Poland's Communist authorities announced further relaxations in martial law today on the eve of an important trip to Moscow by the military leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski.
In an interview with the Polish news agency PAP, the interior minister, Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak, said prior permission would no longer be required for Poles to travel within the country, except for border areas. He added that the government is also considering the restoration of automatic telephone links within the country as well as domestic and international telex lines.
The latest relaxations in martial law do not affect the curfew, which runs from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. in most parts of the country; the internment of more than 4,000 activists of the suspended Solidarity trade union, and the imposition of military discipline on major factories and coal mines.
In a speech to the Communist Party Central Committee last week, Jaruzelski said that plans to lift martial-law restrictions had been delayed because of continuing social and industrial unrest.
Protests against martial law during the past month have included street demonstrations in Gdansk and Poznan, token strikes in Wroclaw and the circulation of underground leaflets throughout the country.
Officials announced that Jaruzelski would visit Moscow Monday and Tuesday, his first trip there since the military crackdown. The composition of the delegation suggests that economic issues--and Polish requests for Soviet financial assistance--will be high on the agenda.
Jaruzelski will be accompanied by two deputy premiers responsible for economic policy: Zbigniew Madej, the planning chief, and Janusz Obodowski, who heads a group of experts charged with tackling the immediate effects of the economic crisis. Also on the delegation will be Jozef Czyrek, the foreign minister.
Communist Party sources said that in addition to further requests for economic aid, Jaruzelski would be seeking Soviet approval for political and economic reforms including the reestablishment of semiautonomous trade unions. It is likely that he will seek to secure the Kremlin's support against any threat to displace him from the orthodox, hard-line wing of the party.
The Kremlin indicated its confidence in Jaruzelski by the announcement of his visit to Moscow well before the start of last week's Central Committee meeting. This helped defuse any move against his relatively moderate line by the hard-liners at the plenum.
Last week's Central Committee meeting was widely seen as a victory for Jaruzelski as--apart from the dismissal of three pro-Solidarity Central Committee members--the hard-liners failed to secure their major objectives.
But Jaruzelski is aware that continued Soviet support is conditional on his ability to produce stability in Poland and restore the Communist Party to its position of leadership.
In his interview with PAP, Kiszczak said he had instructed the passport office to allow emigration by Poles who had been involved in "antistate activity." It would also be made easier for Poles to leave the country "for a limited period of time," he added. This suggests that the authorities may have decided to encourage Solidarity sympathizers to leave the country.
Travel to Poland by Western tourists also would be eased, he said.