26 JANUARY 1945, Page 2

Lublin and London

The question of Poland must inevitably figure largely at the forth- coming meeting of Heads of States, but unless Mr. Churchill and President Roosevelt are more successful than seems likely in exer- cising suasion on Marshal Stalin, the Polish Government in London cannot hope to secure much satisfaction. The declarations made by the new Prime Minister, M. Arciszewski, on Tuesday were admirable in themselves, and his appeal for an understanding with Russia, handed to the British and American Governments, deserves every sympathy. But the hard fact remains that Russia has deliberately recognised the Lublin Committee as the Provisional Government of Poland, and so far from showing any signs of alter- ing that policy, appears to be urging Czechoslovakia to conform to it. Every piece of reliable information about the Lublin Committee is disquieting. That body is clearly, -by some of its recent utter- ances, fomenting civil war and advocating something like systematic assassination in Poland. A recent broadcast from Lublin declared, if accurately translated, that "it is necessary to extirpate the traitors, bandits, incorrigible malefactors and brawlers of the Nationalist Armed Forces of the Home Army "—the reference being to the courageous fighters of the Resistance Movement who carried on so tragic a fight under General Bor in Warsaw when the Russian forces had come within sight of the city last summer. This is a grave matter (for other reliable newspaper reports are to the same effect), and here at least representations by the British Prime Minister and the American President are not merely legitimate but necessary. Governments which condemn reprisals in Greece cannot con- done them in Poland. The essential is to secure agreement that genuinely free elections shall take place in Poland as early as is practically possible. Then the Poles themselves can decide whether they want the London Government or the Lublin Govern- ment—or neither.