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Sargent Denies Offer of Agnew's Job, Advocates Non-Partisan Appointment

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Governor Francis Sargent who has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Spiro T. Agnew said here yesterday that he has not been offered the job of vice-president by President Nixon.

The Massachusetts Republican said that he did not think that he wanted to be vice-president, but did not say he would reject the position if selected.

Sargent, who has never been close to the Nixon administration, added that he did not think the opportunity to make the decision would fall his way.

Answering a question on reports that he had been contacted by the president, Sargent said that Nixon had called him, but only to ask for suggestions on possible nominees.

The governor said that he advised Nixon to choose either a Democrat, an apolitical figure, or a Republican with a long party record. He said that whoever assumes the position should not consider it a "launching pad" for future aspirations.

Sargent said that the appointment should be void of partisanship. The governor repeatedly stressed the necessity for the president to nominate a man of respected stature who could "restore confidence" in the political system.

When asked for thoughts on the Agnew resignation, Sargent said that he had never been very close to the former vice-president. He said that they had not been on good terms since Sargent made it known that he did not want Agnew's assistance in his 1970 gubernatorial campaign.

Sargent added that the Watergate and Agnew scandals have shattered Americans' faith in government. He said that Agnew's resignation may be the first step on the long road to restoring people's respect.

The governor came to the Harvard Law School Forum to deliver a speech on his decision not to support the National Crime Information Center.

Sargent said that if the NCIC was allowed to continue to incorporate all arrests, regardless of convictions, that the nation would slowly be heading towards a "1984" type state.

He said that he would favor the program if only convictions were incorporated into the center.

Sargent said his opposition to the NCIC centered on the objection that listing aal arrests would have a chilling effect on civil liberties.

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