Poles begin to travel again - within limits

Poles have been granted another taste of the freedoms they enjoyed before martial law was imposed on Dec. 13.

Travel freedom within the country was included in a series of relaxations of civilian restrictions announced by the minister of the interior, Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak.

But travel freedom will be limited in the border zones, which include the Baltic ports where the Solidarity trade union was born 18 months ago. Here exceptions will be made for children under age 10 and people over 60, or for anyone for whom special institutional rest treatment is prescribed. Others will still require a permit.

Thus Poles have regained at least part of one of their most cherished freedoms, lost under communist rule after world war II but won back when Soviet-style limits on internal travel and movement were discarded in the 1950s.

''It means a lot,'' a student remarked. ''We were afraid martial law might mean a return to that (travel restrictions), and that it might stay.''

The interior minister also claimed that the number of detainess still interned has fallen below 4,000.

Under martial law, 6,647 persons were interned, he said. Up to Feb. 26, 2,552 had been released. Some 300 more were freed in the last few days.

But the provisions for internment were to continue, along with other basic elements of martial law such as the military courts, suspension of union and political activity, and the ban on large public gatherings, apart from sporting and entertainment events.

The minister said more and more detainees were showing a more understanding view toward the country's situation. But there were still many who ''ostentatiously'' persisted in a hostile attitude and left no doubt of their intention to resume their opposition whenever possible.

The minister's act also foreshadowed an early resumption of tourism between Poland and its communist allies, including possibilities for private motoring by visitors coming from those countries.

Tourists from Western and other noncommunist areas will also be allowed in, but they must travel here by public transport booked through Polish travel agencies abroad.

Dial telephoning between Warsaw and provincial cities is to be restored soon, it was said, as are domestic and international telex and international telephone communications.

General Kiszczak also claimed that martial law had created calmer conditions conducive to a gradual stimulation of the economy and that improved work discipline was achieving better results in important mining sectors, including coal.

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