18 OCTOBER 1940, Page 2


WITH no news, as these words are written, of the British Minister having left Bucharest, relations with Rumania may be considered not to have reached an actual rupture. But it seems impossible that the rupture can be postponed for more than a matter of days, or even hours. Rumania has been completely annexed by the Axis, and pressure of different kinds, in the one case minatory in the other adulatory, is being exerted on Greece and Bulgaria. Turkey has declared that she will stand by her undertakings to Greece, but in their published form they do not provide for mutual assistance. There may, however, be secret clauses. The presence of Mr. Eden at Cairo is evidence of the importance the Czbinet rightly attaches to the Middle East. The unknown factor is still Russia, and the only tangible feature of it is the explicit denial by Moscow of the statement that Germany had informed the U.S.S.R. in advance of her intention to enter Rumania. Russo-Turkish relations are believed to be cordial, and conversations which should be useful are in progress between Mr. Sumner Welles and the Russian Ambassador in Washington, and M. Molotoff and the American Ambassador in Moscow. Meanwhile what this widening war means to th,:. British taxpayer is evidenced by the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that it is now costing £9,000,000 a day. As the price of victory the burden will be ungrudgingly shouldered.