840.51 Frozen Credits/9855/8

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Rumanian Chargé d’Affaires called and protested against the failure thus far of this Government to release a certain amount of Rumanian assets which have been blocked in this country, in order that the Rumanian Government might pay for cotton, et cetera, which it is desirous of purchasing in Turkey and Iran. I said to him that the entire problem of exchange was under consideration from day to day by the experts in the Treasury and the State Departments and that every attention was being given to all phases of the matter; that it was necessary to consider the entire picture for the purpose of formulating policy. He stated that we were allowing Germany and Italy to purchase cotton in Turkey and Iran with dollars and that this was a discrimination against Rumania. I replied that that might be an argument in favor of dealing with this situation rather than in favor of complying with the Rumanian request. I made it clear to the Chargé d’Affaires that this Government and the American people have a most friendly and sympathetic interest in the people of Rumania and in any circumstances deemed at all permissible, we would go far out of our way to do a service to the Government and the people of Rumania; that we were well aware of what Hitler has done to many countries in Europe, including Rumania, and we were taking no [Page 792] chances in aiding or encouraging him, even indirectly, to continue his ruthless advance across the earth, and ultimately to reach South America and this hemisphere. I said that I felt sure his Government understood the situation.

C[ordell] H[ull]