Paris Peace Conf. 771.72/1: Telegram

The Chargé in France ( Bliss ) to the Acting Secretary of State

6572. Following joint telegram from Allied Ministers at Jassy dated Bucharest December 27th:

“The Roumanian government has communicated to us the following telegram which it has received from the Directing Committee of Transylvania:

‘The Serbian army of Banat has interned at Belgrade hundreds of the Roumanians of Banat. [The town of Arad?] is full of refugees which the terror of the Serbian armies has driven from Banat. The Serbian Commander of Timisoara has dissolved the Roumanian National Council of the district of Timis and all the Roumanian National guards. The Roumanian people is profoundly indignant at the Serbian army which it has always admired and with which it has suffered during the days of cruel trials.’

In order to avoid new conflicts it is indispensable to have all of Banat temporarily occupied by Allied troops. The occupation of a portion of this province by the Serbians results without doubt from the armistice concluded between Austria and Italy. It may favor the Italian policy which tends to set Roumania against Serbia in order to weaken the last-named in the Adriatic. But we cannot lend ourselves to this action without jeopardizing for the time our prestige and the harmony necessary between the Allies. It does not suffice to declare as we have already done according to our instructions, that the occupation of territory by the troops of a certain nationality will nowise influence the definite allotment of these territories. One must in addition take clever measures to avoid violent incidents which embitter the relations between the Roumanians and the Serbians. Mr. Bratiano moreover has not failed to point out to us that our demarche is without object as far as he is concerned since the Roumanian troops occupy no territory promised to another Allied State whilst the Serbian troops occupy the Banat. The rights of Roumania have been recognized by the Entente when the Allies entered the War. We have however learned that the Roumanian troops are said to have occupied a portion of the Bukovina beyond the limits fixed by the convention of August 17th, 1916. If this infringement is confirmed we shall not fail to make the befitting observations.”