871.4016 Jews/56

The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (Pittman)

My Dear Senator Pittman: I have received your letter of January 11, 19383 enclosing a copy of a Resolution submitted in the Senate4 which calls on the President for information concerning the treatment of Jews in Rumania. In your letter you ask for my consideration of the Resolution and for any comment I care to make thereon.

The Department has been in close touch with the American Minister in Bucharest but has received no reports from him of edicts of the Rumanian Government which are said to be directed against the Jews. There would appear to have been some misunderstanding or confusion with respect to measures which have been considered by the Rumanian Government and those which have actually been taken. The Minister has had several conversations with prominent officials of the Government who have assured him that the Government itself will take no official steps that might be illegal, or contrary to the Rumanian Constitution. Furthermore it is reported that any measures that may be taken by the Government will be directed only against those Jews who have in recent years immigrated into Rumania from other European countries and who have not since their arrival obtained Rumanian naturalization.

Not unmindful of the solicitude in the United States regarding the lot of Jews in Rumania, the Department is following the course of events with sympathetic consideration. In this connection, however, I must point out that any action taken by the Rumanian Government concerning the peoples within its borders is a matter which lies within the jurisdiction of that Government. This Government, in the absence [Page 676]of treaty provisions, cannot intervene in the domestic affairs of another country, except in special circumstances where American citizens or interests are involved. Reference has been made in the press to the Treaty between the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and Rumania, signed at Paris on December 9, 19195 and known as “the Minorities Treaty”, which provides for guaranties of civil and political rights to all inhabitants of Rumania without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion. While the Treaty was signed on behalf of the United States it was not ratified by this Government, and consequently the United States is not a party to the Treaty. However this fact does not mean that the Department is indifferent to developments in Rumania.

In conclusion I wish to point out that Article XII of the Treaty provides a forum—the League of Nations—before which any infractions of the terms of the Treaty may be brought by states which are members of the League and by the Minorities themselves.

Sincerely yours,

Cordell Hull
  1. Not printed.
  2. Senate Resolution 218, 75th Cong., 3d sess.
  3. League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. v, p. 335.