President Reagan and his senior Cabinet officials assembled in this desert resort town today to see in the New Year.
The president had no business sessions on his agenda, but played his annual round of golf and relaxed on the large, heavily guarded "Sunnylands" estate of publisher Walter Annenberg.
Reagan did not leave Sunnylands during the day, but by the 8:15 p.m. cocktail hour the president was surrounded by men he usually meets in the White House and by many of his oldest political backers who belonged to what was called, in the years before he won the presidency, his Kitchen Cabinet.
Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr., Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan and Attorney General William French Smith represented the Cabinet at the Annenbergs' annual New Year's Eve party.
The Reagans have spent New Year's with the Annenbergs for years, but non-Californians Haig and Regan were not at last year's event.
Haig and the president plan to meet for a review of foreign affairs while both are here, probably Saturday, White House deputy press secretary Larry Speakes said. A major topic will be Reagan's meeting Tuesday with West German president Helmut Schmidt. Germany has taken exception to Reagan's contention that the Soviet Union is responsible for the imposition of martial law in Poland.
The review session is the only official business on Reagan's schedule before he flies back to Washington Sunday. He plans to watch some of the New Year's Day bowl games, and is to attend two private dinner parties, Speakes said, in listing the president's other scheduled activities.
Each day, the president will receive a written intelligence briefing through the White House communications system.
Speakes said Reagan is not disappointed by the reaction of European allies to his imposition of economic sanctions against the Soviet Union. "It is our feeling that in time the allies will take some steps that will support us," Speakes said.
He added that the United States is confident "at a minimum" that western European nations will not take steps to undermine the U.S. sanctions.
"Mr. and Mrs. Francis Albert Sinatra" and "Justice O'Connor and Mr. O'Connor" were among the best known names on the Annenbergs' guest list of 88 people.
The Sinatras, who live in Palm Springs part of the year, are regulars at the Annenberg New Year's Eve party. Supreme Court Justice Sandra D. O'Connor and her husband were guests for the first time.
Deputy Secretary of State William P. Clark and Charles Z. Wick, director of the International Communications Agency, also attended. Both are old friends of the Reagans.
Members of the Kitchen Cabinet, a group of elderly southern California millionaires who helped launch and sustain Reagan's political career, who attended included Justin Dart, Theodore Cummings, Earle M. Jorgensen, Holmes Tuttle and William Wilson.
Reagan played his only round of golf of 1981 in the morning with Annenberg, Ambassador to Belgium Charles Price II and Regan. The scores were not disclosed.
For representatives of the press who camped here because the president is here, it was what is called a slow news day. When the White House press office knows that no event is going to take place, it announces a "lid." In Washington, such lids permit reporters to leave the press room and eat lunch without fearing that they will miss a story. The lids usually last an hour or two.
Early this afternoon, the press office announced, "We have a lid for the rest of the year."