Amid a first lull in the strike wave since the start of the year, Poland's new prime minister, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, was confirmed by the Sejm (parliament) Feb. 11. But the continued gravity of the situation was apparent in the somber way Communist Party leader Stanislaw Kania commended him to the assembly, special correspondent Eric Bourne writes.
Mr. Kania began with a warm and sympathetic tribute to the former premier, Josef Pinkowski, that nevertheless implied that Mr. Pinkowski had not been equal to the present difficult situation. Then Mr. Kania presented General Jaruzelski as a soldier and party of great experience, a patriot and the man for a job calling for purpose and moral strength.
General jaruzelski, who is to continue at least for the foreseeable future as defense minister, was making history quite apart from his taking over as head of the government. His appearing in parliament in uniform was quite evidently intended -- as Poles were quick to note -- to symbolize the new firmness with which the regime plans to address itself to its political and economic challenges.