President Reagan is on his way to setting a post-World War II high in the number of political appointments to ambassadorships. So far, 44 percent of Reagan's ambassadorial appointees have come from outside the career Foreign Service. This compares with 27 percent for President Carter, 38 percent for Ford, 32 percent for Nixon, and similar percentages back through Truman.
Worried about the effect of naming so many politically well-connected people to ambassadorships, Sen. Charles Mathias (R) of Maryland wants to amend the Foreign Service Act to limit the number of political ambassadorial appointees to 15 percent.
''Our national security is too important to be subordinated to the patronage requirements of partisan politics,'' says Mathias. ''Morale is undermined when many of the most responsible and prestigious foreign assignments are given to neophytes in foreign affairs.''