MASSIVE protests will errupt among the large Polish community in Britain if Mr Whitelaw gives in to requests from the Polish government to have the body of war hero General Wladyslaw Sikorski exhumed and flown to Poland. according to emieree leaders.
The emigrees see the Polsih government's campaign as an ugly-, piece of political opportunism. It is the 100th anniversary of the general's birth and the government plans to have him reburied with full honours in Krakow's Wawel Castle, the resting place of Polish kings.
Before that can happen. the Home Office has to grant a licence for the disinterrment of the body from Newark military cemetery where it was buried after the general's death in an air crash off Gibraltar in 1943. A Home Office decision is not otTicially forecast. hut is expected in the next few eeks.
Pressure from the Polish establishment is matched by that from emigrecs, from the Polish Government in Exile to young students who have lived in Britian all their lives. "Why should the ashes or General Sikorski be returned to Poland now?" one :young Pole said. -He would not have wanted it with things as the\ are there."
The Polish government has succeeded in gaining support from a relative of the general's wife. But his son-in-law is in favour of his remains staying in England.
Meanwhile, Polish people in England have been holding memorial services at the general's grave. In London a plaque has been dedicated at the Rubens hotel ohere General Sikorski had his ■Iiartime base. On Sunday a lecture on the general is to be given at St Joseph's Hall near the Brompton Oratory at 7.30 pm