Whether Solidarity leader Lech Walesa and Poland's martial-law chief, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, will soon hold substantial talks remains an open question. Monitor special correspondent Eric Bourne writes that Tuesday's report of a meeting scheduled this week, reportedly coming from a Walesa family member, remained unconfirmed as of Wednesday evening.
There is, moreover, no evidence that talks opened Monday, as the family member had indicated would be the case.
The latest official word came from government spokesman Jerzy Urban, who told foreign reporters Tuesday the union leader was still in Warsaw, in contact with his family, with the Roman Catholic Church, and ''the Polish authorities.''
The most reliable information is still that Walesa recognizes that there is no alternative to negotiation if martial law is to be lifted and a political settlement between government and union found.
Walesa is apparently having discussions of some kind with lesser government officials. He might accept a preliminary, exploratory meeting with Jaruzelski.
But knowledgeable sources -- mostly Polish church officials -- have said the union leader's willingness to enter negotiations depends on the conditions under which they are held.
He first wants freedom to confer with Solidarity associates under detention as well as the Polish primate, Archbishop Jozef Glemp.
The government and the Catholic Church are both making vigorous efforts to get talks started.
The government efforts were confirmed Tuesday by a Military Council member's reaffirmation that the ''achievements (reforms) of 1980'' will still be institutionalized, as well as Warsaw's official announcement that the ''free Saturdays'' agreement with Solidarity would be honored in 1982.