POLAND BEFORE THE PARTY CONGRESS

Created: 6/12/1964

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poland before the party congress

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

OFFICE OF CURRENT INTELLIGENCE

SECnfZT

4

POLAND BEFORE THE PARTY CONGRESS

Wladyslaw Gomulka will open Ibe fourthof,his Polish United workers Party (PZPR) on IS June facedariety of probless, many of his own staking. oderateolish nationalist, and almost puritanical in bis personal conservatism, Gomulka has smothered the elan of the6 revolution with pragmatic but colorless middle-of-the-road policies. The results have been dissatisfaction and apathy in the nationhole, serious factionalism in the party, and,over-all, tbe miasmabiquitous and largely ineffective bureaucracy.

Despite tbe seriousness of tbe challenges to his leadership and the depth of the party rifts, Gomulka will probably dominate the congress andto bead tbe party If only because there is no" ac-ceptablereplacement. ombination ofand political compromise, bo will continue to grapple with bis basic problem: how to improve his control without compromising his centrist policies. He will not, however, be able to end tbewhich has produced much of tbe uncertainty and administrative chaos in Poland today.

Rule

6 the stability of tbe Polish Communist regime has rested on Gomulka'a ability toalance among the party factions, together with theof his divided party critics to produce viable policies as alternatives to bis. At tbe tlmeof the third party congress in9 the economy was slowly but tangibly improving, and Gomulka hadolitical andmodus vivendi with the Soviet Union whereby it washe would have autonomy on domestic affairs but would support Moscow in external affairs. The

fourthforear beyond statutory however, find the party split and Gomulka under heavy criticism from tbe party and populace, partly because there haslowdown in Poland's economy.

omulka'sconservatism has colored his previous stress on pragmatism. Practical responses to problems remain fixed6 terms, and the momentum galnad then has Gomulka has not exploited even the degree of flexibility Inherent in most of bis basic

6

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policies, and this has resulted in political stagnation,burwaucratlsatlon,oss of faith in tbs future among Poles generally. Gomulka still has enough support tobis position as party leader. However, his mlddle-of-the road policies anu seemingto deal drastically with hla party opponentsensure that they will be able to continue to obstruct effective government in Poland.

Party Leadership

Poland's party leaders (see Figurere aging. Go-mulka's right-hand man. pollt-buro member Zenon Klisr.ko,has suffered two heart attacks. Foreign Minister Eta-packlerious heartlast year and only recently hasull schedule of activities. Chairman of tbe Council of State Zawadzkl, long ill, has undergone abdominal surgery. Despite fallingagriculture chief Ocbeb has taken on additional duties since July as a result of tho ouster from tbe polltburo of its last remaining JewishRoman Zambrowakl.

Pressing against this weakened policy-making layer of the party are many of theyounger hard-linesecurity and Intelligence specialists who have beenup their politicalsince Gomulka returned them to high positions

Gomulka is willing to use these younger men aaho can improve Internal security and strengthen party control. But he does not accept the policies wblcb would logically stem from their tendency to disregardand legality In tbe of tightening national Nor does be regard these men as capable and trustworthy replacements for ailing top party leaders.

This situation Is typical of the problems created by Gomulka himself wblcb have decreased the party's effectiveness and coo-fused tbe bureaucracy.

Factionalism

at odds among themselves on many Issues, all party factions (see Figurere, for different reasons, critical of Gomulka's pragmatic conservatism.

Tbe Stalinist Natollnlsta and the more moderate Pulawlans hava been the most vocal, but tho nationalistic and Partisans have apparently bad most success in gainingconfidence. At tbe other end of the political spectrum are the politically weak advocatesore relaxed cultural line and of proposals designed to reform Poland's economic system andtrade with the Nest.

Because of tbe steps Gomulka has taken to improve bis control over tbe party and tbe economy, such as strengthening the internal

SECRET

security apparatus, increasing censorship, hardening the line, cutting backand tightening labormany moderates andfear relntroduction ofolice supremacy. Some bave quietly opposed this trend in party circles, but theirhas not coalesced and

merely adds to the factional

nticipating the party congress, Oomulka maumber of unsuccessful efforts to end factional feuding bypersonnel changes designed to balance the Influence ofand hard-line dementi in party affairs.

During the summer and fall hepecialcommission" charged with making final arrangements and croating the congress In tbls body,of tbe most vociferous and determined factions are vastly outnumbered bywn generation of Communists whoa variety of points of view but are in basic agreement wttb blm.

Inroup ofof the once-powerful "Hato-lin" faction, which vigorously opposed Gomulka'a return to powerengthy tract which severely criticized Gomulka's policies as having led to "rightist deviation"rebirthew bourgeois class" composed of a relatively affluent private peasantry andparty leaders. Gomulka was scored for falling to "socialize" agriculture, slowing the rate of induatriallratioo, and "lodulglng" the Roman Catholic Church. The tract struck out against the "too-lib-ral" Zambrowskl group for its connections with Jews around the world, and against the hard-line "Partisan" group around party secretary Strzeleckl whtcb it criticized as "tooussian .

The reportommission which investigated the pamphlet's origins reportedly was the center of discussion ath central committee plenum in March. The Natolln charges reportedly were aired again at tbe stormy plenum, and countercharges presumably were presentedpeech by Zambrowskl. Published elements of Gomulka's opening and closing speeches, pleading for party unity and stressing tbe need to acquaint the youthful majority of the population with theof Communistenewed necessity to "sell" bis policiesasis for unitv.

These pleas were ignored by tbe Zambrowskl group,probably responding to the Nato-llnist engthy robuttal of its own within the party in April. It charged that Gomulka's attempts toa balance around hismoderate views "are making it easier" for "dogmatic elements" to assert their influenco within tbe regime. This document striken against both the former Matolinlata and Strzelocki's group.

Tho lust and loosest of the major factional groups, Strxeleckl'shich wants party control improved in all fields, may gain Its first polltburo seat by exploiting the proclpltous actions of the other two factions and bybeing more subtle In its activities.

Gomulka has threatened to act against both pamphleteering factions, but no forthright moveikely until after the In fact, one recent speecholltburo member suggest that the threat has served to coerce the factions intoacade of unity for the period of tbe congress.

Economic Problems

Rapid IndustrializatIon has continued in Poland, and economic performance in most repsecta has been close to plan. However, agricultural production has fallennd some opposition charges, especially that Gomjlka's economic policies have short-changed tbe consumer and the average worker, appear justified.

Per capita consumption has increased slightly, but not enough to keep pace withpromises. Much of tbls Increase was made possible by rising employment, which untildded to the number of wage earners per family. Average wages have risen slowlytaying ahead of prices bymall margin.

The drop in agricultural production not only depressed tbe supply of food available for domestic consumption last year, but also cut into agricultural exports, causing the regime to retrench heavily on Imports of materials for light Industry.

The resulting inflation and the government's anti-inflationary measures have caused considerable dissatisfaction among the Pricesumber of consumer goods were ralsed, wages were frozen, and lastew poliey of holding downled to wldesproad layoffs,among women and other "second" wage earnersamily. Unemploymentostwar peak, playing into the bands of Gomulka's critics. has subsequently taken tbe position that full employment will be tbe "main economicof the next five-year plan.

Both hard-line and liberal critics are also pointing out tbat investment coats in the current five-year plan have been consistently underestimated andumber ofin community services and consumer goodshave had to be canceled. There is also wide concern with aof other problems Infor example, slowness In introducing technological and the production of goods for which there la no market.

These economic problems are likely to continue, althoughstill has the potential for fairly rapid economic growth.

Despite his critics, Gomulka has ruled out basic changes Inpolicies or the economic system for the foreseeable future. Tbe fourth five-yearsimilar to those for the currentlikely to be adopted with little change at the party congress.

Although some personnel changes among those responsible for economic policy andwill probably be made at tbe congress or soontbia will not endand is unlikely to bringhange In the basic line of the plan. Gomulka has been unwilling to heed the advice of his more realistic economic advisers,to endorse the simpler but less effective solutions of party functionaries. Topplanner Jedrychowaklto have retained Gomulka's confidence, but tbe positions of Deputy Premiers Tokarskl, Szyr, andresponsibleeak sector of thearo reportedly less secure.

Qeswilka's Position

A major factor in favor of Gomulka's continued partyis that the warring factions seem intent on influencing rather than unseating him. With noparty leader acceptable to allhas been able to play off one faction against another and to strengthen bis role of final arbiter. This situation has its drawbacks, however, because it means in practice that almost nodecisions can be madeby Gomulka.

Another factor, and one wblcb has been consistently underestimated by Gomulka's party critics, is his personal political skill. Be has used it without fanfare not only to parry factional thrusts but also to aocure and enlarge bis already dominant control over the middle and lower level party apparatus. Several recentreshuffles in the central committee apparatus and in the provincial and district party organizations nave been aimed at making them more responsive to Warsaw. Since last fall, and especially since mid-April,closest associates on the polltburo have been making separate tours of the provinces apparently to gauge, stimulate, and report on Gomulka'sparty support.

Possibly tbe most important factor In Gomulka's favor is that the majority of Polish party members are moderates and loyal to him, despitewith various aspects of his policy and adminstratlon. They fear that any change In leadership could only be for the worse.

Popular Attitudes

One of tbe unique features of tbeomulka regimeflexibility in applying different policies to different "Interesthurch, workers, and

U1V

disappeared in favorore unified and generally harsher policy across tbe board. Gomulka's personal popularity has greatly diminished as a Antircgime demonstrations on economic and religious grounds have increased and the threat of larger scale outbreaks persists. Nevertheless, in the past fewthe public mood has been temperedealization that there is no feasible alternative to present conditions. Moreover, the regime's augmentation of the security forces and its recent propaganda campaign for public discipline reflect itsand it is well able toif not prevent, anyof public discontent.

Paradoxically, the main effect of harder domestic policies on the general population has been an increase in the already widespread political apathy and rejection of ideological This apathy works in favor of the political status quo.

Ch-irch and State

Sven though aboutercent of Poland's population is Roman Catholic, this attitude of non-involvement has affected popular responses to increasinglybut refined,regime measures designed to destroy the church. Moreover, the regime has become more adroit at handling local church-state frictions andcoalescence of public dissatisfaction about efforts to suppress church influence.

Religious observances in nearly all their forms are per-! oitted by the state, and the apathetic populace often tends to agree with tho regime line that tbe church's activities should be restricted to purely religious matters. ertain extent Cardinal Wyszynskl'ssupport of Gomulka, and his continued advocacy of civil obedience and citizenin the "good works" of the state, have helped to shape popular acceptance of theire's jaslcBlly antichurch Furthermore these past and present positions of the primate have tended to blunt theof his warnings of grave danger. The cardinal may hope that his recent announcement that the church could not in good conscience participate in this year's celebration ofh anniversary of "People's Poland" will jar the apathy of the people. The coincidence of this celebration and ofin honor of the LOOOth anniversary of Christianity in Poland will provide manyfor friction in the next year.

Intellectual Unrest

Gomulka dislikes andIntellectuals but isto leave them undisturbed if they present no problems. For this reason their recentagainst regime policies appear to be politically most significant.

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regime bas already taken some Btepa toward resolvingcaused by an unclearpolicy and toward easing its embarrassmentetter sent in March to Premier Cyrankle-wlcz byeading Polishobjecting to locreaslng cultural controls. Recootly, propaganda organs have combined attacks against Western publicity about tbe affair with blnta of some relaxation in the cultural policy.

Polish intellectuals aremore and more convinced that their protests willhave good effects, and some are speculating thatpolicy will berelaxed after the congress.

lationship between the two leaders, without however, seriouslyit.

Warsaw's support of Hoscow in tbe Stno-Soviet dispute is tempered by tbe viow--whlch has Internal ramifications in PolandChina overeign, equal Communist state. Gomulka'sefforts to mediate the dispute and prevent formalof the Chinese party from the international movement are apparently rooted in the fearormal Moacow-Pelping split would engender stricter discipline in the remaining Soviet-led camp, and mightovietwith West Germany.

While Khrushchev Isto pay an official visit to Poland on the occasion of its national day,uly, be will not attend tbe party congress. Despite this gesture of musin Polish partyKhrushchev's recent public endorsements of Gomulka provided tbe lattertrong trump card for dealing wltb bis party critics. Khrushchev's speech occurred in mid-Aprilime of Polish-Soviet disagreement on proper taotics to be employed in tho Sino-Sovlet dispute. 0 this issue has repeatedly strained the close personal re-

Even though Gomulka may bring one or two of his present critics Into policy-making posts, neither the top command nor tbe regime's basic policies are likely to be altered significantly. The narrow range of alternativesis willing to consider in present-day Poland precludes basic policy shifts, regardless ofchanges.

At best Gomulka can only paper over tbe deep rifts within the party and temporarily reduce the disarray which has resulted from factional maneuvers.

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