22 SEPTEMBER 1944, Page 2

Finland's Armistice

The signing of the armistice with Finland by Russian, British and Finnish representatives on Tuesday removes one more of Germany's satellites from the war on terms far more favourable to the Finns than they might have expected. They have long dallied with offers of peace and held back, and it would not have been surprising if Russia had put up her terms. But as in her treatment of Rumania so in regard to Finland there is no trace of vindictiveness in the settlement imposed. Indeed, the. terms exacted today are actually more moderate than those offered last March. Finland retains full independence, and the territorial sacrifices she makes (as compared with 1939) are required by Russia apparently with the sole aim of providing for Russian security in the Gulf of Finland, in the Arctic and in the Lake Ladoga region close to Leningrad. The eastern frontiers are to be fixed as after the 1940 war. Petsamo in the extreme north goes to Russia, who gives up her claim to Hango on the Gulf of Finland, and acquires instead a naval base in the Porkala headland, leased for fifty years. The temporary use of airfields and the merchant fleet is a war-time condition. The reparations in kind to be spread over five years are reduced from £150,000,000 to £75,000,000. The task of disarming the German troops in the north is a difficult one, and already Finland finds herself in fact engaged in war with Germany. An attempt by German forces to occupy the key island of Hogland in the Gulf of Finland was resisted by the Finns, and the Germans there have been captured or expelled. The acting Prime Minister, broadcasting the terms from Helsinki, drew a gloomy picture of the situation, but his better-informed countrymen know well that they have been fortunate in their exit from their ill-starred adventure with the Nazis.