740.0011 European War 1939/483: Telegram

The Minister in Yugoslavia (Lane) to the Secretary of State

282. The following is the substance of Prince Paul’s72 remarks to me this evening: [Page 447]

He has as yet no information as to whether Germany was behind the assassination of the Rumanian Prime Minister.73
He indicated that it is perhaps preferable to have Russia rather than Germany on the Rumanian frontier. He evidenced agreement with my view that the Soviet invasion of Poland was to stop rather than to help Germany. He likewise assented to my view that the present Soviet policy is to keep Germany out of the Balkans and to keep England out of the Dardanelles. He added “it is also to keep Germany out of the Black Sea.” The Prince said that if Germany and Russia were actually in agreement and were to win the war it would be the end of Europe.
I referred to reports from Rome that Ciano’s74 attitude had shown a great change since his meeting with Hitler at Salzburg75 and that no mention of the Axis in the press had been allowed by the Italian Government since the outbreak of hostilities. The Prince made the following comment: “That is very curious because Ciano has been speaking in an entirely different way to our Minister in Rome. He always praises Germany.”
He expressed deep interest regarding the situation in the United States and said that if Germany were to win the war the American continent would then be threatened.
He confirmed information which we had previously received from the Bulgarian Military Attaché and from the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs that Bulgaria has increased her territorial demands of Rumania and is becoming a dangerous problem for the peace of the Balkans.

I shall comment by telegram tomorrow regarding the foregoing in the light of other developments.

  1. First Regent of Yugoslavia, for King Peter II.
  2. A. Calinescu, assassinated September 21, 1939.
  3. Count Galeazzo Ciano di Cortellazzo, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. August 11–13, 1939; see pp. 208232 passim.