All these questions appeared to assume critical importance in 1927, the year of the Soviet 'war-scare'. Events in China had taken an ugly tum, culminating in the Peking Raid in April, when the Soviet Embassy was looted of several of its compromising documents. On 12th May, 1927, the Soviet premises connected with the Trade Delegation and Arcos at 49 Moorgate, in London, were raided by uniformed and plain-clothes policemen; fourteen days later diplomatic relations between Great Britain and the Soviet Union were broken off, a melancholy climax to long months of strain and tension in the contacts between the two countries. Events in Poland, where in 1926 Pilsudski had dramatically gathered power into his own hands, also took a threatening tum; Soviet-Polish negotiations received a set-back with the assassination on 7th June of the Soviet minister, Voikov, by a young Russian exile. Capitalist plots and the machinations of powers bent on warring against the Soviet Union were seemingly espied on all sides. In July 1927 Stalin, seeing in Voikov's murder the Sarajevo of a new imperialist war, publicly proclaimed the threat of war:

It can scarcely be doubted that the main issue of the present day is that of the threat of a new imperialist war. It is not "a matter of some vague and immaterial 'danger' of a new war, but of the real and actual threat of a new war in general, and of a war against the USSR in particular.2