Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) has cancelled his scheduled appearance for Sunday on the CBS television show "Face the Nation," after having volunteered more than a week ago to appear on the show, which is aired on the same day as the Maine caucuses.

"The senator has decided he wants to spend more time campaigning in Maine," said Kennedy's deputy press secretary, Patricia Matthews. As of yesterday afternoon, she said, Kennedy's schedule for the weekend was not complete, although it did contain fund-raisers in Massachusetts on Saturday and some appearances there Sunday before returning to Maine later in the day. The telecast was to have originated in Boston Sunday morning.

According to "Face the Nation" producers Joan Barone and Mary O. Yates, Kennedy's press secretary, Thomas Southwick, telephoned CBS Jan. 29 to volunteer Kennedy for the Feb. 10 show. CBS agreed, and it was announced on the air at the close of last Sunday's show that Kennedy would appear as the guest this week.

But on Tuesday, according to the producers, Southwick called to cancel Kennedy's appearance. According to Barone and Yates, Southwick said, "He feels a better use of his time would be to stay in Maine. The situation on Maine is such that he wants to spend the extra day up there. It's damn important to us to be in Maine."

According to the show's producers, there has been only one other time that a guest cancelled an appearance, and that was when the president's brother, Billy Cater, cancelled through a telephone call from his lawyer, shortly before he entered a California hospital.