The Western allies continued to react cautiously today to the crisis in Poland, implicitly warning the Soviet Union not to interfere militarily but also taking care not to appear to be interfering themselves.
After a special meeting of high officials of the l5 NATO nations in Brussels today, NATO Secretary General Joseph Luns said the allies were watching events in Poland "with careful attention and great concern."
"The allies will pursue a policy of nonintervention," Luns said, "and expect all signatories" of the 1975 Helsinki accords on human rights, which include the Soviet Union, "to do the same."
He said the NATO ambassadors and other officials, including U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Lawrence Eagleburger, had not decided today on any emergency steps to take in response to the situation as it now stands. No formal NATO statement was issued after the two-hour meeting, and Luns told reporters he was briefing them from his own notes of the discussion.
Luns said participation in East-West talks, including U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms reduction negotiations in Geneva and the Madrid review conference on European security and cooperation, would continue unchanged for now. No reexamination was made of secret NATO diplomatic and economic measures to be taken if the Soviet Union directly intervenes in Poland, Luns told reporters.
Danish officials said only two Poles, both of whom had been visiting Denmark, sought asylum there today. Daily ferries between Poland and both Denmark and Sweden continued on schedule, but Poles were not being allowed to board them, according to Scandinavian officials. A group of about 30 Scandinavian, West German and French reporters who tried to enter Poland on one of the ferries was sent back to Sweden.
Danish officials said there was no unusual traffic in the stormy seas around Danish-ruled Bornholm Island, just 60 miles off the Polish coast, long expected to be one of the most likely destinations of Poles fleeing by sea if Soviet military intervention occurred. Allied intelligence-gathering operations from Bornholm had been increased but not visibly, said an informed NATO source.
Only five Poles, all with special foreign passports for jobs in the West, arrived in Vienna today on the Chopin Express, an overnight train that recently had brought as many as 250 Polish refugees a day into Austria. Other Poles were refused permission to buy tickets for the train today, travelers said.
News services reported the following:
West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said his nation was watching Poland with "attention and great concern," and called on all nations to refrain from intervening there.
Union leaders in Western countries accused Polish authorities of totalitarianism. In Brussels, the 70-million-member International Confederation of Free Trade Unions filed a complaint with the International Labor Organization accusing the Polish government of stifling Solidarity.