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Martial law averted war, say Polish Communists

Poland's Communist Party said Sunday martial law had saved the country from civil war and put it on course for economic and political recovery from the Solidarity trade union crisis.

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A national conference of the party, the first since Solidarity's challenge to the authorities, gave a full and final seal of official approval to the 20-month period of military rule that followed the union's suppression in 1981.

It ended a three-day session with an effusive declaration of support for party leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski and praise for the role of the Army, police, and security services in restoring Communist rule.

References to the political situation ignored a recent rise in tension with the Roman Catholic Church over efforts by the authorities to ban religious symbols from public buildings and evidence of growing repression of all forms of dissent in Poland.

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