has made several trips abroad and in the United States as the President's personal representative, including a visit to India last January and one to Great Britain in June to attend Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee.
After they were married, they lived in Plains in a mobile home, while Chip worked in the peanut warehouse. They moved into the White House after the January presidential inauguration.
Also living in the White House are the President's younger son, Jeff, 24, and his wife, Annette.
Chip attended Georgia Southwestern College, while Caron, a native of Hawkinsville, Ga., was graduated from Macon Wesleyan College and holds a master's degree in education.
United Press International quoted Caron's father, Ben Griffin, of Hawkinsville, as saying he doubts the couple will remain separated, and that he thinks the constant glare of publicity may have strained their relationship. "It may be that they are separating but I rather doubt it . . . I think every young couple has their spits and spats," UPI quoted Griffin as saying.)
Meanwhile, Hoyt said Mrs. Carter will enter Bethesda naval hospital today for treatment that she said was "routine" and which had been planned for several weeks.
The White House did not describe the planned procedure for treating various minor irregularities in the female reproductive tract.
Mrs. Carter will be operated upon Monday morning by Dr. Douglas Knab chief of the obstetrics and gynecological division of the hospital, Hoyt said. She is expected to leave the hospital Monday afternoon and travel to Camp David the follwoing day with the rest of the family.
The family will celebrate on Thursday Mrs. Carter's birthday (she will be 53) and that of Jeff who will be 25 the same day.
On Aug. 23, Mrs. Carter plans to fly to Vancouver to address that World Federation on Mental Health, Hoyt said.
Last April 28, Mrs. Carter underwent a breast biopsy at Bethesda and a nonmalignant lump was removed.