29 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 1

Bulgaria Stands Aside

This country has no reason to be disturbed by the adhesion to the Three-Power Pact of Hungary, Slovakia and Rumania, and their submission to the blessings of Hitler's " New Qrder." Their signatures are no more than admissions of facts already accomplished—they come in as junior partners with the Big Three, Germany, Italy and Japan, with the right to be repre- sented on committees in matters touching their separate interests, but with no voice whatever in general policy. They join as the creatures of Hitler, who have completely sub- ordinated themselves to his will. The " New Order " has been accepted merely by those who were already at Hitler's disposaL It would have been a very different matter if Bulgaria had joined. That vigorous country still has her unrealised aspirations for expansion in Macedonia, and an outlet to the Aegean, and Hitler doubtless hoped to tempt her by promising to satisfy them. But at what cost? King Boris and the majority of Bulgarians whom he appears to have behind him are not blind to the fate of those who have yielded to German blandishments, and they are observing today how Greece is benefiting by a more courageous attitude. More- over, they have been left in no doubt that Turkey would go to war if Greece were attacked in the back. Nor is it likely that Russian diplomatic influence has been helping Germany's game. King Boris has paid his visit to Hitler, but has given nothing away. That Germany's wooing has not been suc- cessful is admitted in the German statement that Bulgaria is not expected to join the Axis. German propaganda has been active, and it is well that Mr. Butler has made the definite statement that if Bulgaria gives no active or passive support to our enemies, the British Government will do its utmost to ensure the integrity and independence of Bulgaria at the peace settlement. The announcement has been well received at Sofia.