760C.62/1039: Telegram

The Minister in Rumania ( Gunther ) to the Secretary of State

153. I have had a longish talk with the King. Briefly he is pessimistic as to outcome of present crisis even though his information [Page 371] now indicates that Italy will not fight, at least in beginning. He feels that Hitler, misled by Von Ribbentrop, is still unconvinced that England will fight. The next few days he thinks will be decisive period (it will be remembered, however, that the King was pessimistic also last spring).

The King was not surprised by Germany’s non-aggression pact with Russia nor does he feel that it alters the situation particularly. Hitler, he thinks, will make the most of it internally and of the commercial pact but that his principal motive therein for the present was to eliminate one potential enemy. He observed that Western leaders must have been credulous indeed if they really thought that they could succeed in getting Russia to fight for them. He added that if England and France now assented to a compromise on Danzig their prestige in this part of the world would suffer considerably. He was probably thinking that his turn might come next. He did not mention the President’s message to Hitler and the President of Poland as the news that such communications had been made has only just filtered through to Bucharest.

The King said that German pressure here was not so bad just now and that they were delivering armament. I learn from a highly credible source, however, that though armament is coming through satisfactorily, ammunition sufficient only for practice is accompanying it.

Gunther