20 DECEMBER 1940, Page 1

Yugoslavia and Hungary

Though Hungary has been much under the influence of Germany in recent months, and indeed owes to Germany her recent gains in territory at the expense of Rtimania, she has no desire to become a subservient tool or to be drawn into war in the German interest. Though she has accepted adherence to the Tripartite Treaty between Germany, Italy and japan, and to that extent acquiesces in the " New Order," it is certainly not in accordance with German instructions that the Hungarian-Yugoslav Pact of Friendship has been negotiated and signed. If it had brought Yugoslavia into the New Order as a satellite of the Axis Germany would have been well pleased. But it does nothing of the kind. Yugoslavia is deter- mined to be independent and to defend her independence if it is threatened. Her position until recently has been extremely precarious. With Italy on her western border, Germany and Hungary on the north, Rumania and Bulgaria on the east, she was singularly exposed to possible aggression ; and at one time she was anxious lest Italy should seek to invade Greece through her territory. But Italy after her defeats is not in a condition in which she is likely to look for new enemies. The new pact with Hungary creates a situation in which it would be harder for Germany to use Hungarian territory for an attack on the Balkans ; and it is one step along the road towards the creation of a Balkan-Danubian bloc which might keep Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey out of the war.