The Carter administration, on the eve of its first summit meeting with Soviet leaders, yesterday bluntly rejected charges of "appeasement" leveled by Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.).
Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance told a press conference that Jackson's statements were "misguided and simply wrong." He suggested that the senator's accusations in a Tuesday night speech amounted to "emotionally charged rhetoric" rather than the "serious and reasoned debate" that is needed on the strategic arms limitation treaty (SALT II).
"What I think Sen. Jackson really is talking about is the whole process of arms control, and he is questioning whether or not arms control makes sense," Vance said. He added that the alternative to arms negotiations is an all-out arms race that would be "fool-hardy" and a contest neither side could win.
White House press secretary Jody Powell, in a separate press conference, called Jackson's remarks "grossly misleading and flatly inaccurate." Powell said te timing of Jackson's charges was "hardly helpful" as the president heads into the summit meeting with the Russians.
Carter is scheduled to leave Andrews Air Force Base at 8:30 a.m. today on the eight-hour flight to Vienna, where he will meet Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev for talks Saturday and Sunday and the ceremonial signing of the SALT II accord at midday Monday.
The White House announced that Carter will address a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m. Monday, immediately after his return from Vienna.
Final details of the long-awaited treaty, which has been under negotiation for seven years by three American presidents, were completed yesterday by the delegations of the two sides in Geneva, according to informed U.S. officials.The finished document is to be initialed in Geneva today before being sent to Vienna for signing by Carter and Brezhnev.
Basic agreement on the terms of the SALT II pact was announced five weeks ago. The negotiations since then hammered out agreed treaty language for last-minute political decisions and a host of lesser details. The text of the treaty, the main points of which are well known, is to be made public at the time of signing.
As part of his final preparations for SALT II and the summit, Carter met at the White House yesterday with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The expected support of the uniformed miltary chiefs for the treaty is considered important to the success of Carter's drive for Senate approval.
The public, position of the uniformed chief's representative on the SALT II negotiating team, Lt. Gen. Edward L. Rowny, is in doubt. The Pentagon, in a brief statement, announced that Rowny will retire from active duty June 30.
Rowny's long-expected retirement at the conclusion of the SALT negotiations will make it easier for him to express his reservations, which are reported to center on the treatment of the Soviet Backfire bomber. The aircraft is not counted as a strategic weapon under the SALT II, but will be subject to restrictions on production and effective range that are to be formally confirmed at the Vienna summit.
Beyond the signing of SALT II, the administration's objectives for the summit in terms of concrete achievements were described by Vance as "modest". He spoke to reporters of a chance to give impetus to other pending arms control negotiations and of the prospect for better understanding in areas of contention between the superpowers.
One of the most important points to be made at Vienna is "that detente is a two-way street and that we must both recognize it as such," Vance said. Another high official said Carter plans to state "clearly and in unmistakable terms" the basis for U.S. concern about areas of existing or potential conflict and "make sure they [the Russians] know the places where we mean business."
Carter spent most of last weekend and much of the past several days in preparations for his meetings with Brezhnev, including study of a thick planning document with individual sections on 43 different subjects that may be raised by one side or the other. Carter has received a complete intelligence briefing on the ailing Brezhnev and watched a video tape of the Soviet leader in action.
The president has been furnished with detailed biographies of the Soviet participants in the summit, who are expected to include not only Brezhnev and Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko but also Konstaintin U. Chernenko, a senior member of the ruling Politburo and Brezhnev's closet aide; Defense Minister Dmitri F. Ustinov, and Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai V. Ogarkov, chief of the Soviet general staff and that nation's top career miltary officer.
Defense Secretary Harold Brown and Gen. David C. Jones, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hope to have side discussions on strategic and other miltary issues at the summit with their Soviet counterparts.
Many of the details of this well-programmed summit, including most of the points of the final communique, have been agreed on in advance in extensive discussions here between Vance and Soviet Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin. The two men met yesterday for the third time in as many days, completing five hours of pre-summit talks during this week alone. CAPTION: Picture, Secretary of State Vance: Jackson's statements "misguided and simply wrong." By Frank Johnston - The Washington Post