Recounting how he waged a "battle royal" against President Reagan's top advisers, Secretary of State George P. Shultz testified yesterday that he confronted the president after his Nov. 19 news conference and told Reagan he had made "many statements" that were "wrong or misleading" about the secret U.S. arms sales to Iran.

Testifying in forceful, blunt language, Shultz told the congressional Iran-contra committees that he repeatedly tried to warn the president that he was being "deceived and lied to" by others in the administration.

His main foes, Shultz said, were then-national security adviser John M. Poindexter and then-CIA Director William J. Casey, whom he accused of having a "conflict of interest" because they were the chief architects of the disintegrating policy.

The day after the Nov. 19 news conference, Shultz met with Reagan for what turned into a "long, tough discussion -- not the kind of discussion I ever thought I'd have with the president of the United States." They reviewed what Shultz considered to be Reagan's misstatements, but Shultz said he left feeling that he "didn't make a dent on him."

Occasionally displaying anger, Shultz described how the president's National Security Council staff cut Shultz out of crucial decisions affecting not only the Iran initiative but the secret support for the Nicaraguan rebels.

Once the arms sales became public last Nov. 2, Shultz said, he attempted repeatedly to regain control of the Iran policy, only to be met with resistance from the president himself. After Shultz regained control of it, he said, Casey went behind his back in a final attempt in December to keep the secret channel to Tehran open and win the release of additional hostages, even after the operation had been exposed.

An early opponent to the arms sales, Shultz drew a portrait of himself as an outsider who was ultimately accused of being "disloyal" to the president for stating his opposition publicly when the story broke. "This was a very traumatic period for me . . . . I frankly felt I was the one who was loyal to the president, because I was the one who was trying to get him the facts so he could make a decision."

After more than two weeks of bitter confrontation with Rear Adm. Poindexter and former White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver L. North, the committee found in Shultz, who came with no lawyer, a witness who appeared anxious to provide full, and often colorful details without undue prodding.

To Shultz, an NSC-approved plan to help Iran free Lebanese terrorists imprisoned in Kuwait was "nutty." The president, on learning of this plan, "looked like he'd been kicked in the belly." Asked if a draft White House statement was "misleading," he shot back to a Senate panel counsel, "That statement wasn't misleading, that statement was inaccurate."

But in Shultz, the committees also found perhaps the first witness who appeared to genuinely share many of the members' concern about the underlying flaws of the Iran initiatives -- and about the well-chronicled abuses brought to light about the NSC staff.

In the course of his testimony, he contradicted Poindexter and North on some points, while portraying their actions in much more negative terms than they themselves did. Of those at the White House who Shultz said led Reagan to make incorrect statements last November, he said:

"They were trying to use his undoubted skills as a communicator to have him give a speech and give a press conference and say these things, and in doing so, he would bail them out . . . . So I was in a battle to get what I saw as the facts to the president and see that he understood them."

One of the most startling revelations from Shultz was his description of how Casey tried to keep the Iran initiative alive well into last December, even as the administration was reeling from the Nov. 25 disclosure that Iran arms profits had been diverted to the contras.

The plan in early December was to have the State Department take over Iran policy, and to advise the secret "second channel" to the Iranian government that there would be no further arms transactions -- as the president had publicly stated.

Shultz said he arranged for one of his aides, Ambassador Charles Dunbar, to travel to a previously scheduled meeting in Frankfurt on Dec. 12, armed with specific "talking points" to avoid any miscommunication. The CIA was to give up any policy role and limit its involvement to intelligence purposes.

But Casey managed to get the decision reversed, Shultz said, describing how he learned from his deputy that Casey had gone to then-White House chief of staff Donald T. Regan and gotten him to intervene with the president.

At the Frankfurt meeting, the Iranian representative presented Dunbar with nine-point agreement that had been negotiated before North was fired, which included the possibility of new arms sales in exchange for hostages and a promise to help Tehran get the release of 17 Dawaa terrorists imprisoned in Kuwait.

When Shultz learned the results of the meeting, he said, he was surprised that such a nine-point agenda existed. "Nobody had informed me" of it, he told the panels. And when he told the president about the agenda, he said, the president was "furious."

Shultz began his testimony yesterday with Mark A. Belnick, a Senate committee counsel, leading him through a series of important events surrounding the Iran and Nicaragua operations from which the secretary or his department were excluded.

Shultz acknowledged that he was not told of a series of solicitations of foreign governments by NSC officials who were raising money to support the contras before and after Congress barred U.S. assistance.

At the end of a June 1984 White House meeting, then-national security adviser Robert C. McFarlane appeared to go along with Shultz's objection to such solicitation unless they received approval in a legal opinion from the attorney general.

At the time, McFarlane, unbeknownst to Shultz, had already met with the Saudi ambassador in Washington and arranged for a contribution of $1 million a month for the contras.

When, on Aug. 7, 1984, Undersecretary of State Michael H. Armacost, at Shultz's request, asked where contra funds were coming from, "Mr. McFarlane said he didn't know, but {said} they seemed to have money coming in at the rate of $1 million a month."

Shultz testified that he did not learn until June 16, 1986, when McFarlane called him "out of the blue" to tell him that the Saudi government had contributed $31 million to the contras. Shultz had just been given a presidential directive to solicit humanitarian aid for the contras from foreign countries. Poindexter said in a White House note that he did not want Shultz informed of the contribution. However, McFarlane apparently was concerned that if Shultz approached the Saudis for money he might learn of the earlier fund-raising by the NSC staff.

On Dec. 5, 1985, Shultz testified, Poindexter, who that day had assumed the post of national security adviser, telephoned and gave him what the secretary called the most extensive briefing he had received on the emerging Iran initiative. But as Belnick brought out, Poindexter did not tell him that the president that same day had signed an intelligence finding authorizing Central Intelligence Agency involvement in the initiative.

Just over a month later, on Jan. 17, 1986, Poindexter and Shultz attended a Cabinet-level "family group" luncheon with Casey and Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, and discussed new steps with Iran. Poindexter did not disclose that earlier that day Reagan had signed another even more sweeping finding that became the legal basis for a series of direct U.S. sales of arms to Iran in 1986.

Perhaps the lowest point for Shultz in his first day of testimony came when he said he had to ask the president of the United States himself to get the White House staff to stop blocking his official travel requests.

This happened, he said, in mid-1986, when he was "not in good odor with the NSC staff and some of the others at the White House."

Shultz said that he suddenly found himself having trouble getting the White House to provide him an official plane for his foreign trips "because some people on the White House staff decided that they were going to make my life unhappy."

He said a "character" by the name of Johnathan S. Miller, who was then in charge of administrative functions at the White House, was "trying to knock me out of trips."

Miller, who resigned from the White House abruptly last May after an earlier witness in the hearings identified him as helping North cash traveler's checks for use by the contras, told CBS News last night, "I don't think it is dignified to get into a debate with Secretary Shultz. The secretary is not aware how presidential missions are approved . . . . It is the {former} chief of staff, Don Regan, who made those decisions."

After one such plane episode last August, Shultz said, he submitted a letter of resignation to Reagan -- one of three he said he has tendered since assuming office in 1982.

None of the three would-be resignations involved a major policy disagreement. The other two were connected with jurisdictional battles. In 1983, Shultz said, he was furious to learn that McFarlane, who was not yet national security adviser, had taken a secret trip to the Middle East without his knowledge. As a result he established a rule that NSC officials had to inform him before traveling.

In late 1985, after he learned of a White House-approved plan to give lie detector tests to people handling highly classified material, something he personally opposed, Shultz offered again to resign. He said his opposition resulted in limits being put on the program.

In describing his philosophy, Shultz said, "You can't do the job if you want it too much. You have to be willing to say good-bye, and I am."

While Shultz's testimony raised questions about others in the administration, it also drew attention to his own performance at critical moments in the Iran-contra affair.

The committees yesterday released two memos from his top aides warning that the Iran arms-for-hostage initiative was still proceeding last year, even after Shultz said he been told it had been "stood down" and that a planned trip by McFarlane to Tehran had "fizzled."

A June 2, 1986, memo from Ambassador Robert B. Oakley, head of the State Department counterterrorism office, reported that the initiative was still under way and was a "naive, unrealistic, dangerous disservice to President Reagan." Shultz could not recall the memo, which did not carry a stamp indicating he had read it.

But he agreed that he had read a July 2 memo from Armacost. The memo said, "This seems scarcely a propitious moment to send arms to Tehran and it has never been clear the Iranians we are dealing with are going to possess any clout in a post-Khomeini Iran."

He did not offer any reason for not acting on the Armacost memo, other than that he had been "given an assurance" by Poindexter that the initiative had ended.

Shultz was also questioned about a Nov. 4, 1986, cable he sent to Poindexter after the Lebanese press disclosed the U.S.-Iran dealings. In it he suggested that the White House could say "this was a special, one-time operation based on humanitarian grounds."

When asked which operation he referred to, he said he had seen reports of an arms sale connected with the most recent release of U.S. hostage David P. Jacobsen. Jacobsen's release had been announced Nov. 3, but it had not publicly been tied to any arms sale.

Shultz made much of the fact that he alone opposed a draft news release following a Nov. 10 meeting of the president and Cabinet-level advisers that said there was "unanimous support for the president's decisions." After firing off a cable to Poindexter saying he wouldn't clear the statement, it was changed to say there was "unanimous support for the president," a change Shultz "wasn't altogether comfortable with."

The bulk of yesterday's testimony, however, was taken up with Shultz's "battle royal," which was aimed initially at getting Reagan to say publicly that he would no longer sell arms to Iran, and later at wresting control of Iran policy away from the NSC and Casey.

At the Nov. 10 meeting, Shultz found Reagan and other top advisers listening to a briefing by Poindexter that he said greatly disturbed him. The president appeared determined to keep the program going, and Poindexter argued for withholding information, saying the release of two more hostages was possible by the weekend.

On the eve of Reagan's Nov. 13 speech, Shultz proposed an announcement that the arms sales were concluded, but the suggestion was ignored.

On Nov. 15, when Shultz gave then-White House chief of staff Regan another draft statement announcing the same change of policy, Regan said, according to Belnick, he "understood the position, but the White House was not then in a position to adopt it."

The next day, Shultz went on a Sunday interview show, CBS' "Face the Nation," and announced that he favored an end to arms shipments, but said he could not speak for the administration.

The remark made headlines, and the White House spokesman announced there were no further plans for arms shipments and confirmed that Shultz was the chief spokesman on foreign policy.