The Ambassador in Austria-Hungary (Penfield) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: After studying conditions and circumstances recently developed by the war, I decide to take the risk of predicting, but only to you, that the chances are more than even that Roumania will this summer enter the conflict and on the side of the Entente.

From a person highly placed in Roumanian diplomacy I am assured that this is probable, and from an Austrian military expert I learn that the step is regarded by high officials of his Government as more than likely to ensue. If it comes to pass it will leave this Monarchy with an enemy on every foot of boundary with the exception of the small frontiers where Austria adjoins Switzerland and Germany. The unfortunate plight of the Monarchy of the Habsburgs with Roumania added to the list of enemies would then be more than obvious.

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Roumania has always sympathized with the Entente, but the desire to enter the lists was held in check during the months when the Austro-German armies were conquering Serbia and the Austro-Hungarian forces taking possession of Montenegro.

Now, with the irresistible advance of Russia into the Bukovina and the capitulation of Greece to the demands of the Entente Powers, the desire to participate in the struggle has had recrudescence, and the reports from Bucharest are that nothing short of a miracle can keep Roumania out of the war—most Roumanians believe that the psychological moment is near. The Roumanian King, it is known, is doing his utmost to have his country remain neutral.

It is Roumania’s ambition to restore Transylvania to its former place in the Roumanian Kingdom. A year ago the report was current that the Emperor Francis Joseph had said that he would give no part of that region to Roumania as a peace inducement, and that Roumania could never by force take a meter of soil from him.

By the sale of cereals and other essentials to Germany and Austria, at enormous profit, Roumania’s finances at present are in a position of enviable solvency.

I am [etc.]

Frederic C. Penfield