On the eve of a mass protest strike by independent workers that could damage his power, Poland's new Communist Party chief has been publicly shown here pledging fealty to the Kremlin's ideological dominance of his country.
Stanislaw Kania, in a telegram to Soviet leaders published today by central party newspapers here, asserted that Warsaw "will from here on out be guided by the fundamental principles of Marxist-Leninist ideology . . . will unbendingly lead the Polish people in the path of socialist development and strengthen its leadership role in society."
The telegram was in response to a Sept. 6 message by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev congratulating Kania on succeeding Edward Gierek as Polish party chief. The delay of nearly a month in Kania's reply may indicate, according to some observers, splits between reformers and conservatives within the Polish leadership over how to respond to the challenge of the independent unions.
It is unknown here when Kania's cable was sent to Brezhnev, but it must have come sometime after Sept. 12, when Moscow agreed to send extra supplies to Poland to help ease the economic impact of the strikes, for Kania refers to this aid in his message.
There is some thought here that if the telegram came in the past two weeks, the Soviets may have held it out as a prod to the Poles to adhere to what their new leader had to say about his unbending loyalty to Moscow.
The Soviet party daily Pravda front-paged Kania's message as the free trade union movement gathered itself across Poland for a one-hour strike Friday to protest alleged government failure to implement agreements reached a month ago with striking workers at Gdansk and in the industrial region of Silesia.
Meanwhile, it was learned here that appearance last night at a state dinner hosted by visiting Indian President Sanjiva Reddy. Diplomatic sources said the Kremlin asserted that their 73-year-old leader had other "important business" to attend to.
Brezhnev hosted Reddy Tuesday at a Kremlin banquet at which he denounced Brezhnev's subsequent failure to attend the return Indian state dinner in his honor surprised his would-be hosts, who enjoy warm relations with Moscow.Sources here believe the Kremlin would hazard this kind of diplomatic slight to an important friend only in unusual or unexpected circumstances. New Delphi helps buffer Moscow's archenemy, China.
There is no credible suggestion here that Brehznev's unexpected absence is connected with the Polish crisis, even though some West European sources theorize the Soviets may soon seek to play a direct hand in the situation. For all such dire prediction, Moscow remain's as usual, outwardly calm and seemingly unruffled.