Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Secretary of State, the Rumanian Minister (Cretziano), and the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Shaw)

The Secretary explained to the Minister that he had wanted to speak with him concerning the attitude of American public opinion towards the Jewish question in Rumania. He made it perfectly clear that he was not making official representations either to the Rumanian Government or to Mr. Cretziano. He said it would be obviously inappropriate for him to make such representations on a matter which concerned the domestic administration and politics of Rumania. The Secretary added, however, that he had desired quite informally and in the friendliest spirit, to call the Minister’s attention to the existence of a certain opinion in this country concerning the treatment of Jews in Rumania and to show him the expressions of that opinion which the Department had recently received. The Minister said that reports concerning Rumanian Jews had been greatly exaggerated in this country. The Secretary replied that he was not passing judgment as to the facts of the situation but was simply calling the Minister’s attention to American public opinion. The Minister suggested that Mr. Culbertson was in a position to contradict the exaggerated stories which were being circulated regarding the treatment of Jews in Rumania. The Secretary intimated that it was not the function of our Minister at Bucharest to investigate into the manner in which the Rumanian Government dealt with its own subjects. He said that for Mr. Culbertson to undertake such an investigation might properly be looked upon with disfavor by the Rumanian Government. He explained to the Minister the attitude which this Government had taken towards the request of American Catholics for representations to the Mexican Government on the treatment accorded to Mexican Catholics. The Secretary concluded his remarks by asking the Minister to let Mr. Shaw show him the various communications concerning the Jewish question in Rumania which the Department has been receiving for the past month.

Mr. Shaw showed the Minister a number of the above mentioned communications, calling particular attention to the letter of Rabbi Wise transmitting the protest passed at the American Jewish Congress12 and to the letters received from Senators and Congressmen.

G. Howland Shaw
  1. See footnote 9, p. 637.