• Do not let independence go to waste!

    Edward Raczyński


  • NEWS

  • London honoured the 25th anniversary of the final sitting of the National Council – the Polish parliament operating in exile in the years 1939-1991.


    On 8 December 1991, the members of the National Council decided to dissolve the chamber in the light of the first fully democratic general election, which saw the Sejm and the Senate constituted anew in Poland. For over half a century, the National Council upheld Polish parliamentary traditions, truthful to the ideas of democracy and independence. The Council acted as an advisory body to the presidents and governments, passed the budget and controlled its execution. It comprised of representatives of prewar political parties as well as members elected by popular vote by Poles living in the UK and elsewhere in the free world. The National Council was a symbol of continuity of the Polish parliamentary democracy, of historic unity between the Sejm and the Senate of the Second and the Third Republic.


    On the invitation of Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki, the commemorations were attended by former First Lady Karolina Kaczorowska, Minister Anna Maria Anders, and former members of the National Council, including the daughter of its last Chairman – Teresa Szadkowska-Łakomy.


    In a historical lecture, Professor Marek Wierzbicki (Institute of National Remembrance) – biographer of the last Chairman of the Council Zygmunt Szadkowski, stressed that “the National Council was a symbol of popular support of the free Poles for the legitimacy of the Government-in-Exile, which was the only legal authority, contested by the Soviets and Polish communists, who created alternative institutions of power in Poland”.


    Prof Wierzbicki added that the Council played also an important historic part. “Together with other institutions, the Council constituted a Republic in Exile, which was a continuation of the prewar Polish Republic. This allowed for the handover of the presidential insignia and the continuity of statehood from prewar times to the newly elected, democratic authorities in Poland” – he added.



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