20 AUGUST 1948, Page 3

From Words to Action in Belgrade

Day by day Yugoslav statements about relations with Russia become more at variance with Yugoslav actions.' In a speech delivered last Friday Marshal Tito protested once more that his agrarian policy was not at variance with Communist doctrine and that his will to co-operation with the Soviet Union and the other Eastern satellites was unimpaired. At the meetings of the Danube Conference, the Yugoslav representatives have not deviated in the slightest from the line marked out by Mr. Vyshinsky. In both cases it has been confirmed that an Eastern quarrel is not going to lead Yugoslavia into any overt demonstration of Western sympathies. Nor indeed is there any evidence of covert liaison. The latest British attack in the Security Council on Yugoslav breaches of the Italian peace treaty in Trieste pretty adequately reflects the tone of present relations. In fact if the Communist Tito stands up to the Com- munists in the Kremlin he will do so with no other backing than Yugoslavia can itself provide. And that is the way things are going. The central committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party is tighten- ing its grip on internal administration in the face of verbal Cominform attacks. Bickering with Czechoslovakia and Hungary goes on openly. And talk of economic and even military sanctions to be applied at Russian direction has not been mc-t by any sign of weakening in

Marshal Tito's determination to continue working on national lines. He will certainly need all the determination he can muster. The cutting off of oil supplies from Rumania would be a disaster for him (the supply from Albania has already ceased), and there is no doubt about the loyalty to the Soviet Union of the formidable Rumanian matron Mrs. Packer. A disruption of trade with Hungary and Czechoslovakia would be even worse, and the fact that those countries would also suffer by it is no guarantee that it will not happen. And when Generals faithful to the Cominform are shot while attempting to escape into Rumania, as was General Yovanovich last week, the crisis cannot be far off.