Because of an editing change, an article in yesterday's Washington Post distored the meaning of John J. Gilligan, administrator of the Agency for International Development, when he said he favored creating a new AID. Gilligan said he favored creating the agency be statute (it was set up by executive order) to give it greater stability and authority.

The Agency for International Development, with its "reputation for inefficiency, rigidity and slowness," ought to be abolished, according to a Brookings Institution study.

The study, commissioned by Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, comes at a time when Congress, the administration and some segments of the academic community are looking closely at the direction U.S. foreign aid is taking.

Brooking, an independent public policy research organization here, said AID, which runs the nation's economic aid program abroad, "lacks the number of technically qualified personnel" required to carry out Congressional policy, set in 1973, of improving the life of the world's poorest billion people.

The study said AID's problem stem from its practice of "concentrating on small projects, subjecting each one to congressional approval, requiring that modifications also be approved by congressional committees, and testing each project according to a massive, sometimes inconsistent, and unweighted array of legislative criteria."

In the place of AID, the study said, Congress should create a development cooperation agency, which would continue AID's functions but with better procedures and more skilled people. Unlike AID, the proposed agency would be independent of the State Department and would report direvtly to the President, the study said.

It called on the President to appoint a special assistant to coordinate U.S. aid functions, and urged Congress to create an international development foundation, and automonous, permanent agency to help poor countries set up research and development institutions and training programs.

The study, which Vance commissioned in June, was directed by lester E. Gordon, a Brookings consultant and director of the Harvard Institute for International Development.

AID Administrator John J. Gilligan told the House International Relations Committee Wednesday that government task force soon will recommend to the President an overhaul of AID - but not its abolition - and a heavy increase in spending by 1962.

Gilligan told the committee he approves the idea of creating a new agency. "I think that to tename AID may have some benefits but it isn't going to accomplish an awful lot," he said, adding that he doubted that appointing and AID coordinator at the White House "would be a helpful move."

Of the Brooking suggestion that legislation be rewritten to ease restrictions on agency projects, Gilligan said, "I don't think that Congress is ready to withdraw its oversight tesponsibility."

Gilligan said he wants to cut AID personnel here from 2,300 to between 1,800 and 1,900 and add about 250 to the 1,330 U.S. employees overseas.

The Brookings study does not quarrel woth the 250 figure, but it warns that "large U.S. field missions should be avoided. If the level of AID personnel in Washington is excessive . . . the situtuation should not be corrected by shifting large numbers of people to the field.".

It argued for small missions abroad, acting in a "non-interventionist style" - one that "would let elligible countries know what aid is offered, according to what criteria, and under what conditions, but which would not press programs or projects that are not initiated by the host country."

The report endorsed the congressional "new directional mandate of 1973, but it siad U.S. aid should seek to promote a country's overall economic growth as well as help the porre directly with food or subsidized shelter or health services.

The study also recommended increased U.S. support of international lending institutions like the World Bank. It said the United States should take account of how human rights are treated in each vountry, but in deciding on whether to withold aid from nations that violate human rights, it should ask if doing so would reduce oppression as much as granting the aid would help development.