Memorandum by the Secretary of State

The Rumanian Minister came in and after asking about the Shanghai situation3 and being told by me that it was slightly more favorable today, owing to the removal of the Japanese outposts from the British and American sectors, he proceeded to tell me about the negotiations of Rumania with Russia in respect to a non-aggression pact. He went on to explain the different non-aggression pacts which were being negotiated by Russia with Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Rumania.

The Minister said that Mr. Litvinov of Russia, while unwilling to settle the question of the rightfulness of Rumania’s occupation of Bessarabia, was nevertheless going to make a non-aggressive pact with her; but that in the negotiations they had run up against the difficulty of drawing the line where aggression should stop. He said that the outer boundary between Russia and Rumania (including in Rumania Bessarabia) is the Dniester River; that Rumania wishes to have that river constitute the line from which aggression by either Rumania or Russia would stop; that Russia is unwilling to have the river the line from which Rumania stops aggression against Russia, but wishes to draw the line further back on the other side of Bessarabia. The Minister said that here they are in a deadlock and the deadlock might have a very serious effect on their ability to disarm, and on the Disarmament Conference. He suggested how important it was to the success of the Conference and expressed a wish for an expression of my sentiments on this subject. I told him I could not express an opinion on such a subject as that except the merely general opinion that we hoped that all obstacles to the success of disarmament might be removed.

At his request I told him that I would talk the matter over with Wallace Murray, with whom he had already discussed it.

H[enry] L. S[timson]