Rep. Michael Barnes (D) of Maryland states that it was Peter McPherson, director of the US Agency for International Development and board member of the Inter-American Foundation, who gave him a commitment that foundation director Peter Bell would not be removed until the results of an evaluation report on the foundation were released in January. Since the Reagan administration-controlled foundation board forced Bell's resignation in early December, Mr. Barnes considers that the administration broke its commitment to him.
On Dec. l3, the Monitor carried a story on the Bell firing in which Mr. Barnes mistakenly identified Ambassador Langhorne Motley, assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs, as the administration official who had made the commitment not to fire Barnes before the issuance of the evaluation report.
Mr. Barnes has told the Monitor that he made a memory slip when he identified Mr. Motley rather than Mr. McPherson as the official in question. Barnes said, however, that he continues to believe the administration ''did a hatchet job on the foundation'' and that both McPherson and Motley, among others, participated in this.
A State Department spokesperson said that although Mr. McPherson had discussed the general topic of the evaluation report with Representative Barnes, he had no specific recollection of making any commitment to Barnes concerning Mr. Bell's departure, nor would he have had the authority to make such a commitment.