File No. 763.72111/390
The Minister in Roumania (Vopicka) to the Secretary of State
Bucharest, August 19, 1914.
[Received September 19.]
Sir: I have the honor, in confirmation of my recent telegrams reporting upon the political situation in Roumania in relation to the general European conflagration, to state that public opinion in Roumania is becoming more pronounced in favor of the maintenance of complete neutrality by this country in the present crisis. This is the official attitude of the Government, no change having been decided upon since the convocation of the Grown conference on August 3 at which, as I informed you in my telegram of August 4, 9 a.m.,1 it was decided that Roumania should remain neutral and that while no general mobilization was ordered at that time the troops along the frontier were, it was decided, to be augmented. This military movement has since continued and Roumania is at the present time practically upon its war basis.
As I informed you in my telegram of August 11, 11 a.m.,2 the efforts of Austria to embroil Roumania in the conflict by calling upon it to fulfill the terms of the treaty entered into with Austria thirty-five years ago have not been successful, although the sympathies of His Majesty the King of Roumania, who is a member of the Hohenzollern family, are naturally with the Germans and Austrians in the present contest.
The present condition of affairs in Europe has had A disastrous result upon business in Roumania. Banking transactions are at A standstill and the circulation of silver coins was so abridged that until the Government put into circulation bank notes of five francs it was with difficulty that change could be obtained for a 20-or A 100-franc note.
Mr. Take Jonesco, the former Minister of the Interior; has well expressed in an interview, a translation of which I enclose with this despatch, the point of view which is that of A large majority of Roumanian public men who are neither closely affiliated with the Crown on the one hand nor Russophiles on the other hand.
I will continue to keep the Department advised in regard to Roumania’s position.
I have [etc.]
Translation of interview with Mr. Take Jonesco, the former Minister of the Interior
Upon the question asked of Mr. Take Jonesco if Roumania would be able to stay neutral, Mr. Take Jonesco replied:
Yes, I assure you with certainty that we shall not be attacked by any one of the two large empires actually in war. Both know that we can not allow the violation of our territory and neither one wishes to add to his enemy half a million bayonets.
Roumania cannot be dishonored and suspected of any immoral politics such as to wait to see which is the weaker of the two enemies to declare against him. Besides, outside of any moral question, those who would advocate such a policy might be greatly disappointed. The actual war will last for some time, will be difficult and will see many ups and downs.
Two enormous armies are taking part in it on different fields of war, the land and the sea. The outcome cannot depend on one or two battles. Any one suspecting himself competent might be mistaken.
In regard to the opinion of the other party Mr. Take Jonesco added:
I see that the Government through its Ministry of Finance has given to the country many quieting assurances.
Nobody has the right to doubt men as Messrs. J. Bratiano and his colleagues, and the conservators [sic] whom I have met these last days the leader of which is Mr. J. Lahovary, whose competence and sincerity cannot be doubted, I have found of the same opinion as myself.
Mr. Take Jonesco further adds:
I have listened to all sorts of contingencies, but there is not one which could change the will of the nation. This will is the result of a sincere examination of the interests of the Roumanian kingdom, the only ones for which one can give Roumanian blood and spend the gold of the country.