This manifesto is, in short, no more than a perfunctory smoke screen, put up in the hope of concealing some part of the dark deeds now being done in Finland. For light upon the doings of the Soviet it is necessary to go to other sources, and a very interesting piece of new information is contained in Count Ciano’s speech in the Chamber of Fascios on Saturday. We now learn that, while the Kremlin was conducting its negotiations with Ribbentrop unbeknown to the British and French delegations then its guests, Berlin was keeping the secret no less closely from its partner in the Axis. Count Ciano was not informed that the Russo-German pact was in contemplation until two days before Ribbentrop flew to Moscow to sign it. It seems to have been produced as a trump card to convince Signor Mussolini that there was no occasion to attempt a peaceful settlement of the Danzig problem – since now Great Britain and France would not dare to fight. A week earlier the Duce had made the first of several moves in the interest of peace, and Hitler had replied with a refusal, saying that the dispute had already passed out of the diplomatic into the military sphere. This was eighteen days before the invasion of Poland. So much for that persistent claim of Nazi propaganda about the origin of the war — the patience of the Führer .
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