27 OCTOBER 1939, Page 2

The " Continental Blockade "

So far is Germany convinced of the efficacy of blockade that she is now bent upon establishing a " Continental blockade " of her own against us and the outer world. Her trouble is that apart from her limited power to compel ships desiring to issue from the Baltic to use the Kiel Canal she has little power to use beyond that of economic persuasion. The plan is to form a bloc of European States, includirg South-East Europe and Scandinavia, and supported by ILI. and Russia, which would develop trade among one another and become together self-supporting, to the gradual exclu • sion of Great Britain and the whole outside world. She :- capable of bringing some economic pressure to bear on those South-Eastern countries which have relied on her for a market for a large proportion of their exports, but this no longer backed by over-mastering fear of her militar. power. She has a long way to go before she can persuad the Scandinavian countries that it will benefit them t shut off their trade with the West. That she can put r reliance on exclusive trade with Russia is proved by th= recent British trade agreement with that country ; and it dilkult to see what Italy has to gain by encouraging the Balkan countries to trade with Germany or to restrict her own trade with the West and with the world.