The sixth Polish Communist Party Congress opened in Warsaw on Monday (6 December) with a call for improvement of living standards as the "supreme goal".
GV Brezhnev & Congress members enter to applause
SV & CV Brezhnev applauding
SV Delegates applaud
GV PAN Members taking seats
SCU Brezhnev applauding
LV ZOOM IN Gierek speaking
SV Members (4 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT Gierek & members applaud
Initials SGM/2358 SGM/0000
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Background: The sixth Polish Communist Party Congress opened in Warsaw on Monday (6 December) with a call for improvement of living standards as the "supreme goal".
The five-day congress, attended by Soviet Party leader Leonid Brezhnev and other Eastern European leaders, is taking place almost a year after a rise in food and fuel prices sparked off severe riots in Northern Poland.
Polish Communist leader Edward Gierek - who was elected in the wake of the riots - stressed "improvement of the material welfare" of workers as the Keynote in his opening address.
Mr Brezhnev's presence is seen by correspondents as the Kremlin's endorsement of Mr Gierek's policy of tending to consumer needs.
SYNOPSIS: In Warsaw on Monday, Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev attended the start of the Sixth Polish Communist Party Congress, With him were other East European leaders. Delegates at the five-day congress were expected to discuss international questions such as Berlin and the Soviet-sought all-European Security conference.
Mr Brezhnev's presence was taken as a sign of Moscow's support for the economic reform policies of Poland's party leader Edward Gierek.
In his opening speech, Mr Gierek was quick to stress the need to improve workers "material welfare". He called for a systematic advance in living standards as the "supreme goal". Mr Gierek came to power almost a year ago in the wake of severe riots in Northern Poland sparked off by a rise in food and fuel prices. Under his four-year plan, the Polish leader is aiming to revitalise the economy by streamlining bureaucracy, modernising equipment and introducing new techniques. He told the 1,815 delegates at Warsaw's Palace of Culture that "the planned growth in consumer goods must be achieved without fail. A tough ex-miner with a reputation as a skilled administrator, Mr Gierek has the backing of Poland's managers and technocrats.