740.00/1218: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bullitt ) to the Secretary of State

848. I had a long talk with Gafencu, Rumanian Minister for Foreign Affairs this afternoon.

Gafencu said that he was now satisfied with the present relationship between Poland and Rumania. He said that he felt certain that if Rumania should be attacked Poland would come to the aid of Rumania and without saying so implied that the understanding for mutual assistance between Poland and Rumania had been reached.

This impression was reenforced when he said that he was sure there would be no further difficulties in respect of Turkey’s commitments to France and England. He insisted that the Turks were now entirely satisfied with regard to Rumania’s policies. Since the Turks have been insisting that an arrangement between Poland and Rumania should precede their arrangements with France and England, the inference that the agreement had been reached between Poland and Rumania was clear.

Gafencu talked at length about the point of view of Rumania with regard to the Soviet Union. He said that he had small belief that any promise that the Soviet Union might make to France and England would be respected. He could not possibly enter into any direct defensive agreement with the Soviet Union. Hitler had stated to him a few days ago that if Rumania should enter into a pact with the Soviet Union it would be the end of friendly relations between Germany and Rumania and had implied that Germany would attack Rumania at once.

Gafencu added that Rumania would be most embarrassed if either England or France should make pacts with the Soviet Union guaranteeing Rumania against attacks as such pacts might be in themselves sufficient to provoke Hitler to attack Rumania. Nevertheless he had taken the attitude both with Chamberlain and Daladier that if France and England should desire to make arrangements with the Soviet Union which would guarantee Rumania without mentioning Rumania he would not object.

Gafencu went on to say that owing to the deficiency in armament of the Rumanian Army it might become vital to Rumania to receive supplies of arms and munitions and airplanes from the Soviet Union. [Page 176] In case of an attack by Germany he would of course make any military arrangement he could with the Soviet Union.

He added that he did not believe that the Soviet Union had any intention of sending the Red Army under any conditions across any frontier in Europe. The policy of the Soviet Union would remain to become involved as little as possible in any European war in the hope that at the end of such a war in an atmosphere of complete destruction and exhaustion the Red Army might sweep the Continent in the interest of Bolshevism.

Incidentally in discussing the needs of the Rumanian Army Gafencu asked me if I thought Rumania could obtain aeroplanes, anti-aircraft guns and anti-tank guns in the United States. I replied that my impression was that our supplies of these three instruments of war were exceedingly low and that I did not believe there were any stocks available at the present time.

Gafencu instructed the Rumanian Minister in Paris, Tatarescu, who was present during our conversations, to give me a list of the things that Rumania needed with a request for American assistance in obtaining them.

Gafencu also said that he was intensely interested in increasing trade between Rumania and the United States, and asked me if I had any ideas on this subject. I replied that I had none but that I thought that Mr. Henry Grady,78 who had visited Rumania recently and was now on his way to the United States, had developed certain ideas.

I gathered the clear impression from a long conversation that Gafencu may be counted on to play the game with France and England but that he will continue to make gestures of friendliness, especially in the economic field, toward Hitler. In this connection he said that Hitler had convinced him that if Rumania should refuse in time of peace to allow Germany to obtain Rumanian oil, wheat and other products, Hitler would not hesitate to attack Rumania at once.

  1. Chairman, Committee for Reciprocity Information, United States Tariff Commission.