Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger yesterday canceled his planned weekend trip to California after he was criticized for using a government jet to fly to an all-male Bohemian Club gathering in the woods north of San Francisco.
Weinberger had planned to inspect the Naval Supply Center in Oakland yesterday in the company of Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr. and Pentagon research director Richard D. DeLauer, all of whom then would have repaired to Bohemian Grove. White House national security affairs adviser William P. Clark also had planned to make the trip, but canceled his plans.
But Weinberger encountered editorial criticism because of the estimated $20,000 cost of the business-pleasure trip and decided yesterday morning to stay home. The Pentagon issued a statement saying that Weinberger wanted to spend more time with visiting Lebanese President Amin Gemayel, but officials privately said Weinberger decided the trip was not worth the negative publicity.
By changing his travel plans, Weinberger missed a chance to visit with former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger, who is visiting Bohemian Grove before coming to Washington Monday to take over as chairman of a bipartisan presidential commission on Central America.
Pentagon spokesman Henry E. Catto Jr. had defended Weinberger's plans Thursday. He said defense secretaries always travel on government jets so they can stay in touch with the White House and military command through Pentagon communications systems.
The implication of the criticism, Catto said, was that "he should break this tradition of this procedure of maintaining communications, or he should take no vacations, which I think is unreasonable and unfair."
Only men belong to the Bohemian Club. President Reagan and Vice President Bush are members.