871.00/10–2347: Telegram

The Minister in Rumania ( Schoenfeld )1 to the Secretary of State

confidential   urgent

81. In a general conversation with Foreign Minister Tatarescu yesterday he said he thought tension in our general international situation had never seemed greater.

We discussed phrase in the King’s recent speech when opening Parliament on intended treaties of friendship, commerce and mutual assistance. He said Rumanian Government would make such treaties with all its neighbors, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and of course Soviet Union. He also planned cultural agreement with France and later hoped to negotiate economic agreements with western powers. No precise schedule had been worked out.

As for imminent visit to Prague of General Lascar, Rumanian Minister of War, he said this was not related to such plans and had no special significance. It was return visit of an earlier visit from Czechoslovak military delegation and would be occasion for little more than bestowing decorations.

As regarded Rumania’s foreign relations, his party (Liberal) had entered the government on understanding there should be neither “exclusiveness” nor “isolation”. Rumania was obliged to pursue a policy of friendship with Soviet Union but it was also of vital importance for it to have economic relations with the west. It was a small country and could not get along alone.

I said in circumstances I was puzzled by difficulties put in way of American business interests here and referred to our as yet unanswered notes of August 17 and September 2 on the subject.2 Tatarescu said he had the matter very much in mind and hoped to answer soon.

He said he realized how difficult present situation was and he wanted to do away with existing unnecessary irritations. He hoped to bring about return to original agreement between his party and government and could tell me in strict confidence that if he did not succeed he planned to leave the government. This might happen within 2 or 3 weeks.

He went on to say he regretted current atmosphere at Lake Success. He wondered whether Russia might have plan to leave UN. He had no information to that effect and was in fact inclined to doubt it.

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Turning to question of Rumania’s admittance to membership in UN he said he thought we had made a mistake in opposing it.3 It would be advantageous if Rumania had opportunity to speak for itself and be in touch with western world. I asked whether he did not feel there were grounds for doubt whether Rumania was free to meet obligations of the Charter. He did not attempt to deny this but said he thought if Rumanian representatives could be brought into contact with outside world this would outweigh the disadvantages.

He recognized difficult atmosphere at the moment caused by problems faced by foreign business here, the polemics in the press, the establishment of the “Cominform4 and the Maniu trial and said he hoped to bring about improvement.

I observed re his reference to the Maniu affair that he doubtless realized how deep an impression it had made in the US. I inquired when trial would take place. He said probably within 2 weeks and added there was no likelihood of condemning Maniu to death.

Mr. Tatarescu’s conversation was free and unforced despite controversial character of topics touched upon. He doubtless would like to achieve policy of better relations with both east and west but the adverse tides here are running so strongly at present that he has little influence and I believe any decision as to leaving the government is likely to be more the latter’s than his own.5

  1. On September 25, Minister Rudolf E. Schoenfeld presented his credentials to King Mihai and assumed charge of the Legation in Rumania.
  2. The notes referred to here are not printed.
  3. On August 18 and 21 and again on September 29, 30, and October 1, the United Nations Security Council considered Rumania’s application for membership in the United Nations. In each case, Rumania failed to be recommended for membership by the Security Council. See documentation on United States policy regarding the question of admittance of new members into the United Nations in volume i .
  4. On October 5, the Communist parties of nine European countries announced the establishment of a Communist Information Bureau (Cominform). For documentation regarding the establishment of the Cominform, see pp. 594616 passim.
  5. On November 5, the Rumanian Parliament adopted a motion of nonconfidence in Foreign Minister Tatarescu as a result of the alleged complicity of the Foreign Ministry in treasonous and conspiratorial activities. Tatarescu was removed as Foreign Minister the following day.