OUTSIDE the White House, carpenters banged together sturdy planks of high-grade pine to construct the inaugural-parade reviewing stand. With far less noise and motion, the man who will take the salute on Jan. 20 was also building, and also using first-rate materials. President-elect Richard Nixon, having picked most of his administrative staff, began to select policymakers.

One of the most important choices was still unofficial at the end of last week, but Nixon left little doubt that he would appoint California Lieut. Governor Robert Finch as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Finch, 43, one of Nixon's oldest friends and political associates,...

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