This dispatch is based on information arriving from Poland:
Western sources said yesterday that Poland had come up with the $350 million it needed to pay by the end of 1981 to avoid technical default on its huge $26.3 billion in debts to Western governments and banks.
The sources said this information had been given by Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Rakowski during a visit last week to West Germany. The sources said he also assured the West Germans that Poland would continue to meet its financial obligations.
The West German Foreign Office said Sunday that Poland's leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, has invited ambassadors from the 10 European Community nations to a meeting in Warsaw Monday to discuss the situation in his country, The Associated Press reported from Bonn.
It will be Jaruzelski's first meeting with a group of Western diplomats since he imposed martial law and it was assumed that he would argue against European participation in any U.S.-sponsored economic sanctions in response to his action. The Common Market foreign ministers are to meet in Brussels Monday to discuss the Polish situation.
Earlier, Western banks had refused to provide Poland with the necessary funds, which were required to pay the remainder of last year's interest on the debt.
The sources said that since Poland's hard-currency reserves were virtually nonexistent and since no Western institutions or governments were known to have provided the cash, it was assumed that the $350 million came from within the Soviet Bloc, probably from Moscow itself.
The Polish government has made no announcement of the payment and there was no way to confirm the reports.
Polish officials have been telling Western diplomats and journalists privately that a cutoff of assistance from the West inevitably would push Poland to still greater economic reliance on the Soviet Bloc.
Some Western bankers who have long been concerned over the ability of Poland to pay its Western debt on its own have hoped that the Soviet Union might assume responsibility for the debt. It is doubtful, however, whether Moscow would shoulder the entire debt.
Poland had been scheduled to begin negotiations with both the U.S. government and American banks this month on possible rescheduling of Poland's $2 billion debt to the United States.
Immediately after the imposition of martial law on Dec. 13, the Soviet Bloc rushed in to prop up the military government with emergency food, medical and other supplies.
A ranking Communist Party source said Poland had used up its 1981 quota of Soviet oil imports by mid-December. He said Moscow had allowed Warsaw to draw upon its 1982 oil allotment after martial law was imposed.
Last September, the Soviet Union had threatened to reduce sharply supplies of critical raw materials, including oil, unless the Polish authorities succeeded in reasserting control over the Solidarity independent trade union movement.
The Soviet Union is virtually Poland's sole supplier of oil and an important source of other items such as iron ore and natural gas.
In exchange, Poland supplies its Soviet Bloc allies with coal and sulfur. Polish authorities have made it clear that raising the extraction rate of coal is pivotal in their program for economic revival.
One key element has been the reintroduction of the six-day work week in the southern coal mining region of Silesia--a move that reversed a popular gain won by Solidarity last year.
The authorities claim that coal output recently approached the levels reached before the introduction of martial law, even though several mines went on strike immediately after martial law and are still not back in production.
They say an average of 580,000 metric tons a day has been extracted in recent days. The highest daily output before martial law was said to be 625,000 tons.
For many Poles, the statistics may be open to question given their experience during the last 18 months, when Solidarity repeatedly presented evidence that economic figures from earlier periods had been manipulated by the government.
A side effect of the martial-law restrictions is the saving of gasoline, the sale of which has been banned to private motorists for the last three weeks.
In order to hinder organized resistance to martial law, the authorities have also banned the sale of other articles including tents, blankets, sleeping bags, shoulder bags, school notebooks, typing paper and writing paper.
The bans are partly directed at efforts by remnants of the Solidarity organization to circulate underground newsletters, one of which had called for everyone to wear backpacks so the authorities would have trouble locating those worn by Solidarity couriers to deliver their underground materials.
As part of the effort to restrict the flow of information, the government has imposed censorship on foreign journalists and a curfew and travel restrictions on Poles.
Telephones and telexes are still out of service in most of the country, Polish-language broadcasts from the West are being jammed, security checks of pedestrians and motorists have increased, and all unofficial meetings have been banned.
The jamming of radio broadcasts has not been fully effective, and Poles are now spending more time glued to their shortwave sets. Radio Free Europe broadcasts a program called "The Bridge" that features messages from relatives and friends abroad directed to Poles remaining in Poland.
"This is a wonderful service. Please tell the rest of the world how much this means to us," said one Warsaw housewife.
There has been a slight relaxation of martial-law rules regarding entertainment. As of yesterday, a ban on sporting events was lifted and some movie houses reopened--all playing Soviet Bloc films, most aimed at children.
The strict television diet of war films and military concerts was lightened a few days ago. A popular French television series about Napoleon and Josephine is again being aired on Sunday nights. The episode that should have been broadcast Dec. 13, the day martial law was declared, was screened two weeks later. The climax of that episode: the coronation of the French military leader as emperor.
News services reported the following:
Yesterday, in an apparent effort to justify the cutbacks and price hikes, the official Polish news agency PAP released figures on how badly the economy performed in 1981.
In a dispatch read over Radio Warsaw, it quoted Wieslaw Sadowski, chairman of the main statistical office, as saying that Poland's national income dropped by almost 15 percent in 1981.
Sadowski was quoted as saying that exports fell by 14 percent, mainly because of a shortfall in coal production--the chief source of Poland's foreign currency.
He also said that livestock production dropped by 14 percent, while total farm production was up nearly 4 percent. Sadowski did not give specific figures.
A message from Pope John Paul II, who has placed the full authority of the Roman Catholic Church behind Polish trade union rights, was read in the country's churches yesterday.
Radio Warsaw said the message emphasized that Poles faced a trying time and called upon the faithful to pray for their homeland.
It reported also that a court that will try former Communist Party leader Edward Gierek and other high officials would have powers unprecedented in a socialist country, setting its own guidelines.
The tribunal would "punish those responsible for the past and . . . warn future leaders," the report added. No date was given for the trials.
Gierek, who was arrested when martial law was declared, was an early casualty of Solidarity's challenge to Communist Party rule.
In Moscow, the official Communist Party newspaper Pravda accused the United States of violating the Helsinki accords by interfering in Poland's affairs and "staging an economic blockade" against the martial-law government.
In Prague, the Czechoslovak Communist Party daily Rude Pravo said "the interned leaders of Solidarity and other adventurers still at large are losing ground politically day by day."
Rude Pravo predicted that Solidarity eventually would return as a labor union in Poland, but only after "a break with antisocialist elements and morally discredited leaders."
Meanwhile, Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky said yesterday that it was naive of the United States to try to prevent a planned multibillion-dollar natural gas deal from being concluded between the Soviet Union and Western Europe.
Kreisky said in a recorded interview shown on French television that the deal could not be prevented and was necessary in the context of West European energy needs.
Reagan last week moved to hamper construction of the planned gas pipeline from Siberia by halting U.S. technology exports to the Soviet Union as part of his sanctions.
A Polish radio commentator said in a broadcast monitored in Vienna that President Reagan's economic sanctions against Poland and the Soviet Union were "typical of a sheriff from a Western."
According to the report by a commentator identified as Jerzy Muszynski, Reagan's remarks and actions could be understood if one viewed him as both an actor and president.
Muszynski said Reagan's comments at Christmas about martial law in Poland were designed to exploit the Christmas mood of the American people.