Former Governor Reveals Rejection Of Cabinet Posts

Former Governor Francis W. Sargent said yesterday he has turned down the Ford administration's offer to consider him for three Cabinet posts because he could not endorse all of the administration's policies.

Sargent would not say what Cabinet posts were mentioned in the White House offer.

His main objection, he told a dozen freshmen in the Union, was that the administration's drive for American energy independence is "just going pell-mell forward, without mentioning conservation."

Sargent, a former state commissioner of Natural Resources, said he would feel best qualified to be secretary of Interior, but that his general opposition to strip-mining of coal could make him "persona non grate in the administration."

"After you're been governor, you're kind of spoiled," Sargent said. "You're not used to people checking your opinions."

Sargent also said he would have had trouble "gathering a good staff in the last year of the administration."

When asked to explain his statement, Sargent later said he did not intend to predict President Ford will lose in a reelection bid next year.

Now a fellow at the Institute of Politics, Sargent said he is interested in a commission on privacy issues presently being organized by the Federal government. He said he might serve on such a panel for two years.

Sargent expressed pessimism on the future of the Massachusetts Republican party he led for four years. "It stinks right now," he said.

The leaders of the party are a "small group that's extremely conservative." Sargent added. "I think they're out of step with the times."

"It's too bad you can't take advantage of a person who's been in public office and still use him somehow," he said. "I think the government would profit from our participation."