740.0011 European War, 1939/441: Telegram

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

226. Following from Biddle:37

“16. 1. Rumanian Minister of Foreign Affairs38 informed Polish Ambassador here this morning that Berlin had warned Bucharest to the effect that Berlin would not countenance Bucharest’s (a) permitting officials of the Polish Government to function or (b) permitting officials or Polish refugees of military age to leave Rumania.

2. Accordingly under German pressure Rumanian Government has interned President Moscicki and other Polish Government officials and Marshal Smigly-Rydz.39

3. While Marshal’s internment is covered by Hague Convention of 190740 I am aware of no precedent for the internment of the Government of a belligerent country if that Government seeks transit through a neutral country. If therefore my assumption is correct in this regard Rumania’s internment of Polish Government officials would represent a violation of international law.

4. If under these circumstances the Polish Government reaches an impasse in effecting its safe conduct through Rumania it is conceivable that it may appoint a provisional government in France, resign, proceed to France as private citizens and there resume its official status by reappointment by the provisional government.”

  1. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., American Ambassador in Poland, then in Rumania.
  2. Grigore Gafencu.
  3. Inspector-General of the Polish Army.
  4. Signed October 18, 1907, Foreign Relations, 1907, pt. 2, p. 1181.