29 JUNE 1918, Page 10


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR29 SIR,—Your article, " The Baltic Question," in the Spectator of June 15th, raises questions of so far-reaching importance that a Danish reader naturally feels inclined to state his views, and the more so because your article discussed the problems on what might be called -the common ground of interests. Consequently— setting aside all controversial questions of strategy, /stockade, and the sympathies of the Danish Socialists—I should like to take my starting-point itom your remark that "it would be profoundly unsiatesmanlike to change our tone now that the Scandinavians are being compelled . . . to turn to ns for moral support in their isolation." What I particularly want to lay stresc on is that the Northern Kingdoms are also badly in want of ufaterial support. As you correctly put it, the Scandinavians have realized the necessity of acting in concert, but while the German policy, poli- tically speaking, has been unaggressive, German and Austrian

commercial enterprise is at present taking its chance in the Scandinavian markets, and is especially predominant in the iron, steel, and petrol branches, as far as Denmark is concerned.

The Northern Neutrals have, of course, realized these perils themselves, and are trying to hold their own by a comprehensive exchange of goods; bat regarding important primary articles like coal and petrol they will never become self-supporting. It is here in the mutual interest of the Scandinavians and the Allies that the former should not be compelled to apply to the Central Powers for most necessary commodities at the same time as, for the first time, they really endeavour to co-operate for the protection of their independence, and it must in particular be in the interest of British industries and commerce that the Germans and Austrians do not monopolize important parts of the Scandinavian markets.

Let every reasonable guarantee be given against re-export, and let all commodities you can possibly spare be exported to the neutrals also in order to counteract the growing indifference regarding the Allied cause which, owing to commercial isolation, is beginning to make itself felt in Denmark. Likewise, the Report about the export of cement from the United Kingdom to Holland rightly pointed out the desirability from an English point of view of combating Germany's effort to render her neutral neighbours economically dependent on her by exporting even small commodi- ties to the said csuntries.—I am, Sir, ese.,