22 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 2

The Northern Neutrals

The four northern neutral States have denied individually and categorically the German allegation that Great Britain had been bringing pressure to bear on them to trade with her to the exclusion of Germany. The truth is, as a British official statement makes dear, that Britain has promised to do its utmost to facilitate bona fide neutral trade, and though any war involving a blockade must mean some inter- ference, which may often be vexatious, with neutral ships in the course of the search for contraband, it is even more to our interest than the neutrals, to reduce such operations to a minimum. The meeting between the Prime and Foreign Ministers of the four States (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland) at Copenhagen on September 18th and 19th was of interest for the extent of the collaboration arranged for under war-pressure. This will be less military than economic, and it may go very far. The prospects for anything like federation in Europe are the reverse of bright, but if the Scandinavian States and Finland could move visibly in that direction the outlook might be altered.