3 MARCH 1939, Page 2

Contacts with Russia The presence of the Prime Minister at

the Russian Ambassador's reception on Wednesday was an interesting prelude to the forthcoming visit of the Secretary of the De- partment of Overseas Trade to Moscow. Mr. Hudson is going on a mission with a limited purpose, and it would be a mistake to entertain expectations which could hardly be fulfilled in the course of a visit of less than a week. That does not detract from the value of the conversations between Mr. Hudson and the Ministers and officials whom he will meet. If they are primarily exploratory, that implies continuance and development. Obtuse prejudice has influenced the rela- tionship between this country and Russia more than it should, and signs that the Government has come to realise the value of closer contact with Moscow are very welcome. Russia is evolving in her own way, and it was for some years a bloody and brutal way. But we are concerned with Russia's external rather than her internal policy, and since 1921 she has unquestionably not merely maintained a peaceful attitude herself, but been a factor for peace in Eastern Europe. Internally, moreover, if Mr. Walter Duranty has rightly assessed the situation in his interesting article on a later page, the era of purges is over, and the country is pursuing an increasingly normal path of development. There is every reason why Anglo-Russian contacts should be strengthened in London, at Moscow and at Geneva.