President Carter said yesterday he is "trying to work out a schedule where I might visit" France, after the adjournment of Congress this fall.
This was the strongest indication that the President is contemplating a European trip later this year. Other sources said that if Carter travels to France he is likely to visit other nations, not necessarily confined to Europe.
Carter's remarks were made to reporters as he was saying goodbye to French Prime Minister Raymond Barre after two days of talks.
American and French officials said they were pleased with the scope and depth of the discussions, which produced no dramatic news. Barre described the talks as "a new stage in the dialogue between our two countries."
Carter said that whether he will go to France soon "will depend upon the prospects for Congress' adjournment and some other uncertainties now. But I would like very much to visit France." French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing extended the invitation at the London economic summit last May.
France is headed into a critical election in March with a Socialist-Communist coalition now holding the edge in public opinion polls over the ruling conservative-centrist coalition government.
A Carter trip to France would be regarded as a boost for the Giscard government, but Carter said, "I have no intention of ever doing anything to try to influence the outcome of the French election."
While it is "our preference . . . that the democratic parties prevail" to prevent a Communist share in governing France, Carter said any American attempt to influence the French electorate "would be counterproductive."
Barre, speaking to a National Press Club luncheon, disclaimed reports that in his discussions here he was preoccupied with continued American landing rights for the supersonic Concorde jetliner.
He stressed, nevertheless, that, "We open our airports to planes coming from all nations."
Asked if France will retaliate if the United States fails to extend and expand landing rights for the Anglo French jet when a 16-month trial period at Dulles Airport expires Sept. 24, B arre replied jokingly, "When you play cards, you don't show your hand."
The Concorde dispute was given sympathetic attention in a White House statement summarizing the Carter-Barre talks on world issues. It said Carter "reiterated his support" for a similar 16-month trial period for Concorde at Kennedy Airport, which is still in court dispute, "and expressed the hope that this could be soon initiated." The statement said Carter will decide on future Concorde landings at Dulles in "the very near future."
In the closing round of White House talks yesterday, just over an hour, the major focus was on economic issues, with Barre, who is also France's finance minister, explaining what he calls the French concept of "organized free trade."
Claims that this is "a covert desire to come back to protectionism," Barre said at the National Press Club, are "simply ridiculous."
Instead, Barre said, there must be "collective rules for an orderly growth of international trade and especially to maintain fair competition in technologically advanced sectors."
France has "begun to reap encouraging results" in stabilizing its own economy and cutting back inflation, Barre said, but, "I am afraid that the international economic situation will remain difficult in the coming years," with the "strongly depressive effect" of the greatly increased world "oil bill." This is an urgent reason for greater economic cooperation, he said.
Carter told reporters Barre "is one of the more knowledgeable people in the world on international economics," whose policy in France "has been very successful."