Page 3, 12th March 1937

12th March 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 12th March 1937 — FINLAND SMILES ON RUSSIA The New Left Victory

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Locations: Moscow


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From Our Special Correspondent The visit to Moscow a few weeks ago of Mr. Holsti, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the presidential elections in that country, seem to indicate a change in Finnish-Soviet relations. In the past these relations lacked cordiality, at times becom

ing almost hostile. Finland could never forget the red terror that ravaged her territory at the instigation of Moscow, the oppression of Finns in Ingermanland and of Karelians by the Soviet. On the other hand the Soviets accused the Finns of being the willing tools of Germany and preparing the ground for a Nazi invasion of Northern Russia. Numerous frontier incidents, often with shots fired, fanned the flames of mutual distrust and enmity.

The tension had become so strong that Mr. Holsti's visit was decided upon to promote more amicable relations between the two countries. It has been rumoured that this visit took place upon the advice of the three Scandinavian countries which are ruled by Socialists.

The Left Turn

The change of Finland's foreign policy has coincided with a swing to the Left as witnessed in the Finnish presidential elections.

Of the four candidates nominated by the principal parties two were of real importance: the ex-president, M. Svinhufvud, proposed by the Right, and M, Tanner, candidate of the Socialists, Yet, though the Socialists disposed of 95 votes out of 300. they threw over their own candidate to lend their support to the Radical, M. Stolberg, who obtained 150 votes at the first poll. As there was no clear majority a second vote was taken at which the Socialists and Radicals gave their votes to M. Katlic, candidate of the Agrarian party, and he was elected by 177 votes.

The defeat of M. Svinhufvud will be regretted by all Fnnish nationalists, who look upon him as Finland's national hero. It was he who struggled for her independence and was deported to Siberia by the Imperial Government.

Now, to judge by Pravda, the U.S.S.R. is satisfied with Svinhufvud's defeat, triumphantly declaring that " The failure of Svinhufvud's candidature means the defeat of the German Fascist agency in Finland. It signifies the strengthening of such forces in Finland which are inclined to improve relations with the Soviet Union."

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