This dispatch is based on information arriving from Poland:
Apparently confident that he has broken the back of overt worker resistance to martial law, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski has set up at least three groups of Communist Party strategists in a move to develop the framework for a political solution to the Polish crisis.
Sources in Warsaw said yesterday that the groups established by the martial-law leader will present draft programs of social, economic and political reform. Each unit is headed by a prominent party leader, and each represents a distinct and potentially rival faction.
Observers said the faction that emerges dominant from the process of drawing up a long-term political solution will have a great bearing on the future shape of Poland.
Asked to comment on the reports, a senior spokesman for the martial-law government said he could neither confirm nor deny them, but he did indicate that Jaruzelski's style of leadership is to listen to advice from many quarters.
The deadline for these proposals was unknown. One source said the government's hope is to end martial law sometime in March.
The behind-the-scenes political maneuvering occurs as the Polish drama appears to be entering a new stage. The martial-law authorities claim that strikes and other open forms of resistance have been contained. The government and the suspended independent labor movement Solidarity--which has called on its members to engage in passive resistance--are engaged in campaigns to win over the population.
Some observers here are skeptical that, given the massive resentment to martial-law repressions, any political solution devised by Jaruzelski can gain wide public support. They believe the authorities face a fundamental dilemma: how to create a climate of national reconciliation at the same time they maintain sufficient control to prevent a resurgence of social unrest.
Sixteen days after the imposition of martial law, it is still impossible for most Poles to travel outside their regions of residence, make a telephone call, receive uncensored mail or be on the streets after 11 p.m.
At the same time, informed sources said the Communist Party continues to be in disarray following mass resignations during the last two weeks protesting martial law.
The three groups appointed to come up with a long-term political plan are headed by three of the country's best known political leaders. Sources said that one is headed by Stefan Olszowski, an economic reformer known for his tough political views who is the party's highly ambitious propaganda chief.
A second, reputedly centrist group, is headed by Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Rakowski, who, as the government's labor-relations chief since last February, has conducted its most important negotiations with Solidarity. Rakowski is visiting West Germany, where he is expected to plead for continued economic aid and explain Poland's reasons for declaring martial law.
The third group, apparently the most liberal, is headed by Hieronym Kubiak, a member of the 14-member Communist Party Politburo. Kubiak, who has studied in the United States, told friends he did not learn of the martial-law decision until four hours after its imposition.
Other senior members of the Polish establishment were also reported to be proffering advice, although it was unclear whether they had the same official status as these three.
At least one of the groups, Kubiak's, was said to have proposed a radical step: to dissolve the discredited Communist Party and substitute a new party that would attempt to achieve a wide base by including church and union influences and reformist elements in the existing party.
Olszowski's group was said to be advocating decentralization of the economy, but within tight political limits. A key feature of any economic reform is likely to be more autonomy for factories and other enterprises, but it is not likely to include the degree of worker self-management advocated by Solidarity.
It is not known what Rakowski's group is proposing, but he has said privately that any "independent" trade union in the future must be carefully circumscribed to keep its activities within traditional trade union bounds.
As the political consultations continued, the government showed signs of concern at the deteriorating state of the economy. Red and black posters appeared throughout Warsaw exhorting the people to show their support for the military government with hard work. They said: "Help the forces of law and order combat anarchy and lawlessness. Stamp out speculators. The quickest road to normalization is strict martial law. Don't permit anyone to disorganize the market for their own enrichment. Support the military council through your hard work."
Remnants of Solidarity are giving different advice. A bulletin issued by a rump Solidarity group in Warsaw and dated Dec. 28 outlined several ways in which union members could resist what it described as "a Stalinist version of total terror such as our generation has not previously experienced."
The suggestions included:
* In organizing strikes, do not elect leaders in order to protect them from later police action.
* In contacts with the police or Army, you are "not informed, naive, haven't heard anything."
* Work slowly, complain about the mess and the inefficiency of your superiors. Flood the Army and commissars with questions and pretend to be a half-wit.
* Follow meticulously the most ridiculous instructions.
* Take as much sick leave as possible.
* Help families of those arrested.
* Paint slogans and put up posters.
It ended with one paramount rule for organizing: "I only know what I need to know."
A leaflet circulated in the name of Rural Solidarity, the private farmers' union that had not been heard from since martial law began, said that "at least passive resistance against the enemy is still possible." It compared the Polish military to wartime Nazi occupiers and added, "The rebirth of our nation is like a river that may be blocked for a while but cannot be stopped."
In an apparent indication that the authorities are trying to stem the flow of such leaflets, a ban on the sale of paper has been instituted, according to a Solidarity publication.
A ban under martial law on private possession of duplicating machines and harsh penalties for producing or distributing antigovernment leaflets have reduced sharply the circulation of such underground materials.
One Solidarity leaflet emphasized the mass defections from the Communist Party by describing an incident that allegedly occurred in the city of Bydgoszcz. It said a funeral march deposited a coffin in front of the local party headquarters. Army engineers were called in to check the contents, fearing explosives. But there was no bomb. Instead, the coffin was filled with party membership cards. But even the Solidarity leaflet described the incident as a rumor.
The following is based on reports in the Polish news media:
Polish authorities continued efforts yesterday to reassure the population that conditions under martial rule are returning to normal, announcing a one-day lifting of the nationwide curfew for New Year's Eve and broadcasting several reports of improved industrial production.
Radio Warsaw said nationwide coal production yesterday reached 595,400 tons, the highest one-day total since martial law was imposed Dec. 13.
The Polish media reported, however, that stocks of potatoes, beef and pork were still low and reaffirmed that meat rations for most Poles will be cut from 6.6 pounds to 5.5 pounds in January and that a program of procurement from collective farms would continue.
Radio Warsaw reported yesterday that the ruling Military Council for National Salvation canceled nationwide elections set for February for low-level people's councils, saying the vote would be postponed until they could be held "in an atmosphere of social peace."
Another Radio Warsaw report yesterday said the 21-member military council will ask the national assembly to set up a state tribunal "to define the responsibility of those guilty of causing the deep crisis in the '70s." The broadcast appeared to be referring to former Communist Party leader Edward Gierek, who along with about two dozen other officials accused of mismanagement in the 1970s, was taken into custody shortly after the military crackdown.
The announcement that the curfew would be lifted New Year's Eve came in a Warsaw television report that cited Poland's "continually improving social discipline, as shown in the ever more rigid observance of the martial-law regulations." It said the curfew would be lifted so that Poles could observe the traditional gatherings of the holiday.