Statement by the Press Secretary on the Situation in Poland

March 26, 1981

The White House issued the following statement at the conclusion of today's National Security Council meeting. This statement reflects the views of the President of the United States.

The United States has watched with growing concern indications that Polish authorities may be preparing to use force to deal with continuing differences in that country between the authorities and labor unions. We are similarly concerned that the Soviet Union may intend to undertake repressive action in Poland.

Our position on the situation in Poland has been clear and consistent from the outset. We believe Poland should be allowed to resolve its own problems without outside interference of any kind. We have scrupulously implemented that policy in our statements, while acting generously in response to Poland's requests to us for economic assistance.

We have welcomed past assurances by the Polish Government and Polish labor organizations that they intended to resolve their differences peaceably and in a spirit of compromise and conciliation. We continue to believe that this path offers the only hope of resolving Poland's difficulties on a basis acceptable to all parties concerned.

We would like to make clear to all concerned our view that any external intervention in Poland, or any measures aimed at suppressing the Polish people, would necessarily cause deep concern to all those interested in the peaceful development of Poland, and could have a grave effect on the whole course of East-West relations.

At the same time, we would emphasize our continuing readiness to assist Poland in its present economic and financial troubles, for as long as the Polish people and authorities continue to seek through a peaceful process of negotiation the resolution of their current problems. It is in this spirit that we shall receive Deputy Prime Minister Jagielski in Washington next week.