2011 | 2(103) | 41-64
Article title

CODIFICATION OF BUDGETARY PRINCIPLES BY PARLIAMENT OF THE SECOND REPUBLIC OF POLAND (Problem kodyfikacji prawa budzetowego w pracach parlamentu II Rzeczypospolitej)

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Codification of budgetary principles provides an interesting example of problems in building an independent State and creating its fiscal system. Regulation of budget management principles, recognized as an important duty of parliament in the entire inter-war period, had faced irremovable - as it later transpired - obstacles. During the first years of independence, these obstacles included, in particular, high inflation affecting the economy of the entire country. Later, during the period of Grabski's government stabilization reform, this issue was not the first priority either, giving way to budget-balancing efforts. Coup d'état of May 1926 and the assumption of power by the Sanation (Sanacja) resulted in the September Amendment of the March Constitution of 1921, very important for the practice of budget making. However, a substantial weakening of the position of parliament thus deprived it of the possibility of exerting a real influence on the nature of legislation governing all areas of State fiscal policy. Its was in fact reduced to adopting resolutions urging the government to submit an appropriate bill. One of such resolutions, adopted in 1931, made undertaking the codification of budgetary rules conditional on the adoption of a new constitution. The provisions of the April Constitution of 1935 extended general rules of budgetary management, but they were not followed by legislative action.. Despite growing efforts in this direction by parliament, with the proposal of a relevant Member's bill, the government administration (including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Treasury Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski), consistently avoided taking action regarding the codification of budgetary principles. The successive investment projects, including the development of Central Industrial Region (COP) and strengthening the country's defence potential, were financed out of extra-budgetary funds essentially beyond parliament's control. The adoption of a statute governing all aspects of budgetary law would mean a removal of considerable financial autonomy of the government, to which Kwiatkowski could not agree. In those circumstances, the so far unquestioned need for codification of budgetary principles had to give way to actions aiming to develop and modernize the State. But this, in the government opinion, was inconsistent with statutory regulation of rules of budgetary management.
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  • Pawel Grata, Uniwersytet Rzeszowski, Wydzial Socjologiczno-Historyczny, ul. Reytana 16c, 35-310 Rzeszow, Poland
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