840.51 Frozen Credits/1033

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

The Rumanian Chargé d’Affaires came in to see me today at his request. His purpose was to ask the renewal of the license30 formerly granted by the Treasury for fifteen days authorizing payment of $1,400,000 from the account of the National Bank of Rumania with the Chase National Bank of New York to the Agricultural Bank of the Republic of Turkey in payment for 3,100 tons of Turkish cotton purchased by the Rumanian Textile Industry.

I said that I knew about the matter; that I had previously recommended the granting of the license. In frankness, however, I felt it necessary to observe that the situation of Rumania had changed materially since the last license had been granted. She had adhered to the Axis; she had recognized Manchukuo despite the fact that our Legation there had made representations to General Antonescu.

The German “Military Instruction Mission” had now become quite openly an army of occupation. She had signed a commercial treaty which on first analysis would seem to indicate that the results of [Page 789] Rumanian manufacture would go first to Germany, and that only after their needs were satisfied would the Rumanian people get anything out of it. This did not necessarily indicate what action would be taken on the license; but these considerations necessarily entered into the matter.

The Rumanian Chargé was obviously very moved and very unhappy. He said that Rumania’s misfortunes were due to the action of one man—King Carol; that Antonescu was doing his best to save what he could from the wreck; that if the Rumanian population could not be taken care of to some extent the present group which were moderate would probably be replaced by extremists; etc. He did not conceal from me the fact that he felt Rumania was well on the way to becoming virtually a conquered province. He hoped that we might be of some assistance to them.

He left with me the attached aide-mémoire.31 I said I would consider the matter with the Treasury.

A. A. Berle, Jr.
  1. See Federal Register, October 29, 1940, p. 4273.
  2. Not printed.