The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Rumania (Wilson)

No. 259

Sir: Reference is made to the Department’s telegram No. 12 of August 8, 1932, 1 p.m.,13 to your despatch No. 916 of July 13, 1932, and to previous correspondence regarding difficulties experienced by American companies in endeavoring to secure an equal opportunity with competing foreign firms with respect to the conclusion of certain contracts with the Rumanian Government.

The Department has noted your observations concerning the conditions under which the French firm of Thomson-Houston was awarded the contract for railway signal installation. The Department approves your action in seeking to impress upon the Rumanian authorities the fact that nothing less than complete equality of opportunity in matters of this kind can be considered as satisfactory by this Government.

While no useful purpose would be served, presumably, by further representations regarding this particular contract, it is believed that you should seek an early opportunity to make known informally to the Rumanian Prime Minister the highly unfavorable impression which the arbitrary award of this contract has created in this and other departments of this Government. You may add that, should further instances of such inequality of treatment occur, it can hardly be presumed that Rumanian prestige in the financial and business circles of the United States will not be seriously affected. American companies which are invited to submit bids for public contracts in Rumania are necessarily occasioned considerable expense and labor, and such companies have every right, in accordance with the minimum requirements of accepted commercial practice, to expect that the various competing bids will be fairly considered and the contract fairly awarded.

Should suitable opportunity present itself in the course of any conversations you may have with the King, you may in your discretion utilize the present instruction to make known to him the views of this Government, as expressed above.

Very truly yours,

W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.