740.0011 European War, 1939/509: Telegram

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

256. Your 137, September 20, 8 p.m. was received here yesterday only and by me only today due to cable pressure and delay.

In the first instance the Polish Government inquired of Rumanian Ambassador to Poland whether it might be given asylum in Rumania. The reply was in the affirmative provided they came here individually as, private persons divested of governmental faculties.
President Moscicki had no sooner arrived than he sent a stirring appeal by telegraph to the Polish Embassy in Paris for publication calling upon all Poles to stand by their Government which would establish itself in an Allied country (this by inference might have been taken to mean Rumania).47 You have probably had this in the western press or from the Paris Embassy. I have seen a photo-static copy of this message and the official French translation. This obvious breach of hospitality has embarrassed the Rumanian Government which is striving to maintain neutrality.
No decision has yet been taken as to what to do with the ex-Polish Government. The late Prime Minister48 was just studying the problem when he was killed. Beck49 at least it seems wants to go to France. Whether permission can be given remains to be seen and I have not yet heard if the French Government approves. Of one thing we can be sure: they will not be surrendered to the Germans, foolish rumors to the contrary notwithstanding.
It is not admitted here that there have been as yet any formal German representations in the premises. The President and Smigly-Rydz have been accommodated at country estates far distant one from the other. The rest of the Government including Beck are to all intents and purposes interned in an inferior hotel up country in a valley shut in by formidable mountains.
I know of no precedent in international law. It would seem that the case of the Negus during the “war of sanctions” most closely parallels it.50

Repeated by telegraph to Paris.

  1. Proclamation signed by President Moscicki, September 17, 1939, at the Polish frontier town of Kosow, across border from Rumania.
  2. A. Calinescu, assassinated September 21, 1939.
  3. Jozef Beck, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  4. Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, and Court members departed from Ethiopia, May 1936, during Ethiopian-Italian conflict. For correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1936, vol. iii, pp. 34 ff.