26 JULY 1940, Page 2

Balkan Ministers in Germany

M. Gigurtu, the Rumanian Prime Minister, and the Ger- man Minister in Bucharest spent last week-end together;cloubt- less discussing the situation which will come to a head during the next day or two. For M. Gigurtu, with his Foreign Minister M. Manoilescu, is now on his way to Germany at the invitation of the Reich Government, and their visit will coincide with that of the Bulgarian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. The heads of both Governments are likely to be told in somewhat peremptory terms what Hitler expects of them. Hitler certainly does not want the Balkans to fight among themselves; still less does he want to have to intervene to save Rumania or any other Balkan State from Russia. His chief anxiety is that the harvests should be reaped in peace for the benefit of Germany and that Increased supplies of oil should come from Rumania. But to secure immunity from aggression Rumania may be called on to appease Hungary and Bulgaria by surrenders of parts of Transylvania and the Dobrudja, respectively. Hitler probably hopes to secure by the majesty of his presence what he can scarcely wish at this moment to have to enforce by arms. His pre-occupation with Britain and his concern about Russia should give some re-assurance to the Balkan States. If they were willing to act together these factors would be a great source of strength to them. Divided, they put themselves at Hitler's mercy. But we have to reckon with the fact that Rumania has given way completely to Axis pressure. Action taken against a British oil-company this week is symptomatic.