Warsaw reforms defended

A Warsaw newspaper has called for reforms in Poland and for safeguards to prevent their being whittled away, as they have been in earlier periods of liberalization, reports special correspondent Eric Boume.

This was the theme of commentaries in Zycie Warszawy after the Soviet news agency Tass repeated charges that the Solidarity union movement is being used to thwart official efforts to overcome the crisis.

Zycie Warszawy is Poland's most widely read newspaper. It is owned by the government, but often presents a more forthright line than does the purely party press in rebutting misrepresentations about the unions.

The Polish news media ignored the latest Tass statement. Instead, Zycie Warszawy questioned "democratic centralism" which, in Soviet orthodoxy, is fundamental for all communist parties to ensure complete rank-and-file adherence to leadership decisions.

The newspaper said economic reform is not enough and echoed the call heard at Communist Party meetings all over Poland for "openness" of party political life and freedom for nonparty Poles to express contrary views without fear of repression.

A reduction in censorship was promised by the government in the agreements with Solidarity that settled the August strikes. Already newspapers report public affairs with unprecendented candor, but there still is controversy over the new censorship rules to be laid before parliament later this month.

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