The Soviet-dominated Bierut Government in Warsaw is making its final preparations for the so-called free elections to be held on January 19, by stifling the only free party, the only party through which Catholic Poland might register its disapproval of the present Godless regime, Vice-Premier Mikolajczyk's Polish Peasant Party.
The Daily Telegraph correspondent in Warsaw reported last weekend that 104 of the Party's 850 candidates have been imprisoned already, and that arrests continued. At Kaliscz, 199 signatories of the Party's electoral list have been arrested. At Lodz the Peasant Party leader, Col. Krzeninski, has been arrested. Vice-Premier Mikolajczyk complained to correspondents that tortures are being used against his arrested supporters; he is denied broadcasting time, and his paper, the Gazeta Ludowa is heavily censored and produced under extreme difficulty as part of the staff has been arrested.
These latest events follow a systematic persecution of the party during the past year which has included the murder of leaders and supporters and the suppression of 27 district organisations.
Our Polish Correspondent comments: " The Communist police maintain that arrested supporters are not being imprisoned. That is in many cases true but it must be added that they were freed only after the withdrawal of their signatures.
" The Warsaw Government expects some unpleasant diplomatic notes, strong criticism in the world Press, numerous protests and so on. But they are sure that finally the present state of affairs will be tacitly accepted, as it was in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Rumania.