29 MARCH 1940, Page 2

German Agitators in Rumania

Germany is using every means, political and economic, to extend her influence in the Balkans and increase the supplies which they can send her. Though every Balkan capital has its share of her attention, it is on Rumania that her energies are especially concentrated, since that country has the most to give and the most to fear. The ubiquitous Dr. Clodius is again in Bucharest, bringing pressure to bear on the Government to accelerate the supply of oil and other produce, and to concede an agreement for a rate of exchange more favourable to Germany. That Rumania does not wish to get involved in too exclusive a trading relationship with the Reich is shown by the fact that the General Secretary of the Rumanian Ministry of Finance, Dr. Jordan, will soon be in London to negotiate a clearing agreement with this country. But the comparatively regular diplomacy of Dr. Clodius is as nothing to the underhand diplomacy in the use of which Berlin sticks at nothing to frighten or cajole Balkan statesmen or to poison the atmosphere against the Allies. The much-rumoured collaboration between Germany, Russia and Italy (concerning which Italy has been discreetly silent) in promoting what is sometimes alluded to as a Balkan peace, sometimes as spheres of influence in the Balkans, would imply, it is pointed out, the renunciation of the Allied guarantee to Rumania. But the propaganda tends to cancel itself out, for a " Balkan peace " would lose its value if the Balkan States were a " sphere of influence " for one of the dictators. As far as the Allies are concerned Balkan peace is what they have alivays wanted, and their diplomacy has been successful in securing it so far.