Secretary of the Army Clifford L. Alexander Jr. yesterday urged registration of women as well as men for a possible draft.
"I would personally -- and this is a personal opinion -- favor the registration of women," he told a national television audience on "Issues and Answers" (ABC, WJLA).
"No matter what you decide if there is a draft later," Alexander said, "if you have women . . . register you know where they are. You have identified their names and addresses and can locate them quickly."
He emphasized that he opposes a draft -- for either men or women -- unless future drastically changed circumstances should increase armed services' personnel requirements far beyond the capacity of the present volunteer system.
"Registration is very different and separate from the draft," Alexander said.
President Carter, in his State of the Union address last week, told Congress that he wants draft registration -- but not the draft -- to be resumed. He has said previsouly that both men and women should be enrolled if there should be registration.
Alexander said it will be Carter's decision whether to seek the special legislation that would be required to register women. Rosalynn Carter said last week that she personally favors registration of women but didn't know what the president would decide.
Registration was termed "a prudent measure" by Senate Minority Leader Howard H. Baker of Tennessee, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. "In view of present circumstances, the president made the right call to reinstitute registration," Baker said on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WDVM).