12 JANUARY 1940, Page 2

Finland's Need of Help

Brilliant as the Finnish victories have been, it would be a delusion to suppose that a nation of four millions could stand out indefinitely against armies drawn from I8o millions unless powerful help was sent to them. Winter is at present their ally, but when the thaws come in the spring, if they have been able to hold out till then, they will no longer have the support of the extreme cold and the snow-covered ground. Help in one form or another—munitions, money, food, Red Cross comforts—has been promised them by Britain, France, Italy, the U.S.A., Canada, and the Argentine Republic, as well as by Sweden, but it must come quickly if it is to be in time. Such help, if it is to be effective, must be on a large scale, and the weapons must be nothing less than the best, for the only hope for the Finns is to make up by superior machine-power what they lack in numbers. The war material which Italy was despatching is now being stopped at the German ports, and Italy is asking upon what grounds the German Government has taken this action. The latter has to choose between offending Russia and further offending Italy who, if she chose, could retaliate by stopping the transit of goods across her frontier to Germany. If it is true that Germany is offering to mediate in the Finnish-Russian conflict it is possible that Russia might welcome an opportunity of extricating herself from an ill- considered adventure. But Finland cannot count upon any such way out. Her friends must continue to act on the supposition that her position is desperate.