740.0011 Mutual Guarantee (Locarno)/549

Memorandum by the American Minister in Rumania (Harrison) of a Conversation With the Rumanian Minister for Foreign Affairs (Titulescu), March 9, 193671

A day or so after his return to Bucharest with His Majesty King Carol, I sought an interview with Mr. Titulescu, through his principal secretary, Mr. Racoviceanu. The latter informed me at that time that Mr. Titulescu had taken a bad cold but that he would be glad to arrange a time for me to call as soon as Mr. Titulescu would be able to receive me.

After the Hitler speech on March 7th it became evident that Mr. Titulescu would, if his health permitted, leave at once for the meeting of the Council of the League at Geneva. I therefore telephoned Mr. Racoviceanu on Monday morning, March 9th, and reminded him of my request. At five o’clock Mr. Racoviceanu telephoned to say that Mr. Titulescu would be glad to see me for a few minutes before his departure that evening.

Mr. Titulescu opened the conversation by stating that in his opinion what the allies needed was a Hitler or a Mussolini. The French, he said, should have immediately mobilized and promptly announced their intention of sending their forces into the demilitarized zone. We would then have seen the British get busy in Berlin to have the German troops withdrawn. As usual, he said, the French had taken a mild course, although he had heard from Paris that they had, in [Page 228] fact, greatly increased their frontier forces. Foolishly, however, they had refrained from making any public announcement to that effect.

As regards the possibility of immediate hostilities, Mr. Titulescu replied: “We are now on the way to war—not today, not to-morrow, perhaps—but if the situation is allowed to continue, war is bound to come.”

In his opinion the Council of the League will now declare sanctions against Germany. This time, however, it would be a real embargo. It is necessary, he said, to make Germany understand once for all that actions of this character are not permissible. He also informed me, confidentially, that he had received full authority from his government to cut off all trade with Germany if such action should be required of its members by the League.

In reply to a question from me, Mr. Titulescu expressed the view that a Danubian arrangement might be reached if it were not for the conflicting aspirations of Germany and Italy in the Danubian Basin.

  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Minister in his despatch No. 70, March 16; received April 1.