Sen. Charles McC. Mathias Jr. (R-Md.) yesterday joined civil rights groups, the Congressional Black Caucus and other House Democrats in demanding that President Reagan fire Marianne Mele Hall, chairman of the Copyright Royalty Tribunal, under attack because of her work on a 1982 book considered insulting to blacks.
Hall has since disavowed the viewpoints expressed in the book, "Foundations of Sand," which says that black Americans "insist on preserving their jungle freedoms, their women, their avoidance of personal responsibility and their abhorrence of the work ethic."
Hall initially said she coauthored the book, but recently said she only edited it.
In a letter to Reagan, Mathias, chairman of the copyright subcommittee, said Hall should be fired despite her recent disavowals because her name appears on the book's cover and because she wrote a dedication in the front of the book, thanking her parents and her daughter for their "constant support and love" during the project.
Also, Mathias said, Hall agreed to serve on the board of HMM Inc., the corporation set up by Hall and two coauthors to publish the book. On a questionnaire she filed with the Senate, Hall listed herself as "a director and secretary for HMM Inc., which is a privately held corporation for the purpose of producing and marketing our book, 'Foundations of Sand.' "
Meanwhile yesterday, congressional sources said the White House has nominated Rose Marie Monk, a personal aide to Reagan's longtime political adviser Lyn Nofziger, to fill one of two vacancies on the copyright tribunal.
Monk said yesterday that she knew she had been nominated for the $70,000-a-year post and that "it would be a dynamite job." Asked if she had any copyright experience, she said, "No, I really don't."
Critics on Capitol Hill cite the book episode and Monk's nomination in pointing out longtime problems on the tribunal, including whether it has become what some have called a resting place for well-connected political appointees. In a 1982 speech, Mathias said earlier administrations saw the five-member tribunal, which sets the royalty rates cable television operators pay to rebroadcast copyrighted programs, as "a useful place to put some otherwise embarrassing applications for jobs."
The White House sent Monk's name to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday -- the day before The Washington Post published an article detailing Hall's association with "Foundations of Sand."
Monk has worked on-and-off for Nofziger since 1970, and has held various jobs in the Nixon and Reagan administrations. She provided "support functions for the liberation of the island of Grenada" in 1983, according to her resume, and "oversaw all social functions" for congressional delegations visiting the island.
The question of copyright experience arose during a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, when several members criticized Hall for her relative lack of expertise.
While a student at Rutgers University Law School, Hall was a summer intern in the Copyright Office here, and she said she taught a copyright course at Northern Virginia Law School, a nonaccredited, part-time school whose graduates are not eligible to take the Virginia bar examination. She conceded that she has never practiced copyright law.
Hall did not respond to telephone calls yesterday, but sources said she had indicated she had no intention of resigning.