740.0011 European War, 1930/637: Telegram

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

283. Your 146 [156], September 26 [28], 6 p.m., my telegram No. 256, September 23, 6 p.m. and 268, September 26, 8 p.m.55 Thinking that it would meet with your approval, I have already made clear on various occasions the purport of the first paragraph of your telegram.

As much as I would like to see our President make the humanitarian gesture outlined I cannot see that it would serve a useful purpose now for the following reasons:

President Moscicki is in the throes of deciding upon a successor. The Polish Ambassador has just taken the 8 hours journey again to join the President and is perhaps his soundest advisor. The legal papers necessary I know have been already smuggled into France and in the event of decision need only be opened for the formalities. I gather that part of the delay has concerned Paderewski56 who is in no physical condition alas to take a decision or play a responsible role. In addition to the possibilities mentioned already I learn that the Voivode of Posnania Raczkiewicz is out of Poland and available.
There is no question of this Government’s permitting the President to leave Rumania until divested of his functions. This country is threatened both from without and until recently and perhaps still from within. Even a bona fide escape of President Moscicki would undoubtedly be seized upon by Germany or Russia or both as an excuse and good reason for occupation of the country, hence the precaution surrounding the President. Rumania is in no position geographically, politically or militarily to permit any principal member of the Polish Government while in office to leave its confines.
Any such threat on the part of our President would, I fear, at the present juncture only muddy the waters and would be charged with a lack of comprehension of the true situation and moreover would not necessarily strengthen Bong Carol’s hand who is striving, I am satisfied, to deal with this problem fairly, intelligently and [Page 695] in a humanitarian manner. The Embassy assures me that the King is doing everything to contribute to the President’s comfort and welfare and that there is no complaint whatsoever as to his treatment. President Moscicki’s wish it appears is to retire not to United States but to Switzerland. I have not repeated any of the above to Paris for the information of Ambassadors Bullitt and Biddle.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Ignace Paderewski; he declined the Polish Presidency as successor to Moscicki because of ill health, September 30, 1939.