The Carter Administration came under growing pressure yesterday to take tougher action than simply protesting the Soviet treason trial of dissident Anatoly Scharansky.
The House passed a resolution condemning the trials of Scharansky and other Soviet dissidents and some members called for sterner steps.
Rep. John Ashbrook (R-Ohio) and others demanded on the House floor that the resolution contain a call for immediate suspension of the SALT talks in Geneva. But Ashbrook's attempt to have the resolution returned to committee to strengthen its language was defeated.
Following a meeting with Carter at the White House, Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.) said he favored postponing the SALT talks to protest the trials. But the administration's view of these proposals was given by White House press secretary Jody Powell, who called the idea of postponing the talks "an empty gesture" that would accomplish nothing.
House Minority Leader John Rhodes (R-Ariz.) called the president's human rights policy an "unmitigated disaster."
Speaking to reporters at a breakfast meeting, Rhodes called for a return to the "gentle nudge" policies of former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger in dealing with the Soviet Union.
"The Russians didn't start disregarding human rights yesterday," Rhodes said. "They always have . . . I prefer Kissinger's approach of a gentle nudge.I think we should go back to that."
In an interview with foreign journalists, filmed in Washington for European television, Carter brushed aside a suggestion that his human rights policies have been "counter-productive."
"I think the raising of this issue in a responsible, clear way has been a very constructive element throughout the world in ensuring human freedoms in which we believe so deeply," he said.
Meanwhile, the White House disclosed that Rosalynn Carter expressed her "admiration" for Scharansky in a long-distance telephone conversation yesterday with his wife, Avital, who is in Geneva.
Mrs. Carter and the president's mother, Lillian Carter, spoke with Mrs. Scharansky for about five minutes.