Page 5, 21st March 1940

21st March 1940
Page 5
Page 5, 21st March 1940 — WHY FINLAND COLLAPSED

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Organisations: Labour Party
Locations: Washington, Rome


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Truth About Rumanian Iron Guard

From Robert Sencourt, Special Diplomatic Carrespondenf There are this week four questions of debate:

1. Whether anything could have been done for Finland.

2. Whether the Iron Guard return to Rumania as German agents.

3. Whether Britain should attack in the Near East.

4. Whether Rome is working out a peace plan with Mr Sumner Welles.

The reason why Finland collapsed is that there Was a weak point in the Mannerheira Line. When that was pierced on February 23 there was nothing to be done. The only thing that could have saved it—if that---was to have sent Allied experts of the highest rank and authority to Finland very early in the war, and at the same time combined with neutrals, such as Italy, to have sent hundreds of aeroplanes to bomb the Russian lines of communication.

Finland the Victim

This would have meant making Common cause with Italy against Russia. which was a break with even/ tradition of the Left both in Baance and England.

.Daladier would have had to deny Ms past, for he is a freemason. Chamberlain would have had to risk a protest from the Labour Party, which was inclined to defend the Russian attack in Poland, and had not made peace with Faseism. In these circumstances It Was almost imposaible for democracies to take the bold initiative.

In other words, Finland is a victim not only of Bolshevism, but of Bolshevism's old friends in the weal, who did so much harm to Spain.

Apart from that, however, there are two valid reasons against making war on Russia. Firstly, it would force her into alliance with Germany: secondly. It enormously increases the range of the war for two Powers who began the war while still behind Germany in their preparations.

iron Guard

In Rumania, the Bolsheviks' nerceet enemies were the Iron Guard. These young men, like Italian Fascists, have been maligned. Their first aim was to cleanse their country of influences that made it notoriouely corrupt. Theee Influences were parliamentary intrigues, Jewish encroachment and Bolshevism. Their objects naturally inclined them towards the examples of Italy and Germany. German agents were at hand to exploit them. After a Prime Minister had been murdered they were outlawed, and many fled to Germany. But when they saw Ribbentrop intriguing with those Reds which, according to Mein Kampf itself, were the agents of Jewry, they reconsidered their position. Their prime motive was their strong Rumanian nationalism. When they saw their king, working honestly for Rumania, checking corruption, restraining Jews, fighting Bolshevism, they broke their link with the Nazis. Their return means a fresh injection of vigour into Carol's dictatorship.

As these young man want their Church reformed, and still admire Italy, the whole movement will bring Rumania into cloear connection with the million a of Uniates in Transylvania

who already have a Rumanian Mass. Rumania will draw closer not Only to Italy but to the Vatican.

Rumania and Ourselves

How far does Rumania involve us? If Germany were to attack Rumania, the Allies; and Turkey rush to her support. As in the case of Finland, the matter of geography is all important. For Germany cannot attack Rumania except through that part of Poland which is in Russian hands, or through Hungary, which is allied to Italy. What purpose has Germany in ranging all these countries against her? What would she get out of it? And what would Stalin get?

It is extremely unlikely that after his experience in Finland he will attack a country nearly five times as populous which the Allies could reach. But if Rumania is not attacked, then Britain is bound by her alliance with Turkey to maintain peace in the Near East. If she does this, to attack Russia is impossible.

We come back, therefore, to the situation in the West. Ry keeping our eyes on Finland, the newspapers have kept them away from Prance. There for elm months there has been no war, and there is still no prospect of war. Armies and armaments have been constructed at the price of enorrnoue loans, but where can they be used!

Neutrals Lose, Too

This question brings us back to the fourth point. It is, of course, against the interest of neutrals to let the war continue. They complain that while we are no more fighting than they are, they run equal risk of ruin. The war, they say, is playing the game of Stalin.

That is the Italian argument: Mr Sumner Welles agrees with It; he also knows that the worth of all the gold in America is also at stake.

If Hitler goes on as he has been doing the trouble will continue. All Europe, In what the Pope calla pernicious anremia, will weaken before the plots of Bolshevism; Germany is doing so. Can she be made to listen to reason; to disarm, to co-operate, to respect law and justice? That Is the question of the day: that obviously is what is occupying not only the Holy See, but all the diplomacy of Washington and Rome.

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