12 JANUARY 1940, Page 2

Germany and the Neutrals

Some time ago concerted newspaper attacks in Germany on a particular State were a danger-signal which no one could afford to ignore. Such attacks on Czecho-Slovakia and Poland were the preliminaries to forcible action. But latterly they have been directed now against this country, now against that, with the apparent object of inspiring fear or causing uncertainty among the Allies. Dr. Megerle, who often speaks for the German Foreign Office, has been saying in the Berlin Biirsen Zeitung that membership of the League of Nations means complicity with the Allies, and other news- papers are directing this reproach particularly against Sweden and Norway. These countries are informed that they are allowing themselves to become the tools of Britain, who under the pretext of helping Finland intends to provide her- self with bases on their coasts. How they are to be acquired without war is not explained. Germany's method of attacking neutral States one after another scarcely endears her to any of them, and has lost much of its effectiveness in inspiring fear since it has become indiscriminately used. But the world at least knows that she has prepared her charge-sheet in advance against all of them, so that when the time comes for the choice of a victim she can proceed against it without further vituperation.