740.0011 European War 1939/21790: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Standley)

265. Reference Moscow’s 174 May 27, 8 p.m.27 In reply to inquiries at press conference on April 13 the Under Secretary explained that a declaration of war against Rumania, Hungary and Bulgaria had not been made because of general recognition that their respective declarations had been made under pressure and against the desires of their peoples. He added that he believed the President would be inclined to recommend to Congress that declarations of war be made if material and effective assistance is given to Germany by the respective countries. On May 12 the Secretary again referred to the matter and on May 15 he stated that the Department is examining the situation from day to day. He did not mention the Rumanian forces on the Russian front but observed that a large part of the army within Rumania was near the Hungarian frontier.

It has been observed that German propaganda has ostentatiously reported the participation of Rumanian troops in recent operations, doubtless in connection with German negotiations at the three capitals for more active assistance.

  1. Not printed; it reported information that the Russians were much concerned over Soviet press reports of the Secretary of State’s alleged explanation as to why the United States had not declared war upon Rumania. The Secretary was alleged to have stated that most of the Rumanian army was on the Hungarian frontier and very few Rumanians were actually fighting the Russians.