27 OCTOBER 1939, Page 2

The Russian Attitude

The Soviet Government is consolidating its gains in Poland and the Baltic countries. A plebiscite has been held in the two Polish provinces annexed to Russia, and the inhabit- ants under this nominally democratic procedure have com- pliantly voted themselves in under the new dispensation. Russian troops have been admitted to their allotted posts in Estonia, and Admiral Isakoff has thanked the Latvians for their co-operation, insisting that the pact is based on a " mutual " policy of domestic non-interference. The plans for fortifying bases in the eastern Baltic will assure Russian supremacy in those waters. The Soviet Government has accepted the situation produced by Turkey's rejection of its proposals quite amiably. Altogether Germany appears to have less- and less cause to congratulate herself on Herr von Ribbentrop's diplomatic victory. We have nothing but that Minister's word to show that Germany is obtaining materials from Russia ; but M. Stalin appears to have refused to send the aeroplanes Herr Hitler asked for, and it is reported that the I74 tons of Soviet gold deposited in Holland, which it was believed were to be paid to Germany, are earmarked for another purpose. Though Germany is no longer compelled to fight on two fronts, she is not relieved of the necessity of keeping large armies in Poland.