This week, after dawdling 14 days, the Finns cautiously accepted Stalin's handwritten summons to a talk about a proposed pact of mutual assistance which might end Finland's freedom. Last week from Helsinki TIME'S John Walker cabled:

Spring came to northern Europe nearly a month ahead of time, and Helsinki had an unbroken succession of lovely sunlit days. They formed an oddly unsuitable background for glum apprehension and nervous political maneuverings.

It took five hours to fly from Moscow to Helsinki in a Soviet DC-3. But I found myself in an atmosphere so hauntingly reminiscent of Europe in 1939 that I had the...

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