Aaland Islands Lean to Sweden
In Face Of Soviet Pressures
\Vlien the next of Gustav Erik
son‘s famous grain-clippers sets
out on its voyage to Austraila. it
will not fly the traditional Finnish
flag but one closely resembling
the SWedlsh colors.
This is a significant indication
of how the political wind is blow
ing in the little-known Aaland
The islands' political union with
Finlandwas well as its cultural
autonomy M has been guaranteed
by the League of Nations and the
United Nations since 1921.
But recently relations with Fin
land have cooled perceptibly. And
there is Russia to be considered.
Of these 6.554 Baltic sea islands.
only about 300 are populated, and
since they were demilitarized by
international agreement in 1921,
the Aalands have often seemed too
remote for the great powers to
The 3.000 inhabitants of the cap
ital. Mariehamn, and the remain
ing 27.000 have managed to re
main at peace on the edge of a
It hardly looks. however. as if
the islanders‘ obscurity were to
last much longer. Geography and
the inhabitants’ individualism are
fast forcing the islands into un
The last Finnish Parliament was
unable to agree on legislation to
increase Aaland autonomy. A re
vised Aaland Statute is likely to be
among the first business of the
next session, which began on
Wave of Nationansm
Meanwhile. a n unprecedented
wave of nationalism has swept the
Aalands in connection with the
unveiling of a statue (on Aug. 22)
to Julius Sundblom, a former school
teacher and the preeminent champ
iOn of Aaland independence.
The Rusians, who have been try
ing ever since the 1944 Finno-
Soviet armistice to coax Finland
behind the “iron curtain" by vari
eties of political and economic
pressure. have recently charged
that the Aaiand islands domain
“has become a pawn in the great
powers‘ strategic plans."
Actually there is no evidence
that any great power except Rus
sia now has the slightest design
on the Aalands. It is obviously
to the interest of all except Russia
that t he demilitarized Aaland
status should be preserved.
On the other hand it is natural
that Russia should watch Aaland
developments with concern.
The islands form a sort of giant's
causeway for 160 miles between
Abo (Turku), the westerly port of
Russo-dominated Finland. and
Stockholm, which Moscow con
stantly asserts is a potential west
ern springboard eastward.
Militarily the Aalands are im
portant for various reasons.
In another war they would pro
vide a natural hideout for raiders
against the Soviet battle fleet and
merchant marine in the Baltic and
provide a bridge for smuggling
western agents and arms into
The Aalands straddle the ap
proaches through the Gulf of Fin
land to Leningrad. to the entrance
of the Stalin Baltic-White Sea
canal, and to the main Soviet
naval base on Kronstadt island.
They dominate the junction of
the Gulf of Finland with the Gulf
of Bothnia. which is patrolled by
the Swedish navy and is a trans
port route tor highgrade Swedish
iron ore from Lapland to the
Moreover in any war involving
a Russo-Swedish conflict the nan
row Gulf of Bothnia also might be
an invasion route for the large
and well supplied Swedish army.
And the islands might form an
outpost for launching of self-pro.
pelled weapons against the U. S.
S. R. and its satellites to the south.
The Anlanda also obstruct any
potential western naval force at
tempting to carry out the classical
operation of forcing the Swedo—
Danish narrows and breaking the
Baltic blockade. a task which was
mooted but never attempted in
World Wars I and II. It might be
undertaken in a future conflict.
The Aalanders are silently aware
of these strategic considerations
and want to escape the implica
tions through neutrality.
The first step toward neutrality,
they think, is fuller autonomy.
Until 30 years ago the Aalands,
like Finland. were Rusian (czar
ist) territory. But the majority
of the islanders speak neither Fin
nish nor Russian. They are Swedes
and now want mofe than ever to
reunite with their own race. This
is not merely cultural sentimen
tality but also political foresight
of a sort.
It was League of Nations press
ure after World War I which per
suaded the Aalanders to acquiesce
in union with Finland—and then
only after far-reaching cultural
and economic safeguards had been
Vital to Sweden
On the other hand, the Aalandl
are vital to the Swedish defense
system in the Stockholm archi
pelago, and Sweden wants to ce
ment its ties with the islanders as
far and as fast as is politically
possible for a small country in the
Thus the dormant Aaland prob
lem has come to a head. The
Aalanders already have had their
own parliament and house for ten
years. Now they want to acquire
the right to remain neutral, to
secede from Finland. or to join
Sweden, as they please.
New Type Bicycle
Has Hubless Wheel
OSLO—A unique bicycle whose
back wheel is little more than
a rim and an inflated tube was
recently exhibited in 0510. Instead
of the conventional bicycle wheel
with hub and spokes. the new
departure is supported at three
points inside the rim. At mm of
these points, ball-bearing pull
eys allow the rim to rotate, while
at a third a rubber-surfaced drive
wheel turns against the inside of
the rim to power the vehicle.
Power is supplied from conven
tional foot pedals.
The Norwegian inventor claims
that the new invention puts 70%
cf the cyclist's weight into loco
motion, and that the hubless
wheel acts as its own shock ab
sorber. The principle is patented.
and according to the Oslo press
report the new-type bicycle will
lsoon go into mass production.
iSimilar production plans are pro
1jected for other lands where pat
ient rights have been secured.
~ MEN'S SHOP
WELL DRESSED MEN
538 Commercial Phone 1244
E. V. McNEELEY
E. I). JOHNSON
583 Commercial Ph. 488
Author To Sweden
: Mrs. Frances Crane of Law
renceville, 111., was a passenger
aboard the Swedish American m0-
torliner “Stockholm." when the
ship left for Sweden last trip. Mrs,
Crane, who is an author. expects
to find material for a new novel.
Swedish Chamber Of
NEW YORK, Sept. 8—The Pa
cific Coast regional office of the
Swedish Chamber of Commerce of
the U.S.A., located at 465 Cali
fornia Street, San Francisco. was
officially opened August 23. The
office has actually been in opera
tion since early May this year, al
though much of the work has been
of a preparatory and organiza—
tional nature. A number of trade
contracts have. however, been es
tablished through the Chamber
during this time. The event was
celebrated by a dinner on board
the M. S. "Golden Gate," of the
Swedish Johnson Line. The first
task of the Chamber, said Manne
‘Lindholm. Swedish Consul General
in San Francisco, will be to con
tribute a better balance of trade
between Sweden and the United
States. Observing that Swedish
,American trade is at a low ebb to
‘day due to Sweden's shortage of
:dollar exchange. Mr. Lindhollm
emphasized that this condition is
temporary and predicted that it
would be followed ‘by a great
upsurge of trade between the two
countries. Sweden will then again
be one cf the largest consumers
of such Pacific Coast products as
fresh and dried fruit. canned goods,
and frozen foods. Sweden, on the
other hand, will now try to in
ltroduce several Swedish products,
Inot before seen on the Pacific
‘Coast, such as prefabricated
houses. furniture. tools. cutlery.
and various other articles of steel
Mr. & Mrs. Raymond 0. Luce
531 Franklin Ph. 5
Astoria - Seaside
276 12th St. Ph. 321
: Union Fishermen's (Io-0p
% Packing Company
, Packers of
! "Gillneﬁers' lest" Salmon and Tuna
’ 324 Toylo: St. Telephone no Astoria, Ore.
Phone 1 49
No The Woods
Norwegian Whalers desiring a.
home of their own may now earn
one by stowing their sea bags and
shouldering an ax, according to a
ruling recently passed by overn
ment authorities. By joining the
loggers at work in Norwegian for
ests, members of whaling crews
may, during the off season, se
cure a building permit for the erec
tion of their own homes.
Each will be expected to fall a
quantity of timber equal to twice
the amount needed for the building
of his home. Half of his total fall
cover his lumber needs, while the
remainder will go to Norwegian
wood processing industries to help
meet 1948—49 wood products export
The logging seamen will be paid
prevailing wages during their on
shore period, and a sizeable num
ber of Whalers is expected to par
ticipate voluntarily in the program.
Many Ancient Norse
OSLO. —— Highlighted by two
huge curled bronze trumpets
fashioned over 30 centuries ago
by an ancient Norse craftsman.
an exhibition of historic Norwe
gian musical instruments opened
recently at Oslo's Folk Museum.
On display are over 250 different
items including varieties of harps.
stringed instruments, horns, and
Oldest of these is a round lyre
unearthed near Nore in Numedal.
Norway. which is a northern
adaptation of the earlier Greek
lyre. Early examples of the unique
Norwegian harding-fiddle with its
resounding under strings are also
on display as are early dulcimers
and lutes. Visitors to the ex
hibit are treated to daily concerts
by specialists on these instru
ments of the past.
The number of unemployed in
Denmark at the end of June was
8.222 (men and women). This is
1.4 percent of all insured Danish
Greetings from Astoria, Oregon
Greenberg's Furnil'ure Siore
Make Furnishing Your Home A Pleasure
628 COMMERCIAL ASTORIA Phone 54
COLUMBIA IIWEII PACKERS
A Complete and Thoroughly Modem Hospital
Serving Astoria and Clatsop County
326 16th St.. Astoria
THE SCANDINAVIAN AMERICAN
New “Doctor Ship"
For Arctic Norway
In a land of few roads where
most transportation is by water,
residents of Finnmark Province
in Northern Norway have become
accustomed to visits by the “church
boat." the “doctor boat." and a.
variety of other floating institu
tions normally located on the
shore. Following the Nazi destruc
tion of this province, however, re
construction has made it necessary
to serve large areas with a mini
mum of land transport and on
The latest addition to this unique
fleet is the hospital ship “Dr.
Holmboe,” now stationed at Maa
soy, far north of the Arctic
Circle. A 50-foot cabin cruiser,
the new vessel will serve as a.
floating office for District Physi
cian Dr. Ingar Bjornstad and will
enable the hospital staff to serve
more adequately the far-flung
arctic territory. Though minor
cases can be treated on board the
vessel. it is also fitted as a sea
going ambulance for transporting
patients to the district hospital.
The “Dr. Holmboe" is the second
vessel of its type to be outfitted
for the Finnmark service. The
first. the “Dr. Weasel." has been
on duty since the summer of 1947.
Norway Packs Great
Sea Crab Catch
OSLO.— Fishermen in Trond
heim. Norway, whose winter
fishing catch this year was far
from expectations, were unex
pectedly blessed with an invasion
of sea crabs. This marine deli
cacy, new to these parts, has
provided good raw material for
local canneries. and at present
over 100 men are working night
and day to take advantage of
the unexpected arﬂvais. l.
The Mausund Fish Cooperative
of that city has sold 800.000
quarter cases to a British firm,
and sample shipments are also on
their way to the United States
(‘. O. MOBERG, Supt.
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