File No. 763.72/1135

The Minister in Roumania, Servia, and Bulgaria (Vopicka) to the Secretary of State

Roumanian Series]

No. 133]

Sir: Referring to my telegram of September 26 [29?], 1914, 3 p.m., in regard to Roumania’s probable entrance in action in the war have the honor to report that the Council of the Crown which was to have been convoked has been indefinitely adjourned as in the unanimous opinion of the leaders of all the political parties there is no reason, at the present moment, to consider a change in Roumanian foreign policy.1 I transmit as an enclosure with this despatch a copy and translation of the official communique2 announcing this adjournment.

As is known to the Department, King Charles of Roumania is a German by birth, a member of the non-reigning branch of the Hohenzollern family and a nephew of Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany. Upon the outbreak of the present war, His Majesty used all his influence to the end that Roumania throw in its lot with the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. At the Council of the Crown held last August, as I reported to you in my telegram of August 2 [11?],3 his wishes were disregarded by an almost complete unanimity. This conference made up of members of the present Cabinet, former prime ministers, and leaders of the several prominent political parties decided in favor of a policy of expectant neutrality.

Since July the situation has changed greatly, the German forces operating in Western Europe have been unable as yet to occupy Paris and subjugate the greater portion of France in a short brilliant [Page 122] campaign as was expected by the German Government. In Western Europe the Russian forces have progressed slowly but irresistibly towards the heart of Austria-Hungary, and the towns of Lemberg and Cernowitz are already in their hands.

Popular opinion in Roumania [which] has always been in close sympathy with France, for the customs and manners and to a large extent the Roumanian language have been derived from France, did not remain unmoved by these events.

The ambition of all patriotic Roumanians is the realization of the hegemony of the Roumanian race—the union of the Roumanians of Transylvania and Bucovina and later those of Bessarabia with the present Kingdom of Roumania—the forming of a Great Roumania, and public opinion in Roumania feels that there is offered at the present moment an opportunity which may, perhaps, never be repeated, to join Russia and her allies, of adding to the Roumanian Crown the rich provinces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire almost entirely peopled by Roumanians.

Against this tide of public opinion is the King and his circle supported by many of the conservative statesmen of the country, who feel that any deviation on the part of Roumania from its declared policy of neutrality would be in the nature of an adventure and fraught with the possibility of great danger for the country.

Such is in brief the situation in Roumania, a situation which is styled by a portion of the press as the “Conflict between the King and his country.”

The military forces of the country, though no mobilization has been ordered, are practically on a war basis and the people and the army are anxious and expectant.

I will keep the Department in touch by telegraph and post with the developments in the situation.

I have [etc.]

Charles J. Vopicka
  1. Ante, p. 114.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Ante, p. 64.