« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Ghica replied that Roumania's financial condition did not admit of her having a large diplomatic service, while the United States is a rich country. He suggested that some one should be left as a chargé d'affaires at Bucharest whenever the minister was not in the Kingdom, so that the legation might have a more permanent character. In reply I called attention to the fact that, from an American point of view, I was present at my post as long as I was in either Greece, Roumania, or Servia, and that consequently I could not leave a charge at Bucharest while I was at Athens; that when I went on leave of absence the secretary of legation at Athens became, as far as the United States Government is concerned, chargé d'affaires for all three countries, and that Mr. Boxshall, our vice-consul-general at Bucharest, could not be made a chargé, as he suggested, because he was a consular officer and not an American citizen. Mr. Ghica then urged that a secretary of legation should be appointed to reside at Bucharest.
I told the minister that I would inform you of what he had said, but that I could not hold out any prospect that any change would be made, as present conditions had existed ever since the accrediting of the first United States minister to Roumania. Personally, I am of the opinion that it would be to our commercial advantage to have separate ministers in the several Balkan States, or, if not in all of them, to have a separate representation in Greece. The projected railways connecting Greece with the rest of Europe are still to a great extent on paper, and when the Greek sections are completed, which may be the case in a few years, there will probably be no connecting link through European Turkey for some time to come. Consequently it takes three or four days to get from Athens to Bucharest or Belgrade, and the connections are so bad that no one is inclined to make the trip more often than is actually necessary. The Roumanians are very sensitive; they are proud of their King, and their relatively stable Government has made them feel superior to the other Balkan peoples; their country needs foreign capital to develop its considerable resources, and American commercial interests are increasing all the time. (Only recently I was applied to by the American representative of a New York firm doing business in the Orient to advocate the appointment of an American consular agent at Galatz, where the British have a consul-general.) Several things have occurred during the past year or two which the Roumanians think would not have occurred if we knew their country better or if they had known and seen more of our accredited representative, and I am sure that it would be to our advantage * * * if we had some kind of per manent diplomatic representation at Bucharest. I have, etc.,
John B. JACKSON.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.
Bucharest, April 7, 1903. Presented letters. Leave for Belgrade Thursday.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay..
Athens, April 13, 1903. ' Sir: I have the honor to confirm the telegram sent you from Bucharest on the 7th instant.
I have the honor to report that I left Athens on Friday, March 27, and traveling by the most direct route and with all possible dispatch arrived in Bucharest about noon on Tuesday, March 31. Had it not been for fog in the Black Sea, which prevented our reaching Constanza until after the last train on Monday had left for Bucharest, I might have arrived about twelve hours earlier. On the afternoon of my arrival I called at the foreign office, made the acquaintance of Mr. Bratiano, the minister of foreign affairs, and left a written request for an audience with the King of Roumania, in order to present my own letter of credence and Mr. Francis's letter of recall. * * *
Instead of communicating with the court at once, Mr. Bratiano preferred, for some reason, to wait until Saturday, the day of his regular audience with the King, before informing His Majesty officially of my arrival. On Saturday afternoon, however, I received notification that my audience would take place the following Tuesday. Accordingly, on April 7, I had the honor of being received by His Majesty with the customary ceremonial. As no formal speech was required, I made use of the German language, out of personal compliment to the King, who speaks but little if any English, and in handing him my letters I stated that I had been charged to convey to him the President's greetings and the assurance of the best wishes of the United States for the prosperity of Roumania. I said that I had been instructed to endeavor to advance the interests of both countries, and that it would be my duty and my pleasure to do all in my power to strengthen the good understanding which has heretofore existed between the American and Roumanian Governments. The King, in reply, asked me to transmit his “sympathetic greetings” to the President, and extended to me a cordial welcome to Roumania. In the course of the informal conversation which followed His Majesty made certain pleasant personal remarks, and expressed the hope that there would be opportunity for his becoming better acquainted with me than he had been with my recent predecessors. I replied that it was my intention to pass the greater part of the summer in Roumania, at Sinaia, where the court and diplomatic corps usually spend the summer. At this he seemed much pleased. Subsequently I was received by the Queen and by the Prince and Princess of Roumania with the usual formalities.
In conversation with members of the diplomatic corps and others, I learned that the King had spoken freely about his wish to see more of the American minister and to have him learn to know Roumania better,
to see something of the country.
I have, etc.,
JOHN B. JACKSON.
JEWS IN ROUMANIA.a
Mr. Hay to Mr. Jackson. No. 1, Roumanian series.]
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 5, 1903. Sir: The Department's instruction No. 14, of July 17 last (Roumanian series), to your predecessor, presented for his guidance in the negotiation of a naturalization treaty with Roumania, certain considerations having special reference to the Jews in that country.
The refusal of the Roumanian King, reported in Mr. Wilson's unnumbered dispatch of August 6 last (Roumanian series), to consider the project of a naturalization treaty with the United States, made that instruction ineffective.
With its No. 15, of August 23 last, same series, the Department inclosed, for the legation's information, a copy of a circular instruction which it addressed, on August 11, 1902, to the diplomatic representatives of the United States to the governments parties to the treaty of Berlin of July 13, 1878, and which they were directed to bring to the attention of the governments concerned, and to commend to their consideration, in the hope that they would take such measures as to them might seem wise to persuade the Government of Roumania to reconsider the subject of the grievances of Jews in that country.
It is the President's desire that you should, on your first visit to Roumania, discreetly and cautiously endeavor to learn whether the considerations so presented to them have resulted in any representations to the Roumanian Government by the powers, either separately or jointly, looking to the amelioration of the oppressed condition of the Roumanian Jews and the observance of the principles of the Berlin treaty.
The matter is one in which the President has deep interest, and the Department would be pleased to have you furnish it with all information in this regard which you may be able to confidentially gather. I am, etc.,
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.
Athens, March 21, 1903. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, on the 19th instant, of your instruction No. 1, Roumanian series, of March 5.
It so happened that I was in charge of our embassy at Berlin at the time the Department's circular instruction of August 11 last was received, and consequently it fell to me to communicate its contents to the German foreign office. If I remember correctly, Baron Richthofen said that the matter would receive the attention which its importance warranted, or words to that effect. Subsequently I understood that immediately after the same instruction had been communicated to the foreign office at London, the British Government, without in any way making known its own views contained therein, had addressed a com
a See Foreign Relations, 1902, page 910 et seq.
munication to the other Governments which were parties to the Berlin treaty of 1878,.inquiring what they proposed doing in the matter. So far as I am aware, however, no action was taken by any of these Governments, and the contents of the circular were never formally brought to the attention of the Roumanian Government.
Situated as the country is, between powerful and ambitious neighbors, the efforts of the Roumanian Government have been directed toward keeping the race pure and developing a homogeneous patriotic Roumanian nationality. The Jewish question is one with which Roumania has had to do ever since it became a State, and the course adopted was that which was considered necessary in order to enable it to maintain its independent national existence. Foreigners have never acquired Roumanian nationality merely through having been born in the country, and as long ago as 1878 a commission of deputies appointed to study the question reported that “Roumanian Jews have never existed, but only indigenous Jews—that is to say, Jews born in Roumania without, for that reason, resembling Roumanians either by language, manners and customs, or aspiration."
Prior to the recognition of Roumania as a kingdom its constitution contained the provision that “Foreigners of Christian denominations can alone obtain naturalization,” both Jews and Mohammedans being excluded. In 1880, as a result of the Berlin treaty, this was changed and naturalization was placed within the reach of all “foreigners,” provided that they could satisfy the legislative body of their acceptability. Under these conditions Roumania was recognized as a kingdom, although it was stated in the British note of February 20, 1880, that
Her Majesty's Government can not consider the new constitutional provisions which have been brought to their cognizance, and particularly those by which persons belonging to a non-Christian creed domiciled in Roumania and not belonging to any foreign nationality are required to submit to the formalities of individual naturalization, as being a complete fulfillment of the views of the powers signatories of the treaty of Berlin.
As shown, however, by the recently published life and correspondence of Sir William White (John Murray, London, 1902), the difficulties connected with granting political rights (as far as religious rights are concerned there was no question) at one time to at least 300,000 persons who had traditionally been considered as aliens were recognized by the powers. Even those Governments which took an interest in the Jews refrained from using any great amount of pressure, and matters were allowed to assume their present condition.
Practically, it is hardly to be expected that the powers will show any more zeal than they did twenty-odd years ago, and it is not probable that success would accompany an effort to introduce into Roumania, by means of foreign pressure, legislative changes which are unacceptable to the country itself. Neither the King nor the Government has the power to change existing conditions, legislative action being necessary in the case of the naturalization of any “foreigner," no matter of what race or religion, and I have heard it stated that foreign interference has already had an unfavorable effect.
While adding that I plan visiting Bucharest at an early date, and that I shall use my best efforts to inform myself in the premises, I have the honor to be, sir, etc.,
John B. JACKSON.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.
Athens, April 18, 1903. Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 7, Roumanian series, of the 21st ultimo, I have the honor to report that, after inquiry on the spot, I am still of the opinion that no official representations were made to the Roumanian Government by any of the powers concerned, as a result of the Department's circular instruction of August 11, 1902. During my recent visit to Bucharest no direct reference was made to the Jewish question in official circles, either at the palace, or the foreign office, or in the course of my conversation with Mr. Sturdza. I talked of the matter freely, however, with my diplomatic colleagues and others. My conviction that Germany had made no representations was made a certainty, and I learned that neither France nor Great Britain had taken any formal action. Of late, as heretofore, both at the palace and at the foreign office, the British and French ministers have referred to the subject informally; the former thinks that the instruction was productive of good, the latter thinks that it was not. As a matter of fact, although there were a number of Jewish naturalization cases acted upon in each of the houses of the Roumanian legislative body, during its recent session, only a very few-say three or four-were finally dealt with by both.
* * * In Bucharest itself the Jewish quarter of the city is rel. atively clean and attractive, and everywhere one sees signs over shops bearing unmistakably Jewish names. Jewish lawyers and doctors occupying good positions are also to be found—it is true only in limited numbers, and these usually actual foreign subjects-and everything seems to indicate that the prejudice is neither against the race nor the individual, but is based upon the genuine fear as to what would result from general naturalization. That the situation of the Jews in Roumania is regrettable can not be denied, but no less can it be denied that their sufferings have been exaggerated. The fact that the place of every emigrant is at once filled by immigration from Galicia, Poland, and Russia speaks for itself. The Government does not favor emigration because, as a general rule, the more competent Jews leave and their places are taken by less intelligent people. As a Jassy shopkeeper, who was closing up his business, recently said to an English merchant of whom he had formerly been a good customer, “There are too many of us here for it to be possible for me to make any money.” In parts of Moldavia 60 per cent of the population are Jews, most of whom, it is said, use the “ Yiddish ” (corrupt German) language, and speak but little Roumanian. * * I have, etc.,
John B. JACKSON.
Mr. Jackson to Mr. Hay.
Sinaia, Roumania, September 7, 1903. Sir: I have the honor to report that in conversation yesterday Mr. Sturdza, the Roumanian prime minister, spoke at lengtb about the circular “note" of August 11, 1902, and the Jewish question. He said