Washington (Oct. 8)
That the situation of the Jews in Roumania will remain unchanged notwithstanding the resignation of Premier Maniu was made clear in a statement issued to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by a representative of the Roumanian legation here. A statement to a similar effect was made in an authorized and exclusive interview granted to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by Victor G. Cadere, under-secretary of state in the ministry of the interior in charge of the division of police and public safety, and a personal friend of King Carol.
“Political control, now is and will probably indefinitely continue to be held by the National Peasants’ Party, whose attitude toward the Jews, especially in view of King Carol’s well-known friendly attitude, is expected to remain unchanged,” the official of the Roumanian legation regarded the Cadere interview, which is given below, as undoubtedly continuing to authoritatively express the attitude of the National Peasants’ Party government irrespective of Maniu’s resignation or any other change in the composition of the cabinet.
In an interview granted before his departure from Washington, where he attended the (Fidac) World War’s Veterans’ Conference, M. Cadere offered emphatic assurance of the intention of the Roumanian government to guarantee the Jews of Roumania not only the fullest protection from anti-Semitic outbreaks or other lawless disorders, but all the rights accorded them under the international minority treaties, and the minority provisions of the Roumanian constitution. Cadere, at the personal request of King Carol, was the official who carried the responsibility of investigating the recent anti-Semitic disturbances in Roumania.
King Carol, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Justice are devoting special attention to the question of public order and security with particular reference to the Jews, M. Cadere also stated, explaining that he was placed in charge of the police of Roumania the day following King Carol’s accession to the throne, and that in this capacity he made a personal investigation of the latest disturbances in Southern Bukowina on a visit to the affected area, after taking immediate steps to check the disorders.
HUGE INCREASE IN POLICE BUDGET
An increase of 400,000,000 Lei in the appropriation for the police budget, over and above the present budget of 600,000,000 Lei, which would raise the annual police budget to 1,000,000,000 Lei, will be recommended by the Ministry of Interior at M. Cadere’s instance, he revealed, stating this recommendation will probably be favorably acted upon by Parliament some time after it convenes on November 15, in any case prior to January 1, when the next budget goes into effect. The recommended increased appropriation will enable improvement of the number and quality of the police to such an extent as to offer the utmost assurance for the safety of the Jewish as well as the entire population, M. Cadere stated.
New plans for the guarantee of all minority rights under the Roumanian constitution “in both letter and spirit” are being prepared at the instance of the Government under the direction of George Pop, Under-secretary of State for Public Instruction, who is in charge of this matter, M. Cadere further disclosed, indicating that Mr. Pop is a man of very liberal views and formerly representative of Roumania to the League of Nations, and that it is possible his report will be presented at the approaching opening of Parliament.
Consistent with his functions as head of Roumania’s police system. M. Cadere declared his intention of continuing to combat to the utmost extent the activities of all extremist propaganda, including that of anti-Semitic groups, citing as examples the Ministry’s recent refusal to permit a large anti-Semitic demonstration in Bessarabia, and his prohibition of a march throughout Bessarabia planned by the anti-Semitic “Iron Guard.”
NO ANTI-SEMITES IN GOVERNMENT
There are no anti-Semitic elements whatsoever in the present government, M. Cadere declared, and the number of anti-Semites in the Roumanian Parliament is reduced to one, he added. M. Cadere emphasized that the government’s interest in combating the anti-Semitic problem is not merely confined to suppressing violent disorders. “We are equally anxious to check anti-Semitic propaganda as such,” he said, “even if it does not express itself in accompanying public disorders, realizing its harmfulness and danger.” M. Cadere’s formula for combating anti-Semitic agitation was “counter propaganda,” which it will continue to be the government’s policy to carry on. He expressed doubt as to the government’s power to liquidate anti-Semitic organizations, especially those possessing the character of political parties, but gave assurances that the government will take drastic action against those responsible for actual disorders.
Cuza, the outstanding figure among the anti-Semites, is without any political influence, M. Cadere stated, describing him as a man of high academic standing, who despite his culture, was hopelessly extremist in his hostility toward the Jews, which Cadere attributed to the fact that Cuza is a disciple of the German economist Liszt, and imbued with the latter’s ultra-nationalistic economic doctrines advocating control of commerce and industry by the racial stock constituting the majority of the national population. “Cuza says the Jews are a danger because the commerce and trade of Roumania is in their hands,” Cadere stated. “He is very uncompromising.”
DISORDERS ECONOMIC, NOT RACIAL
Describing the last disorders (in Southern Bukowina) which Cadere investigated with members of his staff, the Roumanian police head expressed the opinion that the cause was not racial, but economic, which, he alleged was demonstrated by two facts; (1) not only Jews but non-Jews of wealth were attacked; (2) no poor Jews whatever were molested. “Those who were attacked were the rich, regardless of race or religion, the reasons being economic,” Cadere said. “They were attacked by the peasants because the latter were heavily indebted to them on land mortages, and were the victims of exorbitant rates of interest, which ran from thirty to sixty and seventy per cent. Jewish as well as non-Jewish money lenders had loaned money to the peasants, and owing to the economic crisis, the peasants were exasperated and attacked the money lenders, and it happened that the rich Jews were attacked together with the rich non-Jewish Roumanians who had loaned money.”
The principal blame for the last disorders Cadere attributed to the agitation of Communists, rather than anti-Semites, though he said the latter participated. “The chief agitation was conducted by the Communists, who took advantage of the economic situation,” Cadere stated. “We succeeded in checking the disorders not only through police action, but when I visited these peasants I finally pacified them when I proved to them that the Communists were behind the agitation. My efforts were successful because as a result of the agrarian reform, the Roumanian peasant is the owner of his land. Some Jews also incidentally,â€”not manyâ€”a few peasant Jews, also received land. The peasant, having received land, is now a capitalistic, conservative element, and when I explained to them that the agitation was conducted by communist agents for communist aims, they stopped, because they realized that they were only tools in the hands of the communists agents against their own interests.”
SAYS REPORTS EXAGGERATED
Cadere complained that the reports of the last disorders were greatly exaggerated in the Jewish press, expressing particular dissatisfaction with the dispatches of Mr. Smolar, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent. Cadere promised that upon his return to Bucharest he would forward a full list of Mr. Smolar’s alleged inaccuracies.
Asked what steps had been taken with regard to the last disorders, Cadere stated that approximately 700 arrests were made by the police, and of these about 400 were detained for prosecution, several hundred having been released when preliminary investigation failed to establish complicity in the events. So far only about 30 of the agitators have actually been punished after being brought to trial, he admitted. The maximum punishment meted out was six months imprisonment. The trials of the rest of those held for prosecution have not yet taken place. Cadere denied this was due to improper delay by prosecuting authorities or the courts, attributing it chiefly to the intervention of the Summer vacation, when the Courts are closed. With regard to the release of some of the anti-Semitic agitators, Cadere explained that a distinction was made between those guilty of actual violence and those only guilty of agitation. Some of the latter have been freed, because it is not always possible under the provisions of the law to punish them. Cadere failed to indicate whether any amendments of Roumanian laws are contemplated to correct this shortcoming.
Although he felt that as a whole, the machinery of the Ministry of Justice has been operating satisfactorily with regard to the anti-Semitic disorders, Cadere conceded that in some provincial districts instances might be found where prosecutors or judges had failed to perform their full duty. The Ministry of Justice has been investigating all such cases energetically. and the results are already noticeable. During the Summer many changes and transfers among the judges and prosecutors have been made. Action against judges, Cadere explained, is much more difficult than against prosecutors, who may be summarily removed, whereas complaints against judges must be handled by a special judiciary commission. When the government feels that a judge has failed in his duty, it presents a complaint to this commission for his removal.
SHOWS FRIENDLY ATTITUDE
Throughout the interview, Cadere, who is a professor of law, manifested a very sympathetic and friendly attitude toward the Jews, but stressed the point that his attitude was based, not on mere sympathy, but upon principles of right and justice. “It is a matter of conscience for me to place right first, and as my first objective in my public capacity, and I do not look with favor upon any personal vexation which may be brought upon any person in Roumania, irrespective of race, creed or political belief,” he said. “Public order should be the first consideration in every country.”
The Roumanian government has allotted 12,000,000 Lei to indemnify victims of the last anti-Semitic disorders who have suffered material loss, and in addition popular subscription lists have been opened, and one committee is headed by Queen Marie, M. Cadere stated. The latter committee was organized by both Jews and non-Jews. The equivalent of 12,000,000 Lei in American money is $72,000 but has about $200,000 buying power in Roumania, Cadere said.
In response to a query regarding the extent of King Carol’s interests in the Jewish problem, M. Cadere, who is understood to be a close friend of the Roumanian monarch, stated that the King was keenly interested. “The King is firmly decided and has affirmed many times that he wants every man, woman and child in Roumania, irrespective of creed or nationality, to have absolute security and equal rights,” M. Cadere declared.
URGES ATTACHMENT TO ROUMANIAN IDEALS
Asked whether he wished to make any suggestions regarding the Jewish situation in Roumania, M. Cadere replied: “As to the Jews of Old Roumania, I have no suggestion to make, because they are identified with the country and we are absolutely satisfied with their loyalty and allegiance. But to the Jews in the new provinces of Bukowina, Transylvania and Bessarabia, my suggestion is to become more attached to the Roumanian ideals and to look less to foreign help, and instead, try to adjust their grievances through a common understanding with the people at home.”
In conclusion, M. Cadere expressed great confidence in the stability of the government. “The government has a large majority in Parliament,” he said. “The opposition musters only about one-fifth of the membership. The government is now embarked upon an economic program which started with the stabilization loan made two years ago; and has reached the conclusion of arrangements for an agricultural credit bank, which is very important to relieve the economic crisis among the peasantry. There is no reason why a government which has achieved a good part of its economic program should, without any reason, go out of power. On the contrary, everybody is anxious to keep this government in power, and enable it to carry on the program started under such encouraging auspices. I might also add that both the King and the government are warmly advocating the introduction of foreign capital in Roumania on an equal footing with Roumanian capital. Revolution is an impossibility now, because after many centuries the peasant has at last become his own landlord. The communist problem is an important one, but it is a problem without serious danger. Eighty-five percent of the population are peasants, and they own their lands.”
NATIVE OF JEWISH DISTRICT
During the interview, M. Cadere related that he was born and reared in northern Moldavia, a thickly populated Jewish region, and could testify to the friendly relations which always existed between Christians and Jews there. He said he studied in the “Liceul Internat,” a leading boarding school in Jassy, attended by both Jews and Christians of the better class, and never found animosity or friction between the Jewish and Christian students in that school. M. Cadere, who was a commander of a company in the Roumanian army during the World War, and is now a Major in the Reserve Corps, paid a tribute to the many Jewish soldiers under his command. “I always found that Jewish soldiers under me gave most satisfactory service, and the relationship was friendly and pleasant between the Jews and their other comrades,” Cadere said.