POLISH GOVERNMENT IN EXILE
- Historical Background
- Unique Features
- Aims and Scope
- Structure and Role
- Government Representatives outside Great Britain
- Supreme Auditing Board
- National Council
- Polish National Fund
- Aid for Poland Fund
- Council for Aid to Polish Refugees
- Back-up Base
- Notable Achievements since 1972
Since the end of the Second World War the Polish Government in Exile in London has maintained the constitutional continuity of the wartime Government of the Republic of Poland, allied with the Western Democracies against Nazi Germany.
Poland regained freedom and independence in 1918, after 123 years of partition between Russia, Prussia and Austria. The reborn state developed very close ties of every kind with the Western democracies. Its stand against German aggression in 1939 was based on assurances inherent in the Agreement of Mutual Assistance between Poland and the United Kingdom of August 25, 1939, in the Political and Military Alliance with France of 1921 and in the Agreement with France signed on September 4, 1939. Poland's Pact of Non-aggression with the Soviet Union (1932, later extended to 1945) and a Declaration of Non-aggression with Nazi Germany (1934) were ineffective and of no significance because of the imperialist ambitions of both these Powers.
On August 23, 1939 Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany concluded a Pact of Non-aggression which held for a time thanks to the then secret Ribbentrop-Molotov Protocol in which they divided Poland between themselves. The Protocol, which came to light only after the war, made the USSR a de facto ally of Nazi Germany and allowed Hitler to start the Second World War by invading Poland on September 1, 1939. On September 3, 1939 Great Britain, France and Australia declared war on Nazi Germany.
On September 17, 1939 the Red Army entered Poland and occupied "their" part. The war in Poland then came to a speedy end. Poland's authorities left the Country to carry on the fight from abroad. Based at first in France and from June 1940 in London, Poland's legitimate Government was making an ever increasing contribution to the war effort. It commanded the largest underground army of the war and the third largest fighting army in the West.
After Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941, the British Government chose to support the second aggressor of the war who was thought to be a lesser evil. The new situation compelled the Polish Government to make a fresh start with the Soviets. A Polish-Soviet agreement signed on July 30, 1941 annulled Soviet-German treaties relating to Poland, restored diplomatic relations, committed both sides to mutual assistance and co-operation in war, and provided for the formation of a Polish Army in the USSR, which was to fight alongside the Red Army. The manpower for that Army was to come from the 1.5 million Poles deported to the Soviet Union from Eastern Poland after its occupation by the Red Army in 1939. However, the rapid advance of German armies allowed Gen. Anders, hitherto a prisoner of war, to assemble and train only a small part of the deportees and even those could not be equipped for combat from Soviet stocks. They were evacuated from the Soviet Union in the second half of 1942 and via the Middle East joined the Allied front in Italy as the 2nd Polish Corps. Known better as the Gen. Anders Army it made an important contribution to the Allied victory in that theatre of war. Their finest hour was the Battle of Monte Cassino, May 1944.
On the Eastern Front, after the change in the fortunes of war during the winter 1942/43 in favour of the Soviet Union, the Soviet leadership became painfully aware that, as regards the likely post-war situation in Poland, things were not moving in their favour.
In occupied Poland an "underground state" controlled by the Polish Government in London had come into existence. In addition to the almost half a million strong underground Home Army, it had its own civilian state structure and territorial administration headed by the Office the Plenipotentiary of the Polish Government. Contact with London was maintained by means of couriers and radio-communications. There was a quasi parliament and agencies looking after education, justice and similar needs of the people.
The robust Polish Underground Movement of that period was looking to the West. The communist element in it was insignificant and ineffective. Soviet leaders had reasons to believe that Red Army offensives by themselves would conquer territory but could not change the political position. To do this, it was necessary to combine military operations with a huge political offensive aimed at eliminating Western influence in Poland, seen as the main obstacle to their expansionist plans in post-war Europe.
Already in the Spring of 1943 the Soviets began to organise a communist "Polish Army in the Soviet Union", partly as a counterpoise to the Polish Armed Forces in the West but mainly as an instrument of coercion in the planned political offensive in Poland. For that purpose the Army was endowed with a large political apparatus (political commissars), whose role was to indoctrinate the officers and men for so-called "big political actions". These were carried out on Polish territory for the surrogate Polish Committee of National Liberation and the reactivated Polish Communist Party under the protective shield of the advancing Red Army.
The actions were in fact implementing two main Soviet objectives:
- The installation of the Soviet political, economic and social system in 'liberated' Poland.
- The liquidation of the Home Army and elimination of any organised opposition to the communist take-over in Poland.
The achievement of these objectives meant that the return of the Polish Government in London with its infrastructure and armed forces became practically impossible.
Every effort was made to achieve these objectives while hostilities were still in progress. At the same time a myth was created that all this was being done by the Poles themselves. The skilful use of the above techniques reduced effective opposition in Poland and outside. A heavy blow to the Home Army had been delivered already in 1944 when the Red Army stood idly by during the Warsaw Uprising.
The most important prerequisite for Soviet political success in Poland was the cutting of the lifeline between the Polish Government in London and the Polish underground. The key issue here was the question of legitimacy and its transfer from the Polish Government to the Soviet puppet régime installed in Poland. For this, the consent of the Western Allies was needed. It was obtained in July 1945, after a long diplomatic battle, which was won by Stalin.
To begin with, on April 26, 1943, the Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with the Polish Government in London. The alleged reason was that the latter proposed an investigation by the International Red Cross of the mass graves of Polish officers, murdered by Soviet security organs and discovered by the Germans in the Katyn Forest. Poland's Western Allies chose not to support the Polish Government in London in establishing the truth there and then. The Soviets promptly began to form a quasi-Polish army and government.
Then came the Teheran (Nov/Dec 1943) and Yalta (Feb 1945) Agreements made by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. At Teheran, Eastern Europe — including Poland — was made a Soviet sphere of influence and Eastern Poland a part of the Soviet Union. This fact was withheld from the Polish government in London, which learned about it almost a year later. By that time Poland's territory had been occupied by the Red Army and was controlled by a Polish Committee of National Liberation, a body personally nominated by Stalin. In January 1945 the Committee was recognised by the Supreme Soviet as the Provisional Polish Government. The British Government stated at that time that it continued to recognise the Polish Government in London.
At Yalta, early in February 1945, the three leaders — Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin — agreed, inter alia that:
- the Provisional Government would be reorganised on a broader basis to include democratic leaders from Poland itself and from abroad; it would be called "Polish Provisional Government of National Unity";
- it shall be obliged to hold free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot;
- when properly constituted it would be recognised by the governments of Great Britain, United States and USSR. The above terms meant that the Western Powers accepted the territorial shape, population and government of Poland as determined by the Soviet Union, without participation and knowledge of the Polish Government in London which they were still recognising. Consequently, on February 13, 1945 the Polish Government in London declared that the decisions of the Three Powers Conference concerning Poland cannot be recognised and cannot bind the Polish Nation.
The Provisional Government of National Unity was formed in June 1945. It included one solitary former member of the Polish Government in London, Stanisław Mikolajczyk. The Western Allies accepted this as an adequate broadening of its base. On July 6, 1945 they recognised it as the new Government of Poland. The act was equivalent to the withdrawal of recognition from the Polish Government in London. The latter did protest against this betrayal.
The stipulated elections did not take place until January 1947, after the remnants of the wartime underground had been crashed by the Polish (red) Army and its offspring, the Intemal Security Troops. Even then the opposition, having grouped around Mikolajczyk's Polish Peasant Party, had a chance of winning the elections. To prevent this, in the run-up to and during the elections, the communist authorities employed 60 thousand troops to secure victory for the so-called "Democratic Bloc". The Soviets never intended to hold free elections in Poland. Hence, at Yalta, Stalin did not agree to a Western proposal that they should be held under international supervision. Ever since, the communist regimes in Warsaw have been illegitimate.
The Polish Government in Exile occupies a unique position among political institutions and organisations in the world. Its unique features allowed it to function as a legitimate Government of Poland from 1945 onwards.
The fundamental reason for the existence of the Polish Government in Exile lies in the fact that the Allied victory over Nazi Germany resulted in the Soviet enslavement of Poland. To the men and women of the Polish Armed Forces in the West this was utterly illogical and a monstrous injustice which could not possibly last. They also saw in it an early sign of the Soviet threat to vital interests of the Western Allies. That is why the Exile government did not go into liquidation.
Legitimacy and Continuity
The London Polish government in Exile is the legitimate successor of the pre-war and wartime governments of the Republic of Poland. Therefore, it is not, as most exile governments are, a government formed abroad in opposition to the regime in power in the home country.
On September 30, 1939 Ignacy Mościcki, President of the Republic of Poland who was interned in Rumania, handed over his Office to Władysław Raczkiewicz, a prominent Polish politician who managed to get to France. This was done in accordance with art.24 of the Polish Constitution of 1935 which states that in time of war the term of the President's office shall be prolonged to three months after the conclusion of peace and that the President by a special act appoints his successor in case the office falls vacant before the conclusion of peace. Art.24 thus preserves the continuity of the office of the President of the Republic of Poland, the source of constitutional authority and the continuity of successive Polish governments.
On June 29, 1945 President Raczkiewicz in an address to the Polish nation said:
"The Law of the Republic obliges me, after the conclusion of peace, to hand over the office of the President of the Republic to a successor chosen by the people in democratic elections free from any force or threat. I shall do so directly after the Nation has been able to make such a choice".
The Nation has never been able to make that choice.
The holders of the President's office during and since the Second World War were: Władysfaw Raczkiewicz (30.9.1939 – 6.6.1947), August Zaleski (6.6.1947 – 7.4.1972), Stanisław Ostrowski (7.4.1972 – 8.4.1979), Edward Raczyński (8.4.1979 – 8.4.1986), Kazimierz Sabbat (8.4.1986 – 19.7.1989) and Ryszard Kaczorowski (19.7.1989 – ).
The term "in Exile" goes back to wartime, when the legitimate Government of the Republic of Poland, together with other governments from German-occupied Europe, was accommodated in London in order to continue the fight. To the Underground in Poland it was known simply as the "London Government". After the withdrawal of recognition it adopted the "exile" adjective to denote the continued occupation of the homeland. The official name is "Polish Government in Exile". Its seat is still in London. The Exile Government has no official access to the territory of Poland. However, exile does not mean isolation. The Exile Government, fully involved in the affairs of Poland itself, is also very much at home in the rest of the world. The latter fact was not ignored by the Warsaw communist regimes. Although they refered to it as the "so-called emigre government", an institution of no consequence, their daily attacks proved the opposite. The Exile Government is universal in character in the sense that Poles anywhere in the world who have the true interests of Poland at heart know that this is the only government of Poland they have. This amounts to recognition, although the degree of actual commitment and support from individuals and groups depends on their current perception of its capacity to shoulder the responsibilities of government.
Redoubt of "lndomitables"
The London Polish Government would not exist and could not function but for a large group of "Indomitables" who form its core. These are men and women who having reached retirement age now fill various posts in its formal and informal organisation structures on a part-time, unpaid basis. They treat this service as their contribution to a future free Poland.
They are the "Indomitables" because for almost half a century they managed to hold up the vision of a Poland free from Soviet domination against all the efforts of enemies and well intentioned advice of misguided friends.
Most of them are ex-combatants of the Polish Armed Forces in the West or of the Home Army. Many had first-hand experience of the Soviet system, when in the early part of the war they had been deported to Soviet Russia and were able to leave as soldiers of Gen. Anders Army. They are apt to refer to the Soviet Union as "the inhuman land".
For their involvement in this work the Indomitables pay a very high price: they are not free to visit Poland. The Warsaw regime's line is that those who work against the interests of "People's" Poland have no "human right" to see their homeland. Their leaders were deprived of Polish citizenship.
In conditions which prevent regular general elections it is naturally very difficult to give to political parties a fair stake in government. Eventually, in September 1972, political parties of the "freedom camp" ironed out their earlier differences and accepted a set of principal objectives with an appointment procedure to government posts, which from then onwards bind the "Unified Political Centre".
Four of the political parties which now form the Centre have a very long tradition in Poland's political life (Polish Socialist Party, formed in 1892; Polish Peasant Party, 1895; Christian Democratic Party, 1898; Workers' Party, 1937). The remaining are of more recent origin and were formed in London (Polish Independence League, 1947; Independent Social Group, 1949; Independent Social Movement, 1954).
The political parties' agreement of 1972 stated four principal aims of the Unified Political Centre:
- restore Poland's freedom;
- ensure for its people observance of basic human rights as well as political, economic, social and cultural democracy;
- repudiate the Teheran and Yalta agreements; consolidate Poland's Western frontier on the Oder and Neisse;
- create in Central-Eastern Europe a political and economic climate which would secure for Poland lasting security, development and well-being, and enable it to enter a united Europe.
The implementation of the above aims takes place in three sectors of work:
- the Polish diaspora or large number of Polish communities outside Poland;
- the international scene;
- Poland itself.
This order reflects the natural division of effort between Poles in Poland and those who live abroad.
In June 1986, on the occasion of the last but one Exile Government, headed by Prof. Edward Szczepanik, being sworn in, the President of the Republic of Poland, late Kazimierz Sabbat restated the main aims to be pursued in each of these sectors.
In the Polish diaspora sector:
- mobilise its numerous centres of activity for a co-ordinated struggle for freedom of the homeland;
- introduce new emigrants from Poland to work for freedom;
- transfer responsibility for that work from the ex-combatant to the younger generation.
The list of other activities in this Sector includes stressing the importance of contributions to the Polish National Fund; ensuring continuity by linking various generations and "emigre waves" in concrete political actions; developing in the young a love of Polish language, history, culture and traditions; close co-operation with political and social organisations of the freedom camp; informing about Government activities and the importance of the legitimacy argument; counteracting the Warsaw communist régime's disinformation efforts.
On the international arena:
- remind the Free World that the Exile Government represents the true interests of the Polish people and is living proof of their determination to be free;
- see that the Polish cause, together with that of neighbouring countries, ranks as an international problem of crucial importance to peace and security in Europe, and is not treated as an internal matter of the Soviet Union;
- win political and economic assistance for Polish freedom activities;
- co-operate with freedom groups from other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
- be a constant reminder of sovereignty and continuity of the Exile Government, thereby stressing the alien roots, illegality and lack of mandate of Warsaw communist régimes;
- keep up a good knowledge of the general situation and developments in all spheres of the nation's life;
- maintain a "presence" there;
- provide moral and material help to freedom organisations.
In June 1988, at a seminar for recent emigrés now resident in Germany and Sweden, Prof. Edward Szczepanik said:
- The Soviet dictatorship is nearing its end and its fall is inevitable. Our main aim is to speed up the process by supporting democratic freedom movements in the whole area of Soviet domination in Europe.
- We fight not only for our basic national right to freedom, democracy and culture, but also for human rights in respect of freedom of expression, choice of place of work, private property, free use of one's earnings, freedom of association and freedom to travel.
- We fight against economic and social inequality, in particular against class, party and other privileges enjoyed by the "red mafia".
- We campaign for the right of every Pole to fulfil his political, economic, social and cultural aspirations and especially the right of the young generation to build a decent future in their own country.
The formal structure of the Exile Government comprises several elements: The President of the Republic, the Chancellery, the Prime Minister, Ministers and Under-Secretaries, Supreme Auditing Board, the National Council and the National Fund. The framework is based on the Polish Constitution of 1935.
The President of the Republic
The President is the Head of State. As said earlier, accession is from the post of President Designate. The President, after consultations with leaders of political parties, nominates the Prime Minister and on his recommendation also Ministers and Under-secretaries. Ministers, too, are recommended after consultations with leaders of political parties who are also members of the National Council. The procedure underlines the coalition character of the Government. The Prime Minister and Ministers are politically responsible to the President of the Republic and may be dismissed by him at any time.
The President is the embodiment of sovereignty and continuity of State authority. He is, therefore, also the guardian of the symbols of them. He has a considerable volume of representation duties, in which he is helped by the Head of Chancellery, who is responsible for protocol, legality of procedures, correspondence, documentation and archives.
Two important aspects of the President's work are visits to countries with large Polish emigré communities and receiving visits from these quarters. He is also the first port of call for opposition personalities in Poland who visit the United Kingdom.
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister determines the general policy of the Government, presides at meetings of the Council of Ministers and at meetings of Co-ordination Teams. Council of Ministers meetings are held, as a rule, once a fortnight. Much of the Prime Minister's time is taken up by working visits in and outside Great Britain. The same applies to other top personnel. In the special conditions of work dictated by the "de-recognised status", it has been found that visits and personal contacts have a mobilising effect and produce results.
Ministers control the activities of their separate departments or are given special assignments. Under-secretaries, area desk officers and experts provide assistance.
Existing ministries are normally concerned with one of three Sectors of work. Thus the Diaspora Sector is covered by three ministries:
- Ministry for Emigré Affairs deals with emigré matters as a whole and with Poles born outside Poland;
- Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for primary, secondary and higher education and for developing Polish culture;
- Ministry for Military Matters deals with ex-combatant organisations, military service documentation and archives of the Polish war effort during the Second World War.
The Government's agenda in the International Sector of work is in the care of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It has the following tasks:
- influencing international political opinion either directly or through Government Representatives and other organisations;
- maintaining relations with representatives of other subjugated nations;
- Poles in the Soviet Union;
- publishing in English (Quarterly Polish Affairs, memoranda, etc.).
The Ministry for Homeland Affairs deals with issues that concern Poland directly, i.e.:
- maintenance of communications;
- gathering and analysis of information for assessing the situation in Poland;
- help to Poland.
The Ministry of Information provides information about Government activities through:
- press and other media;
- public relations;
- publishing the monthly Rzeczpospolita Polska (Republic of Poland), Bulletin of the Polish Press Agency and occasional papers.
General support is provided by the Ministry of Finance, which also handles internal administration matters. The Ministry of Justice deals, in the main, with legislative and legal matters. It publishes the Dziennik Ustaw RP (Law Gazette).
Outside Great Britain the Exile Government has its own representatives who form organisation networks with levels of authority determined by local conditions. Thus, there may be delegates and their deputies at State (Country) level, delegates at State (in federation), provincial or regional level, delegates at district level and finally liaison officers. Government ministers participate in the appointment of these representatives. They are all unpaid posts.
Top level representatives, i.e. delegates at state (country) level now operate in the following countries: Argentine, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, German Federal Republic, Holland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, South African Republic and Zimbabwe, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Venezuela.
This body, based on art.77 of the 1935 Constitution, audits the Government finances. It submits an annual report for approval by the National Council. The Board's Chairman and its members are nominated by the President of the Republic. The Board is independent of the Government.
The Parliament of the Republic of Poland was dissolved by President Raczkiewicz in Paris, in November 1939. In its place a National Council was formed, but only as an advisory body to the President. After the 1972 Unified Political Centre agreement, a new National Council was constituted in May 1973 by presidential decree. The new Council aims to substitute the Parliament as it exercisesparliamentary control over the Government, with the right to approve drafts of presidential decrees, vote on the state budget and effect financial control.
The National Council's term of office is five years. A vote of no confidence in the Government is taken by a straight majority of at least half of the Council members present. The President calls the Council to the inaugural meeting of a new term; he may dissolve the Council before the end of term at the request of the Govem- ment. The Council elects its Chairman. As a rule, its meetings are open and are held on the initiative of its Presidium, of the government or on demand by one-eighth of the total number of Council members.
A presidential decree passed by the National Council in October 1977 contains new rules on the Council's composition. It now consists of:
- members delegated by political parties and groups;
- members elected by the Polish community in Great Britain and in some European countries;
- members called by the President of the Republic from among Polish religious denominations;
- representatives of social, ex-combatant, scientific and youth organisations;
- other members called by the President.
The Council works in Commissions, which reflect the mainstreams of work of the Government. They are chaired by representatives of the political parties of the Unified Political Centre.
In countries with substantial Polish emigré communities the Council may establish its Branches. Such Branches now exist in the United States of America (since 1981), in Canada (1982), and in the Federal Republic of Germany (1983). Where they do not exist members of independence organisations may be called to sit on the central Council.
The withdrawal of recognition of the war-time legitimate Polish Government and the handing over by the Allies to the Warsaw régime of the Polish State Bank gold reserves deprived the Exile Government of financial means to carry on the work for Poland's independence. A presidential decree of October 14, 1949 established the Polish National Fund to ensure collection of the necessary finance.
Implementing the Decree, the National Council elected the Polish National Fund Main Commission of 12 members, who represented various political orientations. In an appeal to the Polish emigré community Gen. Władysław Anders, its first Chairman, said simply that the money would have to come from ex-combatants. The Exile Government says that "Contributing to the National Fund is the easiest form of participation in independence work".
The Fund's head office is in London. In Great Britain there are 50 local committees and 28 individual representatives. In 11 countries of Western Europe function 16 Polish National Fund links, in the USA — 24, in Canada — 17, in Australia — 12, in the Argentine and Brazil — 2, in New Zealand, South Africa, Venezuela and Zimbabwe — 1 each.
According to the Decree, 75% of the intake goes to the Government and 25% to the Fund's reserve. There are Audit Commissions at all levels of the Fund's organisation.
The Fund was formed after workers' revolts in Poland in 1976. It is managed by representatives of political parties and of main emigré social organisations. Contributions come from Polish communities in the Free World. The Fund's Presidium consists of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Homeland Affairs. They make regular donations for political and cultural work of freedom groups in Poland. The Fund's Committee consists of 12 members.
The Council was formed on the initiative of the Exile Government in February 1982 to deal with the problems of the huge wave of emigrants from Poland after the introduction of Martial Law in December 1981. It intervenes with national authorities and international organisations responsible for transit camps and onward movement of emigrants to countries of settlement. It arranges for reading matter to be sent to camps by various Polish cultural institutions. In exceptional situations, immediate help may be given to individual people. Since October 1986 the Council is represented at the HQ of the British Refugee Council as the spokesman for Polish organisations. The Executive Committee of the Council consists of a Chairman and six members.
The first two institutions do not, in fact, form part of the formal Exile Government structure. They are included here because the Government has the facilities to transfer the funds collected by them to where they are most needed.
There is an obvious disparity between the Exile government aims (para.3) and its capacity for direct work (para.4). To minimise the gap, the Government has formed a number of institutions and organisations, which in time became independent but continued to work in close co-operation with the Government as a kind of "quasi government bodies". Among the best known in this category are:
- The Institute for the Study of Problems of the Homeland (formed 1951);
- The Polish University Abroad (1952);
- The Polish Cultural Foundation (1968).
Relatively new is the Central Bureau for International Relations of Free Poles (1987), which facilitates regular contacts with the authorities of countries with large Polish communities. For that reason, Government Representatives in these countries serve as Secretaries of the Bureau. Its central direction rests with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
However, the above institutions and organisations form only a small part of the huge back-up base which can be mobilised for the Government's Polish independent programme. The base consists of millions of emigrés and their descendants who cherish their Polish origin. Hundreds of thousands of them are well educated, hold prominent positions and prosper economically. That group has grown fast in the post-war years, especially since the birth of Solidarity.
The Exile Government has had considerable success in using the potential of the base. Proof is the large number of organisations which now co-operate with it in Polish independence work.
Among them are:
- World Council of Free Poles
- World Federation of Polish Ex-combatant Organisations
- Polish Scouting Movement
- Federation of Poles in Great Britain
- Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum (London)
- J. Piłsudski Institute (London)
- Polish Social and Cultural Association (London)
- Polish Saturday Schools
- Polish Catholic Parish Associations
The Government is aware that a great deal more can be done by intensifying the indirect work of inspiring, motivating, guiding and, in particular, through selections and training of leaders. At the same time it is acutely conscious of the fact that in some countries there is a real danger of assimilation and loss of Polish identity.
The Polish language monthly Republic of Poland, organ of the Government founded in 1956, provides a very comprehensive record of the Exile Government's activities. Every issue contains: 1. A chronicle of government meetings, subjects discussed and actions taken, 2. Chronicle of the President's engagements, 3. Chronicle of developments in Poland, prepared by four well-known research organisations.
Occasional features which appeared in issues of 1988 were:
- declarations, messages, statements and appeals issued by the President, Government or National Council on the occasion of major events or anniversaries and also lists of awards and decorations;
- programme of Government's work for 1988 presented by the Prime Minister to the National Council;
- report by the Min. of Foreign Affairs, Dr Zygmunt Szkopiak on the international situation and the Government's foreign policy, given to the National Council;
- report on the Summer 1988 situation in Poland by the Min. for Homeland Affairs, Ryszard Kaczorowski to the National Council;
- report on meeting of Kornel Morawiecki and Andrzej Gwiazda, two prominent opposition leaders in Poland, with British Members of Parliament in the House of Commons and on Morawiecki meeting the Director of the Eastern Europe Department of the British F.O.;
- materials from political parties and groups in Poland and the West;
- report on conference of Exile Government Delegates from 13 countries of the Free World held in the UK from 5-10 September 1988;
- programme of celebrations in 1988/9 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of gaining independence and the 50th of Hitler's and Stalin's attack on Poland.
Like other serious political monthlies, the Republic of Poland carries articles from prominent writers in Poland and the West on Polish independence issues.
The government also publishes Polish Affairs, a quarterly magazine in English. It contains articles on Poland's position in the context of East-West relations and of the foreign policy of the Western Powers.
In the Polish emigre sector:
- Unification of the Freedom Camp (September 17, 1972)
- National Council Statute (May 29, 1973)
- New rules on composition of National Council (October 8, 1977)
- Elections to National Council and Congress of UK Poles (1978)
- World Congress of Unity with Poland's Struggle (London, September 9, 1979)
- Founding the Council for Aid to Polish Refugees (1982)
- Elections to National Council and Congress of UK Poles (1983)
- Congress of Polish Culture Abroad (London, 14-20 September, 1985)
- Rally of Polish freedom workers from Europe and Australia (Ramsau, 1-7 September, 1987).
In the International sphere:
- Memoranda in Defence of Poland's Freedom — for preparatory meetings to Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (Geneva 1973-75, Vienna 1974, Helsinki 1975) and for review meetings of the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference (Belgrade 1977, Madrid 1980, 1982, 1983, Stockholm 1984, Ottawa 1985, Bern 1986, Vienna 1986, 1987).
- Polish-Ukrainian Declaration on Political Co-operation (November 28, 1979).
- Founding British "Solidarity with Poland" Campaign (January, 1981).
- Appeal to the Free World in Defence of Solidarity (December 18, 1981).
- Rally for Poland (London, Royal Albert Hall, January 4, 1982).
- Memorandum on German Revisionism (August 1, 1983).
- Action condemning the Yalta Agreements on 40th anniversary; public protest meetings; Early Day Motion in the British Parliament (February, 1985).
- Polish-Czechoslovak Declaration on Political Co-operation (January 16, 1986).
- Publishing the White Book on the Yalta Agreements (March 1986).
- Forming the Central Bureau for Intemational Relations of Free Poles (1987).
- Estonian-Polish Declaration on Mutual Co-operation (November, 1988).
- Memorandum on the Liberation of Poland from Soviet Domination (February, 1989).
- Memorandum on the Fate of Poles in the USSR (1939-89), (June, 1989).
In the Help to Poland sector:
- Government Declaration in support of 59 Polish intellectuals protesting against changes in the Constitution of People's Poland (February 9, 1976).
- National Council resolution on the same matter (February 28, 1976).
- Fund to help Polish Workers (1976).
- Fund for Freedom of Expression (1977).
- Fund Aid for Poland (1979).
- Restoring the Institute for the Study of Homeland Matters (1979).
- National Council Resolution on blank spaces in the history of Polish-Soviet relations (July 4, 1987).
President — Ryszard KACZOROWSKI
Prime Minister — Edward SZCZEPANIK
Chairman of National Council — Zygmunt SZADKOWSKI
Chairman of Polish National Fund — Ludwik LUBIEŃSKI
Walery CHOROSZEWSKI — Information
Tadeusz DRZEWICKI — without portfolio
Leonidas KLISZEWICZ — Education and Culture
Jerzy MORAWICZ — Military Matters
Jerzy OSTOJA-KOZNIEWSKI — Finance
Ferdynand PASIECZNIK —- Secretary of the Council of Ministers
Zbigniew SCHOLTZ — Emigré Affairs
Zygmunt SZKOPIAK — Foreign Affairs
Stanisław WISZNIEWSKI -—- Justice
Ryszard ZAKRZEWSKI -—- Homeland Affairs
Jerzy ZALESKI — without portfolio
Wanda DZIEDZIC — Education and Culture
Roman LEWICKI — Homeland Affairs
Walter SZCZEPANSKI — Emigré Affairs
Bohdan WENDORFF — Justice, Head of Chancellery
Government Representatives outside Great Britain
Argentine — vacant
Australia — Eugeniusz HARDY
Austria — vacant
Benelux — Bohdan MROZOWSKI
Brazil — Feliks PIOTROWSKI
Canada — Józef LITYŃSKI
Chile — Raoul NALECZ-MALACHOWSKI
France — Jerzy URSYN-NIEMCEWICZ
German Fed. Rep. — Wincenty BRONIWOJ-ORLIŃSKI
Italy — vacant
Japan — Janusz BUDA
Mexico — Jerzy SKORYNA-LIPSKI
New Zealand — Zbigniew PIOTRKOWSKI
South African Rep. and Zimbabwe — vacant
Spain — Piotr POTOCKI
Sweden — Zofia ZAK-STADFORS
Switzerland — Marian RESPOND
USA — Aleksander KAJKOWSKI
Venezuela — Feliks ŻUBR
The agreements concluded at Yalta in February 1945 between Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin are rightly considered the main reason for the precarious position in which Europe found itself during the whole of the post-war period. The now widely shared view that it was the nuclear deterrent of the Western Powers that prevented further Soviet expansion into Europe is sufficient proof of the ruinous effects of Yalta on the stability in Europe. All concessions made in good faith by the Western Powers at Yalta and later proved abortive and, in the end, very costly. It is in the interest of the Western Powers to repudiate the Yalta Agreements and their effects.
They proved disastrous for the whole of Central-Eastern Europe because the linchpin of Yalta, the division of Europe into "spheres of influence" allowed the Soviets to impose on the nations of over 100 million people a totally alien and unacceptable communist system. More so, to individualistic and freedom-loving Poles who by that time already had a fairly accurate perception of Stalinist reality. The West did not believe the Poles. It was only natural that, when the Polish people in an armed struggle resisted the imposition of communism on their country, their legitimate Government in London could not accept de-recognition by the Western Powers which resulted from the Yalta deal. In the form of the Polish Government in Exile, it continued and will continue to speak for the Polish nation at home and abroad until the day when the President of the Republic of Poland hands over on Polish soil the seals and symbols of sovereignty to the Polish Sejm, elected in free and unfettered, general and democratic elections.
Until then, as before, the brunt of the struggle for independence will be borne by the Polish people in Poland. By daily acts of defiance and periodic outburst of anger they already managed to remove from direct or indirect communist control substantial areas of Polish life. The 1989 "round table" exercise has shown that the Warsaw communist régime was compelled to make concessions, albeit in chosen areas only. The leaders of "Solidarity" and of other opposition groups had to accept undemocratic elections to parliament and leave defence, security and related matters fully in the hands of the communists. Thus the Polish people are unable to effectively deal with the root causes of Poland's disastrous crisis.
However, the opposition in Poland knows, that without Free World pressure there can be no change in the above situation. It rightly expects the Government in Exile to use its access to world opinion.
The Government's in Exile paramount duty at present is to ensure that the Polish cause, and that of other enslaved nations of Central-Eastern Europe, become an essential part of East-West negotiations aiming at settling regional conflicts. For years by now the Western Democracies have had a clear ascendancy over the Soviet Bloc. Yet matters which are of crucial importance to Central-Eastern Europe are hardly ever on the agenda of East-West negotiations. Since the end of the Second World War the Western Democracies have been applying policies which were harmful to their own long-term interests in that part of Europe and were resented by the peoples of the Region. In the main, these policies manifested themselves in:
- keeping aloof of periodic troubles between the Soviet Union and the enslaved nations, because, according to the Soviet concept of "spheres of influence", such developments were an internal matter of the Soviet Bloc;
- tolerating the Brezhnev doctrine as a right to intervene when the Soviet system was threatened in any one country of the Bloc;
- taking the Helsinki agreements on human rights as a Soviet Bloc commitment to wind up the police state.
There are no grounds to continue these policies. The Western Powers also have formal reasons for demanding a revision of earlier agreements and arrangements. The above quoted examples show that concessions to the Soviets were in the past "justified" by a Stalinist interpretation of basic terms of the agreements. Removing the bad effects of these concessions, should begin with adopting from now on the interpretation generally accepted in the Free World. If this were done, the present situation in Central-Eastern Europe would be found incompatible with the one the Western Allied delegations had in mind at Yalta. The same would apply to the demand for free elections in Poland.
POLISH GOVERNMENT IN EXILE
43 Eaton Place, London SW1 8BX