Bucharest (Feb. 19)
If motions are presented to the Chamber dealing with the findings of the enquiry commission into the Soroca affair, they will be put to the vote, the Prime Minister, Professor Jorga, declared in the Chamber in the course of the new debate on the Soroca affair opened by Deputy Landau, the Jewish Party representative from Bessarabia. But we must bear in mind two facts, the Premier went on, in the first place, if anyone under existing conditions tries to cross the frontier, he must know that he is running a risk. In the second place, if anyone tries to cross the frontier, the frontier guard have to warn him, and if he does not immediately stop they must shoot. Subject to these two indisputable facts, if anything new can be brought up, there is no one in Roumania who will dare to cover up things which may bring our country discredit and dishonour.
Deputy Dr. Lupu, the leader of the Independent Peasants’ Party and a former Minister of the Interior, recalled the similar case of Lieutenant Morarescu, “who in his capacity as Commandant of a frontier guard on the River Dniester”, he said, “lured people to the frontier by promises of letting them cross into Roumania, and then killed them and robbed them of all they possessed”. (The case was recalled in the J.T.A. Bulletin of January 14th., when the Soroca shooting affair was first reported). Lieutenant Morarescu was put on trial before a court of law, Dr. Lupu said. In Soroca we have only had an enquiry. Why should not the same action be taken against the Soroca frontier guard? The honour not only of the army, but of the whole country is at stake. We must have a Parliamentary enquiry, which will either show that all that we are saying here is untrue, or will see to it that those who are guilty will receive their proper punishment. I appeal to you, as the Prime Minister, to appoint a Parliamentary Commission which will go into the whole matter and will make public its findings.
After the occurrence in Soroca, Professor Jonga replied, Deputy Landau came to me, and I said to him: I have no interest in covering up the affair. I will appoint a new investigation commission. What could a Prime Minister do more than appoint a commission? Who should have been members
of this Commission? First of all, since it is the frontier soldiers who are involved, the Commandant of the frontier ### soldiers. With him there was one of the highest judges in Bessarabia. Then the question was brought up in Parliament. What did I say then? You can read it in the “Monitorul Oficial”. I said: We have nothing to hide. If you have a Parliamentary Commission, the Ministry of the Interior will place all the documents at your disposal. I cannot govern as I wish. It is open to Parliament to act as it finds right. The more so since we have no party majority.
Then the matter is not closed? Deputy Dr. Lupu asked.
That is correct, Professor Jorga replied.
While Deputy Landau was speaking in the early part of the debate, Professor Cuza, the antisemitic leader, kept on interrupting, and once he said: I shall not allow Deputy Landau to speak.
When I was fighting at the front and was wounded, Deputy Landau retorted, you stayed at home.