Polish authorities announced the end of martial law today, effective at midnight tonight, and proclaimed an amnesty that during the next 30 days will free many but not all those jailed during 19 months of military rule.
At the same time, the parliament adopted a package of temporary restrictions tightening central control over the economy until the end of 1985 and signaling a stepped-up ideological offensive against dissident academics.
The new regulations, together with the selective terms of the pardon that will keep dozens of hardcore former Solidarity activists locked up, reflect official concerns that Poland's political struggle is still not over.
There was little reaction reported in the streets of Warsaw as Poland's head of state, Henryk Jablonski, followed by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, who heads the military government, went before a nationally televised session of parliament to declare that martial law would be lifted. The move, anticipated for weeks, had little impact on the average Pole and appeared to be received without great public enthusiasm.
An end to martial law has been one of the major conditions set by the United States and other western countries for lifting economic sanctions they imposed when military rule was declared on Dec. 13, 1981. President Reagan and other U.S. officials said yesterday, however, that they would wait to see the practical effect of the new restrictions in Poland before moving to end the sanctions.
Reagan told reporters at the White House that "we're going to go by deeds, not words." He said, "What we want to be on guard for is having a cosmetic change in which they replace martial law and replace it with equally onerous regulations."
State Department spokesman John Hughes said later that the United States "will welcome concrete progress to meet the aspirations of the Polish people." He said that the United States "will be studying the specific steps the Polish government is taking" and that "in particular we will be focusing on whether the vast majority of political prisoners are being released."
In Moscow, the official Soviet news agency Tass reported the martial law announcement without comment.
Jaruzelski, making light of Washington's policies, claimed that Poland had been able to recover its balance despite the cost of U.S.-led sanctions.
"There are still governments that cherish illusions toward Poland," he said. "Recently, they have tried the stick-and-carrot approach. It is ridiculous now. The stick proved too short and the carrot not fresh enough."
Warsaw officials expect a partial rollback of the sanctions in view of the martial law lifting and amnesty, but they reject U.S. suggestions that more liberalizing moves would permit a full cancellation of economic penalties. "We are ready to normalize mutual relations, but any conditions are out of the question," Jaruzelski declared.
Warsaw underground leader Zbigniew Bujak, who like others still in hiding could benefit from the amnesty, said in a clandestine interview made available today that he and other former Solidarity leaders should remain underground pending "a full amnesty for those imprisoned and oppressed for social and political activities." He also urged workers to continue to boycott the unions sanctioned by the government to replace the banned Solidarity movement.
Lech Walesa, leader of Solidarity, said by telephone from his home in Gdansk that the end of martial law presented a "new situation, so it will be necessary to talk it over, take a closer look at it and adjust and finally find methods of implementing the August 1980 accords," in which the government initially allowed formation of Solidarity, The Associated Press reported.
Most of the more intrusive features of military rule--the roadblocks, curfews and internal travel restrictions--disappeared long ago under a government policy gradually eliminating the constraints most obvious to the public.
Permanent curbs were written into the penal and labor codes in December, when martial law was largely suspended. Only the administrative and political mechanisms of military rule were left in place then in case of a new internal security threat.
Jaruzelski reported today that the board of generals and admirals that had assumed command of Poland when military rule was imposed--the Military Council of National Salvation--had voted to dissolve itself at a final meeting earlier this week. Also eliminated by the abolition of martial law are military overseers at key factories and schools, military trials for civilian offenders and summary judicial procedures.
Deputy Justice Minister Tadeusz Skora said last night that the pardon would leave in prison about 60 of the 190 persons now serving jail terms under martial law convictions, but he refused to estimate how many of the 460 in detention awaiting trial would be freed.
Most Poles have not yet had a close look at the new regulations, and the state-controlled television news this evening sought to cast them in a technical, nonpolitical light by playing up the economic controls and skirting the restrictions aimed at teachers, students, artists and public gatherings.
A primary concern of many Poles--whether the lifting of military rule will make obtaining a passport for travel abroad easier--is not addressed in the new regulations. This leaves the existing passport legislation to be administered as before martial law, often depending on official whims.
Addressing parliament, Jaruzelski said 19 months of martial law had not been a "cure all for all our problems, nor will its lifting bring a miracle overnight."
"Anarchy will not return to Poland," he said in a warning directed at dissidents. "Attempts at undertaking antistate activity will be curbed no less firmly than during martial law. Organizers of counterrevolution should harbor no illusions."
Jaruzelski announced that he plans to leave his post as defense minister next month. He has held the post since 1968. He gave no indication he would leave his most powerful position, that of party leader. Jaruzelski is also premier, or chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Before the vote on the new special temporary powers, Janusz Zablocki, leader of a Catholic parliamentary group, confirmed in a speech that Poland's primate, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, had complained about some provisions in the government's initial draft and won exclusion of measures that would have added permanent restrictive amendments to the penal code and censorship law.
The amnesty frees from prison all those sentenced to less than three years for political crimes or those in detention on charges that would bring a jail term of that length. Those serving longer terms will have their sentences cut in half.
Not covered are some senior members of the banned Solidarity union now in detention, and leading members of the dissident movement KOR who face charges of plotting to overthrow the state as well as those guilty of severe crimes against the state's political interests.