16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 2

Stalin's Apostles

Nothing could be more wholesome than the address delivered to some of America's young Communists by President Roosevelt last Saturday. Admirably combining geniality with candour, the President administered appro. priate castigation to the authors of a resolution, carried by an American Youth Council, opposing any help to Finland on the ground that such action was an attempt to forth America into an Imperialistic war. (We are familiar with that kind of resolution over here.) Mr. Roosevelt characterised it tersely as " sheer unexaggerated twaddle based perhaps on sincerity, but at the same time on 90 pei cent. ignorance." All that, and Mr. Roosevelt's concluding advice to his hearers (members of the American Youth Congress) to keep their ideals high but both feet on the ground, is admirable. But one of his statements, that American sympathy is 98 per cent. with the Finns, invites a word of comment. If 98 Americans out of ioo (and the President's figure is no doubt well founded) sympathised with Finland to the very modest extent of one dollar a head, there would be well over $1 oo,000,000 available for the purchase of the munitions which Finland so urgently needs if her existence is to be preserved. Do they?