New Plan for July 4: Ending the Fireworks

The latest chapter in the Lee A. Iacocca-Statue of Liberty saga is the Interior Department's plan to preclude any future chapters from marring the 4th of July. Eager to defuse the issue of the personality conflict between Chrysler head Iacocca and Interior Secretary Donald Hodel, the department plans to bring them together three or four days before the ceremony honoring the refurbished statue.

The strategy, according to a source at Interior, is to have the two work out their differences -- and hold a news conference at which reporters can get the celebrated feud out of their systems. Then, when Hodel introduces Iacocca and Iacocca introduces President Reagan at the ceremony, the news will be sweetness and light, melting pots and patriotism.

An Interior spokesman says the meeting will be at the statue; it was thought "appropriate" that Iacocca should give Hodel a personal tour of the restoration efforts.

Hot Potato, Cont'd.

Maine's senators declared a partial cease-fire in their potato blitzkrieg and the nation gained a new deputy secretary of agriculture yesterday.

Peter C. Myers was quickly confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as No. 2 official at the Agriculture Department after Sens. William S. Cohen (R) and George J. Mitchell (D) dropped their opposition. In return, they got the department to fulfill an earlier promise to buy 5 million pounds of Maine potatoes to help alleviate the surplus.

Next Stop, Hungary

President Reagan said Tuesday he will nominate Robie Marcus Hooker Palmer, now deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs, to be ambassador to Hungary.

Palmer, 44, is a career Foreign Service officer who has held diplomatic posts in India, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.