Deputy Secretary of Commerce Guy W. Fiske resigned yesterday in the midst of a congressional investigation of his dealings with the Communications Satellite Corp. (Comsat), which is seeking to buy the nation's land and weather satellites.

Fiske, whose resignation is effective Saturday, has been second in command at the Commerce Department since June, 1982, and oversaw department debate on whether to sell the nation's land and weather satellites to a private company. Comsat had made that proposal and has been lobbying with Fiske and others to see the sale go through.

Before Fiske became deputy secretary of commerce, the Cabinet Council on Commerce and Trade had disapproved the sale of the weather satellites. But last November the council reversed itself and recommended the sale to President Reagan. It was announced March 8 that the president had approved the sale.

Then the proposal came under increasing criticism. In hearings before a House Science and Technology subcommittee April 14, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige announced that Fiske had removed himself from any further role in the satellite decision.

Baldrige cited a possible "appearance of impropriety," noting that, during the time Fiske was overseeing debate on the Comsat proposal, Fiske had met several times with Comsat officials about a job offer.

The House voted April 26 to halt the proposed sale without specific congressional approval, and the Senate Commerce Committee has passed a similarly worded amendment.

Rep. James H. Scheuer (D-N.Y.), who is leading the investigation into Fiske's actions involving Comsat, said last night that the resignation "does not come as a surprise . . . . " Scheuer said he would continue the probe into "all the circumstances surrounding the supposed transfer of satellites to the private sector."

"The fact that a high-level Commerce Department official . . . oversaw the precipitous reversal of government policy on the transfer and at the same time was being interviewed by Comsat for a job as executive vice president raises very fundamental questions about the propriety of those contacts," Scheuer said. "Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that Fiske failed to advise Baldrige of those contacts during the 10 months he was actively involved in the relationship with Comsat," he said.

Fiske could not be reached for comment last night. His letter of resignation was sent to the president yesterday, according to a department spokesman, and did not mention the satellite issue or Comsat.

One Commerce official said Fiske had spoken often about serving only a short time with the government and recently had expressed concern that his relationship with Comsat might cloud issues in the debate about whether the nation's satellites should be sold to a private company.

Fiske was approached about the job of executive vice president of Comsat in two meetings in March, 1982, when he was an assistant secretary at the Department of Energy, according to congressional sources.

He met again with Joseph V. Charyk, Comsat's president and chief executive officer, on May 4 last year, after Fiske knew he would be moving to the Commerce Department, the sources said.

Fiske met with Charyk and other Comsat officials again in November, they added. Congressional sources said that a six-figure salary had been discussed at these meetings and that the job they discussed--executive vice president--would have put Fiske in the line of succession to the Comsat presidency.

Baldrige said that Fiske did not tell him of the Comsat job offers until this spring. Baldrige said he notified the inspector general of the Commerce Department immediately.

Taken off the Comsat case with Fiske was his assistant, Michael Bayer, and members of their staffs.

The House Science and Technology subcommittee has sought and received the telephone records and calendar of meetings for Deputy Resigns At Commerce in Sale of Satellite By Philip J. Hilts Washington Post Staff Writer

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Guy W. Fiske resigned yesterday in the midst of a congressional investigation of his dealings with the Communications Satellite Corp. (Comsat), which is seeking to buy the nation's land and weather satellites.

Fiske, whose resignation is effective Saturday, has been second in command at the Commerce Department since June, 1982, and oversaw department debate on whether to sell the nation's land and weather satellites to a private company. Comsat had made that proposal and has been lobbying with Fiske and others to see the sale go through.

Before Fiske became deputy secretary of commerce, the Cabinet Council on Commerce and Trade had disapproved the sale of the weather satellites. But last November the council reversed itself and recommended the sale to President Reagan. It was announced March 8 that the president had approved the sale.

Then the proposal came under increasing criticism. In hearings before a House Science and Technology subcommittee April 14, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige announced that Fiske had removed himself from any further role in the satellite decision.

Baldrige cited a possible "appearance of impropriety," noting that, during the time Fiske was overseeing debate on the Comsat proposal, Fiske had met several times with Comsat officials about a job offer.

The House voted April 26 to halt the proposed sale without specific congressional approval, and the Senate Commerce Committee has passed a similarly worded amendment.

Rep. James H. Scheuer (D-N.Y.), who is leading the investigation into Fiske's actions involving Comsat, said last night that the resignation "does not come as a surprise . . . . " Scheuer said he would continue the probe into "all the circumstances surrounding the supposed transfer of satellites to the private sector."

"The fact that a high-level Commerce Department official . . . oversaw the precipitous reversal of government policy on the transfer and at the same time was being interviewed by Comsat for a job as executive vice president raises very fundamental questions about the propriety of those contacts," Scheuer said. "Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that Fiske failed to advise Baldrige of those contacts during the 10 months he was actively involved in the relationship with Comsat," he said.

Fiske could not be reached for comment last night. His letter of resignation was sent to the president yesterday, according to a department spokesman, and did not mention the satellite issue or Comsat.

One Commerce official said Fiske had spoken often about serving only a short time with the government and recently had expressed concern that his relationship with Comsat might cloud issues in the debate about whether the nation's satellites should be sold to a private company.

Fiske was approached about the job of executive vice president of Comsat in two meetings in March, 1982, when he was an assistant secretary at the Department of Energy, according to congressional sources.

He met again with Joseph V. Charyk, Comsat's president and chief executive officer, on May 4 last year, after Fiske knew he would be moving to the Commerce Department, the sources said.

Fiske met with Charyk and other Comsat officials again in November, they added. Congressional sources said that a six-figure salary had been discussed at these meetings and that the job they discussed--executive vice president--would have put Fiske in the line of succession to the Comsat presidency.

Baldrige said that Fiske did not tell him of the Comsat job offers until this spring. Baldrige said he notified the inspector general of the Commerce Department immediately.

Taken off the Comsat case with Fiske was his assistant, Michael Bayer, and members of their staffs.

The House Science and Technology subcommittee has sought and received the telephone records and calendar of meetings for Fiske and Bayer, and documents relating to the Comsat and satellite issues. A subcommittee hearing had been scheduled for next week, and Fiske was to be questioned there on the Comsat meetings and the satellite sale decision.

It was not clear last night whether the hearing would be held in the wake of Fiske's resignation.

In written testimony prepared for that hearing, congressional sources said, Fiske said he was not actively pursuing the Comsat job. He said his November meeting with Comsat officials was "a mistake."

One of Fiske's important jobs on the satellite issue involved overseeing Commerce's effort to solicit industry opinions about the satellite sale. More than a dozen firms--including RCA, General Electric and American Science and Technology--responded to the request for information. Comsat's response was the only one from any company supporting the idea of selling land and weather satellites to a private firm. Fiske and Bayer, and documents relating to the Comsat and satellite issues. A subcommittee hearing had been scheduled for next week, and Fiske was to be questioned there on the Comsat meetings and the satellite sale decision.

It was not clear last night whether the hearing would be held in the wake of Fiske's resignation.

In written testimony prepared for that hearing, congressional sources said, Fiske said he was not actively pursuing the Comsat job. He said his November meeting with Comsat officials was "a mistake."

One of Fiske's important jobs on the satellite issue involved overseeing Commerce's effort to solicit industry opinions about the satellite sale. More than a dozen firms--including RCA, General Electric and American Science and Technology--responded to the request for information. Comsat's response was the only one from any company supporting the idea of selling land and weather satellites to a private firm.