Notes on the Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question
by Lucien Wolf
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Mocatta Library and Museum UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (University of London) GOWER STREET, LONDON, W.C. 1 1919

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The substance of this volume was read as a Paper before the Jewish Historical Society of England on February 11, 1918. It has now been expanded and supplied with a full equipment of documents—Protocols of Congresses and Conferences, Treaty Stipulations, Diplomatic Correspondence and other public Acts—in the hope that it may prove useful as a permanent record, and serviceable to those of our communal organisations whose duty it will be to bring the still unsolved aspects of the Jewish Question before the coming Peace Conference.

Besides helping to indicate the lines on which Jewish action should travel in this matter, the State Papers here quoted may also serve to remind the Plenipotentiaries themselves that the Jewish Question is far from being a subsidiary issue in the Reconstruction of Europe, that they have a great tradition of effort and achievement in regard to it, and that this tradition, apart from the high merits of the task itself, imposes upon them the solemn obligation of solving the Question completely and finally now that the opportunity of doing so presents itself free from all restraints of a selfish and calculating diplomacy. It is not only that the edifice of Religious Liberty in Europe has to be completed, but also that some six millions of human beings have to be freed from political and civil disabilities and social and economic restrictions which for calculated cruelty have no parallels outside the Dark Ages. The Peace Conference will have accomplished relatively little if a shred of this blackest of all European scandals is allowed to survive its deliberations.

This collection does not pretend to be complete. The aim has been only to illustrate adequately the main lines of the theme with a view to practical questions which may arise in connection with the Peace Conference. American documents have been only sparely quoted, for the reason that the American Jewish Historical Society has already published a very full collection of such documents. (Cyrus Adler: "Jews in the Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States.") The many generous interventions of the Vatican on behalf of persecuted Jews have also been omitted partly for a similar reason (see Stern: "Urkundliche Beitraege ueber die Stellung der Paepste zu den Juden") and partly because they have very little direct bearing on the diplomatic activities of the Great Powers during the period under discussion.

My grateful acknowledgements are due to the Foreign Office for kindly permitting me to copy the documents relating to Palestine, which will be found appended to Chapter IV, and to Lieut. J. B. Morton, who was good enough to relieve me of much of the work of reading the proof-sheets. I have also to thank Mr. D. Mitrani for the generous help he gave me in preparing the Index.

L. W.


December 1918.






(a) PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS IN BOHEMIA (1744-1745) 7 DOCUMENTS— Petition to King George II, 1744 7 Appeal of Bohemian Jews, 1744 9 The Decree of the Empress, 1744 10 Instructions to the British Ambassador in Vienna, 1744 11

(b) THE CONGRESS OF VIENNA (1815) 12 DOCUMENTS— List from Klueber 14 Art. XVI of Annexe IX of Final Act of Congress, 1815 14

(c) THE CONGRESS OF AIX-LA-CHAPELLE (1818) 15 DOCUMENT— Protocol of Nov. 21, 1818 16

(d) THE CONFERENCE OF LONDON (1830) 17 DOCUMENT— Protocol of Feb. 3, 1830 17

(e) THE CONGRESS OF PARIS (1856-1858) 18 DOCUMENTS— Art. IX of the Treaty of Paris, 1856 21 Extracts from the Hatti-Humayoun of Feb. 18, 1856 21 Conferences of Constantinople: Protocol of Feb. 11, 1856 23 Art. XLVI of Convention of Paris of Aug. 10, 1858 23

(f) THE CONGRESS OF BERLIN (1878) 23 DOCUMENTS— Extracts from Protocols of June 24, 25, 26, and 28, and July 1, 4, and 10, 1878 25 Extracts from Treaty of Berlin: Arts. XLIV and LXII, 1878 33 Mr. White to the Marquis of Salisbury, Oct. 25, 1879 34 Identic Note to Rumanian Government, Feb. 20, 1880 35

(g) RUMANIA AND THE POWERS (1902) 36 DOCUMENTS— Dispatch from Mr. John Hay to U.S. Minister at Athens, July 17, 1902 38 American Circular Note to the Great Powers, Aug. 11, 1902 44 Mr. Bertie to Mr. Choate, Sept. 2, 1902 44

(h) THE CONFERENCES OF LONDON, ST. PETERSBURG, AND BUCHAREST (1912-1913) 45 DOCUMENTS— Conference of Bucharest: Protocol of July 23, 1913 47 Jewish Conjoint Committee to Sir Edward Grey, Oct. 13, 1913 48 Sir Eyre A. Crowe to Conjoint Committee, Oct. 29, 1913 51 Conjoint Committee to Sir Edward Grey, Nov. 13, 1913 51 The same to the same, March 12, 1914 52

(i) THE JEWISH QUESTION AND THE BALANCE OF POWER (1890 and 1906) 54 DOCUMENT— The proposed Anti-Semitic Triple Alliance: Secret Russian Memorandum, Jan. 3, 1906 57


(a) STATUS OF JEWS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES 63 DOCUMENT— Art. XIV, Treaty of Carlowitz, 1699 71 Interpretation by Austrian Government, Dec. 28, 1815 71 Arts. I, III, and VI of Franco-Swiss Treaty, 1827 71 Secret Note by French Negotiator, Aug. 7, 1826 72 Speech of King Louis-Philippe, Nov. 5, 1835 73 Extract from Franco-Swiss Treaty, June 30, 1864 73 Art. I, Anglo-Swiss Treaty, Sept. 6, 1855 73 Art. I, American-Swiss Treaty, Nov. 6, 1855 74 Interpretation by United States, 1857 74 Mr. Seward to U.S. Minister in Switzerland, Sept. 14, 1861 75 Art. I, Russo-American Treaty, 1832 75 Mr. Blaine to U.S. Minister in St. Petersburg, July 29, 1881 76 Resolution of U.S. House of Representatives, Dec. 13, 1911 79 Resolution of U.S. Senate, Dec. 20, 1911 79 Arts. I and XI, Anglo-Russian Treaty, 1859 80 Interpretation by Great Britain, 1862 and 1881 81 The Marquis of Salisbury to Sir Julian Goldsmid, Jan. 29, 1891 82 Sir Edward Grey to Jewish Conjoint Committee, Oct. 1, 1912 82 Art. XIII, Anglo-Moorish Treaty, 1856 83

(b) CONSULAR PROTECTION 83 DOCUMENTS— Earl Russell to the Jewish Board of Deputies, Feb. 1, 1864 86 Art. III, Anglo-Moorish Treaty, 1727-28 87 Art. III, Anglo-Moorish Treaty, 1856 87 Art. IV, Anglo-Moorish Treaty, 1856 87 Franco-Moorish Reglement, Aug. 19, 1863 88

(c) THE CONFERENCES OF MADRID (1880) AND ALGECIRAS (1906) 88 DOCUMENTS— Madrid: Protocols of May 20 and June 24, 1880 90 Art. VI, Treaty of Madrid, 1880 91 Edict of the Sultan of Morocco, 1864 92 Madrid: Protocol of June 26, 1880 92 Algeciras: Protocol of April 2, 1906 98


DOCUMENTS— Russian Memorandum, Oct. 1840 107 Austrian Memorandum, Oct. 1840 111 Lord Clanricarde to Lord Palmerston, Feb. 23. 1841 113 Memoire of the King of Prussia, Feb. 24, 1841 114 Baron Buelow to Lord Palmerston, March 6, 1841 116 Lord Beauvale to Lord Palmerston, March 2, 1841 116 Lord Palmerston to Lord Beauvale, March 11, 1841 117 Further Austrian Memorandum, March 31, 1841 117 Col. Churchill to Sir Moses Montefiore, June 14, 1841 119 The same to the same, Aug. 15, 1842 121 Resolution of the Jewish Board of Deputies, Nov. 8, 1843 123 Col. Churchill to the Board of Deputies, Jan. 8, 1843 123 Art. V of Agreement between Great Britain, France and Russia, Feb. 21, 1917 124 Mr. Balfour to Lord Rothschild, Nov. 2, 1917 124


International Anti-Semitism in 1498 126 DOCUMENT— Sub-Prior of Santa Cruz to Ferdinand and Isabella, July 18, 1498 126






The Jewish Question is part of the general question of Religious Toleration. Together with the questions relating to the toleration of "Turks and Infidels," it raises the question of Religious Liberty in its most acute form. It is both local and international. Locally it seeks a solution through Civil and Political Emancipation on the basis of Religious Toleration. Internationally it arises when a State or combination of States which has been gained to the cause of Religious Toleration intervenes for the protection or emancipation of the oppressed Jewish subjects of another State. There have been, however, at least two occasions when the interventions have taken the contrary form of efforts to promote the persecution or restraint of Jews as such.[1]

As an altruistic form of international action the principle of intervention has been of slow growth. It required an atmosphere of toleration on a wide scale, and, before this atmosphere could be created, Christian States had to learn toleration for themselves by a hard experience of its necessity. They had, in the first place, to secure toleration for their own nationals and the converts of their Churches in heathen countries where the people could not be coerced or lectured with impunity. In the next place they had to achieve toleration among themselves.

Toleration among the Christian Churches—the so-called peace of Christendom—became necessary owing to the struggle between the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation; but it took the Thirty Years' War to prove its necessity. The proof is embodied for all time in the Peace of Westphalia—chiefly in the Treaty of Osnabruck, which was signed in 1648, at the same time as the famous Treaty of Muenster. The ostensible effect of the Peace of Westphalia was to place Roman Catholicism and Protestantism on an equal legal footing throughout Europe. A secondary effect was to give a very marked stimulus to the cause of Religious Liberty generally. We may recognise its first fruits in, among other things, the campaign for unrestricted religious toleration during the Commonwealth in England, and its application to the Jews.[2]

It was not until 1814 that this principle was extended by Treaty beyond the pale of Christendom. This was in the Protocol of the four allied Powers—Great Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria—by which the union of Belgium with Holland was recognised. The return of the House of Orange to the Netherlands after the fall of Napoleon had entailed the promulgation of a new Constitution, which, in view of the democratic traditions of the French occupation, was necessarily of a liberal type. Among its concessions was an article granting the fullest religious liberty. When the Powers were called upon to sanction the union with Belgium, they did so on condition that the new Constitution should be applied to the whole country, and, in view of the religious differences prevailing, emphasised the article on Religious Liberty. This is the form in which it appears in the Protocol:—

* * * * *

Art. I.—Cette reunion devra etre entiere et complete, de facon que les 2 Pays ne forment qu'un seul et meme Etat regi par la Constitution deja etablie en Hollande, et qui sera modifiee, d'un commun accord, d'apres les nouvelles circonstances.

Art. II.—Il ne sera rien innove aux Articles de cette Constitution qui assurent a tous les Cultes une protection et une faveur egales, et garantissent l'admission de tous les Citoyens, quelle que soit leur croyance religieuse, aux emplois et offices publics.

* * * * *

Incidentally the legal effect of this stipulation was to emancipate the Dutch Jews, though, as a matter of fact, the few disabilities under which they laboured did not immediately disappear. The Protocol was afterwards ratified by the Congress of Vienna and added to the Final Act as part of the Tenth Annexe,[3] though in other respects the Congress did not evince a very generous conception of Religious Liberty.

The conquest of religious liberty for Christians in heathen lands was a more convincing object lesson than the Peace of Westphalia. It was difficult for one Christian Church to acknowledge its equality with another Christian Church and to tolerate heresy, but it was far more distasteful to have to come to terms with the heathen and to accept toleration at his hands.

This was not altogether an altruistic form of political action. It was in some of its aspects part of the elementary duty of every State to protect its nationals in foreign countries.

The earliest instances of this action we find in China, where, in the thirteenth century, the Papacy concluded Treaties with the Mongol Emperors for the protection of Christian Missions.[4] It was not, however, until the Treaty of Tientsin in 1858 that Great Britain and France secured religious liberty for Christians in China.

In the Mussulman Levant, toleration for foreign Christians was secured by the so-called Capitulations. These were, in effect, treaties, although they were in the form of grants by the Sultans. They gave large exterritorial jurisdiction to the Ambassadors and Consuls of the States on whom they were conferred. The earliest grant of this kind occurs in the ninth century, when the Emperor Charlemagne obtained guarantees for his subjects visiting the Levant from the famous Khalif Haroun al-Rashid.[5] Later on, all the leading Christian States negotiated Capitulations with the Sultans. The existing British Capitulations are dated 1675, but an earlier grant was made in 1583.

One of the main objects of the Capitulations, besides personal security and trading rights, was to assure religious liberty for the nationals of the grantees. This benefited Jews at an early date, as the Capitulations and similar treaties generally provided for certain immunities for the native interpreters, servants and other employees of the privileged foreigners. As Jews were frequently so employed, they thus acquired protection against Moslem fanaticism.

In this way arose the system of Consular Protection which was long a boon to Jews in the Ottoman Empire and in the Barbary States.[6]

In spite of these experiences the idea of diplomatic intervention for the promotion of religious toleration in foreign States, especially on behalf of non-Christians, has only prevailed within narrow limits. It has been largely circumvented by the fact that such interventions must, even with the best will in the world, be more or less conditioned by the raison d'etat. Unless they are likely to promote policy, or at any rate to coincide with policy, the usual course when they are invoked is to take refuge in the so-called principle of non-intervention.

It was, indeed, not until the seventeenth century that the question was seriously discussed at all by the jurists, although Cromwell had already laid down the splendid principle, in the case of the persecution of the Vaudois, that "to be indifferent to such things is a great sin, and a deeper sin still is it to be blind to them from policy or ambition." The first impulses of the international lawyers were much in the Cromwellian spirit. Bacon, Grotius, and Puffendorff all strongly maintained the legality not only of diplomatic but also of armed intervention to put down tyranny or misgovernment in a neighbouring State, and a century later they were followed by Vattel. Sweden acted upon the principle in her intervention on behalf of the Protestants of Poland in 1707, and, in 1792, it was given its widest scope, and was formally adopted, by the French Revolution in the famous decree of the Convention which promised "fraternity and succour to all peoples who wish to recover their liberty."

The doctrine, however, lingered only anaemically through the early decades of the nineteenth century. In face of the growing delicacy of the international system, it was gradually abandoned for the conservative principle of non-intervention, based on the independence and equality of all States.[7] But even this principle has not always been observed in regard to small States, although, curiously enough, Russia invoked it against Great Britain for the protection of King "Bomba" of Sicily, in the case of the Neapolitan prison horrors.[8] Abstention from intervention in certain glaring cases of inhumanity by foreign Governments—such as the persecution of the Russian Jews—has been defended on the ground of absence of treaty rights, but, as a matter of fact, this argument, too, has not been consistently adhered to.[9] In all cases, whether of great or small States, treaty rights or no treaty rights, the real test has almost always been the frigid raison d'etat. The United States has been less affected by this restriction than the European Powers, and on many occasions has shown a really noble example of the purest altruism in international politics.[10]


Long before the Peace of Westphalia an attempt was made by the famous Jewess, Donna Gracia Nasi, to obtain protection for her persecuted co-religionists by diplomatic action, and it proved successful. The circumstances will be narrated presently.[11] It stood, however, alone for two hundred years. Even after the Peace eminent Jews, who sought in a like way to enlist the sympathy and help of European governments, failed. Menasseh ben Israel made representations in this sense on behalf of the oppressed Jews of Poland, Prussia, Spain, and Portugal to both Queen Christina of Sweden and Oliver Cromwell, but although he met with much and genuine sympathy he found the raison d'etat—and probably also a lingering reluctance to regard Jews as quite within the pale of humanity—too strong for him.[12] A decade later a similar attempt was made by Fernando Mendes da Costa, one of the founders of the Anglo-Jewish Community, and a member of a very distinguished Portuguese Marrano family. From a letter of his which is still extant,[13] it seems that he was deeply concerned in helping the persecuted Marranos in Spain and Portugal, and he had a scheme for organising an emigration of his hapless brethren on a large scale to Italy and England. He received much help from Don Francisco Manuel de Mello, the distinguished Portuguese soldier, author and diplomatist, and through him interested Queen Katharine of Braganza and Charles II in the scheme. It appears, too, that, with the support of these eminent personages, the scheme was brought to the notice of the Pope, but of its subsequent fate we know nothing.


The earliest actual intervention of a Great Power on behalf of the Jews on humanitarian grounds took place in 1744-45, when Great Britain and Holland made strong and successful representations to the Government of the Empress Maria Theresa for the protection of the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. The intervening Powers were allies of the Empress in the War of the Austrian Succession which was then raging. During the war some prejudice had been caused to the Austrian Jews through the imprudence of some of their co-religionists in Lorraine, who had obtained "safe conducts" from the French Military Authorities to enable them to cross the frontier into France. Reprisals against the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia were taken by the Empress in the shape of a decree of wholesale banishment. The decree was enforced with the utmost severity, and over 20,000 Jews were compelled to leave Prague in the depth of winter, with little or no prospect of finding shelter elsewhere. Appeals for help were addressed to foreign communities, and among the recipients of them was Aaron Franks, then presiding Warden of the Great Synagogue in London. Together with his wealthy and influential relative, Moses Hart, he at once petitioned King George, who consented to receive him in personal audience. His Majesty manifested every sympathy with the persecuted Jews, and the result was that the British Ambassador in Vienna[14] was instructed to make representations, in concert with the Dutch Ambassador, to the Austrian Government. The representations were received in excellent spirit, and, in deference to them, the Empress consented to revoke the decree and permit the Jews to return to their homes.[15]


PETITION TO KING GEORGE II (B. M. Add. MSS. 23,819, f. 63).

To his Most Sacred Majesty

* * * * *

The Petition of Moses Hart and Aaron Franks of the City of London Merchants In behalf of their Brethren the Distressed Jews of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Humbly Sheweth

That your Majesty's Petitioners have receiv'd a Copy of an Edict published and Issued by Her Majesty the Queen of Hungary from their said Brethren the Jews of the said Kingdom of Bohemia by which (together with several letters that have been transmitted to them Requesting them to Commiserate their distress'd condition and Interceed with his Brittanick Majesty on their behalf) it appears that their said Brethren are to be utterly Expelled the said Kingdom and that by the last day of January next Ensuing No Jew is to be found in any of the Towns belonging to Prague. That after the Expiration of six Months to be accounted from the said last day of January No Jew is to be suffered or found in the Hereditary Dominion of her said Majesty, and in case any should be found they are to suffer Military Chastisement.

Your Petitioners most humbly beg leave to observe that in the said Edict there is no reason or cause assign'd for the Expulsion of their said Brethren who therefore Suspect that it is fomented by their inveterate enemies for motives which they cannot account for as they have always acted as dutiful, Faithful and Loyal Subjects to their most Gracious Sovereign the said Queen of Hungary even during the many Revolutions that have happened in Prague within these few Years and notwithstanding the great Devastation and Excesses which Naturally occur'd therefrom they have continued and still do continue firm and unshaken in their Principles of Affection & Fidelity to her said Majesty and her most Illustrious House.

Your Petitioners far from Vindicating any Particular Persons in the Crimes they may have committed during the last Revolution (if any such there are) desire Adequate Punishments to be inflicted on them; but humbly hope that the Innocent will not be permitted to suffer for Crimes which they have in no wise been Accessary to and humbly Remonstrate that the Expulsion of fifty thousand Familys and upwards from their Native Country at so critical a Juncture who (as Your Petitioners are informed and believe) always Contributed and Concurr'd in strengthening her Majesty's hands against her Enemies must in its consequences prove Detrimental and Prejudicial to the true Interest of the common Cause and more immediately so to her Hungarian Majesty.

In tender Consideration whereof Your Petitioners (in behalf of the aforesaid distress'd people) most humbly Supplicate your Majesty in your great & known Equity & Compassion to Interpose Your Majesty's Good Offices upon this Occasion with the Queen of Hungary in order to prevail upon her said Majesty to revoke the said Edict or at least to Suspend the time of the Expulsion of their said Brethren & to establish a Commission of Enquiry in order to discriminate the Innocent from the Guilty and Punish those only who have deserv'd her said Majesty's Displeasure.

And Your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray &c.




MOSES HART & AARON FRANKS Petition in behalf of the Bohemian Jews &c. in Ld. Harrington's of the 28 Decr./8 Jany. 1745. sent to Sir Thos. Robinson 27 [sic] Decr. 1744.

* * * * *


PRAGUE, 1st Decr. 1744. N.S.

It is Certainly very Notorious all the Callamities Which have overwhelm'd us to such a Degree that we had hardly power to Withstand them. but None were in Competition with this Last. by a Decree from her Majesty our Sovereign Queen of Hungaria. To Banish all the Jews out of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Within the Term of 5 Weeks. Which is the Latter End of January for those in Prague. & those in Bohemia are allow'd 6 Months. as appears by the original Decree of Her Majesty—Therefore What shall we poor Souls do, in the first place, the Children Women, infirm & Aged. Which are not in a Condition to Walk. Especially at this present Juncture Being Cold & frosty Weather. Likewise In the Condition we are at Present in for the Stripd many Hundreds quite to their shirts. Not only that. but the World Is Closed to us. by reason all Roads are filled with Troops. Which way Soever we Turn we Can find no Relief. Neither do we know the reason for the Decree. Excepting some false persons. Who Contrive falsities on purpose To breed ill will against us by our Lords Who Protected us. Which they have Done.

Therefore Brethren. We Humbly Beg you wou'd Commiserate our Condition Considering the Eminent Danger Many Thousands Souls are in by this Decree. & Not Delay Interceeding for Recommendations from all Courts that we may have time allowed us. for a Commission of Inquiry.









Representation from the Jews at Prague

Sent to Sir Thos. Robinson 28 Decr./Jany 8. 1744-5.

* * * * *


After Mature Deliberation We have been Induced by many weighty Reasons and Considerations to resolve and Determine that no JEW shall hereafter be Suffered or permitted to Dwell in our Hereditary Kingdom of Bohemia, which our Resolution, We Will Shall be put in Execution in Manner following.

1st. That on the last Day of the Month of January 1745 next Ensuing No Jew shall be found in any of our Towns belonging to Prague, and in Case any shall, Military Chastisement shall be inflicted on them.

2nd. They are hereby permitted to Stay and remain in the Kingdom six Months to be Accounted from the Latter end of December Instant and to Determine at the latter end of the Month of June 1745 to Settle their Affairs and in order to Dispose of their Effects Estate and Credit which they shall not be able to Carry with them by the last Day of January.

That after their retreat from Prague (towards the Country) on the last day of January as is aforementioned, No Jew shall be permitted to Reenter the said City by Day (without having a Certificate from the Commissary appointed to Execute the Contents hereof) and absolutely None shall be Suffered to Stay a Single Night; And the Said Commissary is hereby Directed to take the Necessary Precautions for Executing this Our Will and Pleasure, and due Care that None of his Certificates be Improperly made use of by Enabling them to Enter the City too frequently excepting such as he shall grant thro' favour to the Principal Merchants who will stand in Greater Need than others of entring the City often.

3rd. After the Determination of the said Six Months all the Jews shall quitt all our Hereditary Kingdom of Bohemia and Shall Never more be found on the Borders thereof, and in Case any Shall, Military Chastisement shall be inflicted on them as aforesaid.

4th. Our Meaning and Intention is not only that the Jews of the City of Prague and all others who live in any Part of our Hereditary Kingdom of Bohemia shall quitt the Same within the Thirtieth day of June 1745 but also that No Jew shall on the said Day be found in the said Kingdom or Settle in any of our Hereditary Countrys.

5th. And we do hereby Ordain and Appoint our Trusty and Well-beloved Privy Councellor and Vice President of the Royal Bohemian Kingdom The Right Honourable Philip Knakowsky Count Collowrath punctually to perform the Contents hereof hereby requiring all and Every Person whom these Presents or the Execution thereof may Concern to aid and Assist the said Philip Count Collowrath and Do hereby further Positively Order that the Contents hereof be Published in the Towns belonging to Prague and our whole Country to the End that no Intelligence be given thereof to those who Shall have any Dealings and Transactions with Jews.

Witness Ourself

Given at Vienna the 18th day of December 1744.

* * * * *



WHITEHALL, 28th Decr. 1744.

SIR,—The principal Merchants of the Jewish Nation established here, having made an humble Application to His Majesty, that he would be pleased to intercede with the Queen of Hungary for a Reversal of the Sentence passed upon Their Brethren in Bohemia (amounting, as They affirm, to no less than Sixty Thousand Families), by Her Majesty's late Edict, whereby They are ordered to depart that Kingdom in Six Months time, and His Majesty finding that the States General have already interposed Their Good Offices in Their Behalf; It is the King's Pleasure, that you should join with Mor. Burmannia in endeavouring to dissuade the Court of Vienna from putting the said Sentence in Execution, hinting to Them in the tenderest and most friendly Manner, the Prejudice that the World might conceive against the Queen's Proceedings in that Affair, if such Numbers of innocent People were made to suffer for the Fault of some few Traytors, and, at the same time, shewing Them, the great Loss that would accrue to Her Majesty's Revenue, and to the Wealth and Strength of her Kingdom of Bohemia, by depriving it at once of so vast Numbers of it's Inhabitants: You will find inclosed the Petition presented to His Majesty by the Jews here, as above-mentioned, together with the Representation sent hither to Them from Those in Bohemia, and I am to add to what is above, that, as His Majesty does extremely commiserate the terrible circumstances of Distress to which so many poor and innocent Families must be reduced, if this Edict takes place, He is most earnestly desirous of procuring the Repeal of it by His Royal Intercession, in such Manner that the Guilty only may be brought to Punishment; for obtaining which, you are to exert yourself with all possible Zeal and Diligence.

I am, Sir,

Your most obedient humble Servant,



* * * * *


The next appearance of the Jewish Question in the field of international politics was at the Congress of Vienna, sixty years later. The Congress was not favourable to liberal reforms of any kind, either national or religious. Its aim was to vindicate the vested interests of Legitimism against the doctrines of the French Revolution. In its final shape the policy of the Congress was embodied in the Holy Alliance. British foreign policy, then under the guidance of Castlereagh, was distinctly favourable to this policy. Nevertheless, there were curious cross-currents at the Congress, and what liberalism there was came, strangely enough, in large part from the Russian Tsar, Alexander I. He had moments of liberalism so pronounced that Metternich called him "the crowned sans-culotte."

It is curious to note that the Jewish Board of Deputies in England did not move during the Congress. The reason is perhaps not difficult to understand. They were always timid in regard to high politics, and, in 1783, when it was proposed to address the King on the American Peace, they actually passed a resolution declaring that it was their duty to avoid such "political concerns."[16] In the case of the Congress of Vienna, however, they may well have felt that they could not touch the question of religious liberty, and especially of Jewish emancipation, without risking an imputation of Jacobinism. Moreover, the British Cabinet then in power was a Coalition Cabinet of pro-Catholics and anti-Catholics, and they could not well listen to any proposals that they should champion Jewish emancipation in Vienna, while in Downing Street the question of Roman Catholic emancipation could not even be discussed.

Fortunately, these considerations did not apply to the German Jews. Frankfurt and the Hansa towns sent deputations to Vienna to plead the cause of Jewish emancipation. The Frankfurt deputation was headed by Jacob Baruch, father of Ludwig Boerne. They managed to secure the support of both Hardenberg and Metternich, and when it was found that the Tsar was not averse from some concession to the Jews, they agreed to propose the insertion of a clause—or rather half a clause—in the Final Act of the Conference providing for the gradual extension of civil rights to the Jews of Germany.

Unfortunately for a long time this concession remained a dead letter, owing not only to the ill-will of the German Governments themselves, but to an apparently harmless verbal amendment which was introduced into the clause by the Redaction Committee at the last moment. In the final alinea it was stipulated that "the rights already conferred on the Jews in the several Federated States shall be maintained." The object of this was to secure to the Jews of Germany the liberties granted to them by Napoleon during the French occupation. This design was frustrated by the Redaction Committee, at whose instance the word "by" was substituted for "in," the result being that the rights secured to the Jews were not those of the French occupation, but only those which had been grudgingly, and in very small measure, granted to them by the Federated States themselves in the dark days before the Napoleonic irruption.

Thus the provision of the Treaty of Vienna relating to the Jews of Germany remained a dead letter, partly because of the amendment introduced into it at the last moment, and partly because the authorities had no intention of carrying it out. The Jews complained, and both Prussia and Austria, under the influence of Hardenberg and Metternich, protested.[17] Nathan Rothschild in London brought the case of the recalcitrant Frankfurt authorities to the notice of the Duke of Wellington, who persuaded Castlereagh in 1816 to make representations with a view to their protection.[18] All these efforts, however, proved futile, and Nathan Rothschild could only avenge himself by the public announcement that his firm would refuse to accept bills drawn in any German city where the Jews were denied their treaty rights.[19]


* * * * *

The following is a list of the documents relating to the Jewish Question at the Vienna Congress given in Klueber: "Akten des Wiener Kongresses."

* * * * *

1. Unterthaenige Vorstellung und Bittschrift der Israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt-am-Main an den hohen Kongress zu Wien mit Beilage uebergeben daselbst am 10ten Oktober 1814.

2. Schreiben des Deputierten der Israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt/M an den Koeniglichen-Preussischen ersten Herrn Bevollmaechtigten Fuersten von Hardenberg wegen Erhaltung der von dem Grossherzog von Frankfurt jener Gemeinde bewilligten Rechtzustandes. Datiert Wien, 12ten Mai, 1815.

3. Antwort seiner Durchlaucht des Fuersten von Hardenberg auf vorstehendes Schreiben. Datiert Wien, 18ten Mai, 1815.

4. Erlass des Kaiserlich-Oesterreichischen ersten Bevollmaechtigten und Kongress-Praesidenten Herrn Fuersten von Metternich an die Deputierten der Israelitischen Gemeinde der Stadt Frankfurt-am-Main als Antwort auf die von diesen an den Kongress eingereichte Bittschrift. Datiert Wien, 9ten Juni, 1815.

5. Anmerkung des Herausgebers (Kluebers) zu vorstehenden Erlass an die Deputierten der Israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt-am-Main.

6. Note des Kaiserlich-Oesterreichischen Herrn Bevollmaechtigten und Kongress Praesidenten Fuersten von Metternich, wodurch derselbe dem Bevollmaechtigten der freien Stadt Frankfurt Herrn Syndicus Danz die von dem allerhoechsten verbuendeten Maechten, neuerdings erfolgte Bestaetigung der Selbstaendigkeit und Freiheit der Stadt Frankfurt anzeigt. Datiert Wien, 9ten Juni, 1815 mit einer Beilage.

7. Accessions Urkunde der freien Stadt Frankfurt.

* * * * *

(See also documents relating to the abolition of the Feudal land-tenure System on the left bank of the Rhine, effected during the domination of the French revolutionary Government, vol. vi., pp. 396-426.)

* * * * *

8. Erlass des Kaiserlich-Oesterreichischen ersten Bevollmaechtigten und Kongress Praesidenten Fuersten von Metternich an den Bevollmaechtigten Israelitischen Gemeinden Deutschland Doktor und Advokaten Carl August Buchholz aus Luebeck betreffend die Verbesserung des Rechtzustandes der Juden, vol. 9, p. 334.

* * * * *

The Article of the Final Act relating to the Jews is Article XVI of Annexe IX, "Acte sur la Constitution Federative de l'Allemagne." It runs as follows:—

* * * * *

XVI.—La difference des Confessions Chretiennes dans les Pays et Territoires de la Confederation Allemande, n'en entrainera aucune dans la jouissance des droits civils et politiques.

La Diete prendra en consideration les moyens d'operer de la maniere la plus uniforme, l'amelioration de l'etat civil de ceux qui professent la Religion Juive en Allemagne, et s'occupera particulierement des mesures, par lesquelles on pourra leur assurer et leur garantir dans les Etats de la Confederation, la jouissance des Droits Civils, a condition qu'ils se soumettent a toutes les obligations des autres Citoyens. En attendant les Droits accordes deja aux Membres de cette Religion par tel ou tel Etat en particulier, leur sont conserves.

(British and Foreign State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 132-3.)

* * * * *


At the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle, the question was once more brought before the Great Powers. This time the initiative was taken by a well-known English conversionist, the Rev. Lewis Way, of Stanstead, Sussex. There was, however, no trace of conversionism in his efforts on this occasion, and there can be no question that the Jewish Community owe him a great debt of gratitude. He proceeded to Aix some weeks before the Congress met, and presented to the Tsar Alexander a short scheme of Jewish emancipation. The Tsar encouraged him to amplify it, and this he did in two elaborate memoirs, one describing the situation of the Jews, and the other embodying a scheme under which they might be invested with civil rights. To this he added a short memorandum drawn up at his request by Dohm, the veteran champion of the Jews, who came to Aix for that special purpose. By command of the Tsar, these documents were presented to the Congress at its sitting on November 21, 1818, and were made the subject of a special Protocol, in which sympathy was expressed for "the praiseworthy object of his proposals." The plenipotentiaries further declared that the solution of the Jewish Question was a matter which should "equally occupy the statesman and the friend of humanity."[20] It is interesting to note that in his scheme Way declares himself to be a believer in Jewish Nationalism, and it is for this reason that he does not ask for more than civil rights for the Jews, as he regards their exile in Europe as an intermediate stage of their history. In this he was probably influenced by the prevalent anti-French atmosphere, inasmuch as the French Jews, in their compact with Napoleon, made by the Sanhedrin in 1806, had solemnly repudiated Jewish Nationalism, and had thus rendered themselves eligible for political, as well as civil, rights.[21]


For the texts of the documents referred to above see "Memoires sur l'etat des Israelites, dedies et presentes a leur Majestes Imperiales et Royales, Reunies au Congres d'Aix-la-Chapelle" [by the Rev. Lewis Way, A.M.], Paris, 1819.

The Protocol of the Congress at which these "Memoires" were considered runs as follows:—

* * * * *


Seance du 21 Novembre, 1818. Entre les cinq Cabinets.

Messieurs les SS. de Russie ont communique l'imprime ci-joint, relatif a une reforme dans la legislation civile et politique en ce qui concerne la nation juive. La conference, sans entrer absolument dans toutes les vues de l'auteur de cette piece, a rendu justice a la tendance generale et au but louable de ses propositions. MM. les SS. d'Autriche et de Prusse se sont declares prets a donner, sur l'etat de la question dans les deux monarchies, tous les eclaircissements qui pourraient servir a la solution d'un probleme qui doit egalement occuper l'homme d'etat et l'ami de l'humanite.


* * * * *


The growing symptoms of an impending break-up of the Ottoman Empire visibly extended the practical applications of the doctrine of religious liberty in the field of international politics. In emancipating the Christian feudatories of the Porte, account had to be taken of the large Moslem and Jewish minorities inhabiting those States. It was impossible to emancipate the Christians and at the same time to place non-Christians under disabilities, especially where they had governments of their own faith to whom they might appeal and who might resort to reprisals. Hence, the parity of all religions in the Levant had to be recognised.

The point first arose in the settlement of the Greek question in 1830. In this question it was not only the Moslems who had to be considered. France renounced in favour of the new Kingdom her Protectorate over the Catholics, which she derived from her capitulations with Turkey. Hence, besides the Moslems, guarantees had to be exacted for the religious liberty of Catholics in Greece. These guarantees were the subject of the third Protocol of the Conference of London, February 3, 1830. At the same time it was stipulated that there should be perfect equality for the subjects of the new State, whatever might be their religion. Neither Moslems nor Jews were expressly mentioned, but it is in virtue of this Protocol that the Jews of Greece enjoy their present status as Greek Nationals. The Jews of Greece were thus the first Jews of the Levant to be fully emancipated.


* * * * *

PROTOCOL No. 3 of the Conference held at the Foreign Office, London, on 3 February, 1830.

Present: The Plenipotentiaries of Great Britain, France and Russia.

The Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg having been called, by the united suffrages of the three Courts of the Alliance, to the Sovreignty of Greece, the French Plenipotentiary requested the attention of the Conference to the particular situation in which his Government is placed, relative to a portion of the Greek population.

He represented that for many ages France has been entitled to exercise, in favour of the Catholics subjected to the Sultan, an especial protection, which His Most Christian Majesty deems it to be his duty to deposit at the present moment in the hands of the future Sovereign of Greece, so far as the provinces which are to form the new State are concerned; but in divesting himself of this prerogative, His Most Christian Majesty owes it to himself, and he owes it to a people who have lived so long under the protection of his ancestors, to require that the Catholics of the continent and of the islands shall find in the organization which is about to be given to Greece, guarantees which may be substituted for the influence which France has hitherto exercised in their favour.

The Plenipotentiaries of Great Britain and Russia appreciated the justice of this demand; and it was decided that the Catholic religion should enjoy in the new State the free and public exercise of its worship, that its property should be guaranteed to it, that its bishops should be maintained in the integrity of the functions, rights and privileges, which they have enjoyed under the protection of the Kings of France, and that, lastly, agreeably to the same principle, the properties belonging to the antient French Missions, or French Establishments, shall be recognized and respected.

The Plenipotentiaries of the three Allied Courts being desirous moreover of giving to Greece a new proof of the benevolent anxiety of their Sovereigns respecting it, and of preserving that country from the calamities which the rivalry of the religions therein professed might excite, agreed that all the subjects of the new State, whatever may be their religion, shall be admissable to all public employments, functions, and honours, and be treated on the footing of a perfect equality, without regard to difference of creed in all their relations, religious, civil or political.


(Holland: "The European Concert in the Eastern Question," pp. 32, 33.)

* * * * *

(e) THE CONGRESS OF PARIS (1856-1858).

The Jewish Question was more expressly discussed twenty-six years later, at the Congress of Paris, and the subsidiary conferences which had to settle the great political problems arising out of the Crimean War. Meanwhile, under the influence of Sir Moses Montefiore, and more especially of his jealousy of M. Cremieux, the Jewish Board of Deputies had plucked up a measure of courage, and had begun to take a more active interest in the larger political questions which involved the future of their foreign co-religionists. In the international discussions of the question of religious liberty which preceded the outbreak of war, the Powers only concerned themselves with the Christian communities. The French Jews at once took alarm, and the Central Consistory addressed the Emperor Napoleon III and applied to the Board of Deputies in London to make similar representations to the British Government. Both bodies had, however, been anticipated by the personal activity of the Rothschilds in Paris and London. Baron James, through his gifted friend and co-worker, Albert Cohn, had already entered into direct negotiations with the Turkish Government, and Baron Lionel and Sir Anthony de Rothschild had interviewed Lord Clarendon, who, at their instance, had given instructions to Lord Stratford de Redcliffe to take special note of the Jewish Question. Thus, when the letter of the French Consistory was read at the Meeting of the Board of Deputies on April 24, 1854, that body found that it had little to do. Nevertheless, it addressed a formal letter to Lord Clarendon on May 10, and, five days later, received an assurance from him that it might rely on a favourable consideration of the situation of the Jews of Turkey at the hands of His Majesty's Government.[22]

Nevertheless, the Treaty of Paris of 1856, which more or less settled all the questions arising out of the war, does not mention the Jews in any of its articles. This is not to say that it did not fulfil Lord Clarendon's pledges. As a matter of fact, it deals with both the situation of the Jews in Turkey and with that of the Jews in the liberated Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Thus, Article IX, which takes note of the Turkish Hatti-Humayoun of February 18, 1856, is intended to refer to the Jews as well as to all other non-Mussulmans. The history of this aspect of the Article is a little curious. Shortly after the outbreak of the war in 1854, Turkey prepared a draft treaty of peace containing an article providing for the religious liberty of Christian communities. Through the inter-position of Baron James de Rothschild of Paris, this article was reconsidered, and another was inserted granting equal rights to all Ottoman subjects, without distinction of creed. This was the germ of the famous Hatti-Humayoun. That the latter was intended to deal equally with Jews and Christians is shown by its Article II, in which the same privileges are expressly granted to the Turkish Grand Rabbis as to the ecclesiastical heads of the Christian confessions.[23]

The absence of any direct reference to the Jews, or even to equal rights for all religious communities in the Principalities, is less satisfactory. The omission is in the first place due to the circumstance that the Treaty in itself is incomplete. Articles XXIII, XXIV, and XXV refer the question of the constitutional reorganisation of the Principalities to a Commission which was to meet at Bucharest and consult Divans of the two Principalities with a view to making the necessary recommendations to the Powers.[24] This Commission did not report until 1858, when its proposals were considered by a fresh Conference of the Powers, which based upon them the scheme embodied in the Convention of Paris of August 19 of that year. The question of religious liberty is dealt with in Article XLVI of that instrument.[25] Originally it was intended to assure complete emancipation and equality for all non-Christian communities in the Principalities, and articles to this effect were adopted by the preparatory Conference of Constantinople, in its Protocol of February 11, 1856, with the express design of relieving the Jews, whose sufferings had already become a matter of European notoriety.[26] The Rumanians, however, were already strongly hostile to Jewish emancipation, and the reigning Prince of Moldavia misled the Powers with specious promises of a type which has since become bitterly familiar to the Jews all over the world.[27] The Report of the Bucharest Commission of 1858 accepted these promises and excluded all references to Religious Liberty from its scheme.[28] The first draft of the Convention submitted to the Conference of the Powers did likewise,[29] but ultimately a compromise amendment was introduced by which the Powers agreed (Art. XLVI) to limit political rights to Christians, while providing for the extension of these rights to non-Christians by subsequent legislative arrangements.[30] This concession to the Rumanians was made on the express pledge that the original scheme of the Conference at Constantinople would be gradually realised.[31] Needless to say, the pledge was never fulfilled. In dealing, however, with the question, the Convention of Paris had one merit. It lent no support to the subsequent theory of the Rumanians, that the Jews were foreigners in a secular sense in their own country, but, on the contrary, assumed that their status was as much that of Moldavians and Wallachians as was the status of the native Christians.



* * * * *

Art. IX. His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, having, in his constant solicitude for the welfare of his subjects, issued a Firman[32] which, while ameliorating their condition without distinction of religion or of race, records his generous intentions towards the Christian populations of his Empire, and wishing to give a further proof of his sentiments in that respect, has resolved to communicate to the Contracting Parties the said Firman emanating spontaneously from his sovereign will.

The Contracting Powers recognise the high value of this communication. It is clearly understood that it cannot, in any case, give to the said Powers the right to interfere, either collectively or separately, in the relations of His Majesty the Sultan with his subjects, nor in the internal administration of the Empire.

(Holland: "European Concert," &c., p. 246.)

* * * * *


I. Les garanties promises et accordees a tous nos sujets par le Hatti-cherif de Gulhane et par les lois du Tanzimat, sans distinction de culte, pour la securite de leur personne et de leurs biens, et pour la conservation de leur honneur, sont rappelees et consacrees de nouveau; il sera pris des mesures efficaces pour que ces garanties recoivent leur plein et entier effet.

II. Sont reconnus et maintenus, en totalite, les immunites et privileges spirituels donnes et accordes par nos illustres ancetres, et a des dates posterieures, aux communautes chretiennes et autres, non musulmanes, etablies dans notre empire, sous notre egide protectrice.... Les patriarches, metropolitains (archeveques), delegues et eveques, ainsi que les grands-rabbins, preteront serment a leur entree en fonctions, d'apres une formule qui sera concertee entre notre Sublime-Porte et les chefs spirituels des differentes communautes.

III....L'administration des affaires temporelles des communautes chretiennes et autres, non musulmanes, sera placee sous le sauvegarde d'un conseil, dont les membres seront choisis parmi le clerge et les laiques de chaque communaute.

VII. Le gouvernement prendra les mesures energiques et necessaires pour assurer a chaque culte, quel que soit le nombre de ses adherents, la pleine liberte de son exercice.

VIII. Tout mot et toute expression ou appellation tendant a rendre une classe de mes sujets inferieure a l'autre, a raison du culte, de la langue ou de la race, sont a jamais abolis et effaces du protocole administratif.

IX. La loi punira l'emploi, entre particuliers, ou de la part des agents de l'autorite, de toute expression ou qualification injurieuse ou blessant.

X. Le culte de toutes les croyances et religions existant dans mes Etats, y etant pratique en toute liberte, aucun de mes sujets ne sera empeche d'exercer la religion qu'il professe.

XI. Personne ne sera ni vexe, ni inquiete a cet egard.

XII. Personne ne sera contraint a changer de culte ou de religion.

XIII. Les agents et employes de l'Etat sont choisis par nous; ils sont nommes par decret imperial; et comme tous nos sujets, sans distinction de nationalite, seront admissibles aux emplois et services publics, ils seront aptes a les occuper, selon leur capacite, et conformement a des regles dont l'application sera generale.

XIV. Tous nos sujets, sans difference ni distinctions, seront recus dans les ecoles civiles et militaires du gouvernement, pourvu qu'ils remplissent les conditions d'age et d'examen specifies dans les reglements organiques des dites ecoles.

XV. De plus, chaque communaute est autorisee a etablir des ecoles publiques pour les sciences, les arts et l'industrie; seulement le mode d'enseignement et le choix des professeurs de ces sortes d'ecoles seront places sous l'inspection et le controle d'un conseil mixte d'instruction publique, dont les membres seront nommes par nous.

(Holland: op. cit., pp. 330-332.)

CONFERENCES OF CONSTANTINOPLE (1856).—Protocol of Feb. 11.

XIII. Tous les cultes et ceux qui les professent jouiront d'une egale liberte et d'une egale protection dans les deux principautes.

XV. Les etrangers pourront posseder des biens-fonds en Moldavie et en Valachie, en acquittant les memes charges que les indigenes, et en se soumettant aux lois.

XVI. Tous les Moldaves et tous les Valaques seront, sans exception, admissibles aux emplois publics.

XVIII. Toutes les classes de la population, sans aucune distinction de naissance ni de culte, jouiront de l'egalite des droits civils, et particulierement du droit de propriete, dans toutes les formes; mais l'exercice des droits politiques sera suspendu pour les indigenes places sous une protection etrangere.

(Ubicini, "La Question des Principautes," p. 13.)

* * * * *


XLVI. Les Moldaves et les Valaques seront tous egaux devant la loi, devant l'impot, et egalement admissibles aux emplois publics dans l'une et l'autre Principaute.

Leur liberte individuelle sera garantie. Personne ne pourra etre retenu, arrete, ni poursuivi que conformement a la loi.

Personne ne pourra etre exproprie que legalement, pour cause d'interet public, et moyennant indemnite.

Les Moldaves et les Valaques de tous les rits Chretiens jouiront egalement des droits politiques. La jouissance de ces droits pourra etre etendue aux autres cultes par les dispositions legislatives.[33]

Tous les privileges, exemptions, ou monopoles, dont jouissent encore certaines classes, seront abolis; et il sera procede sans retard a la revision de la loi qui regle les rapports des proprietaires du sol avec les cultivateurs, en vue d'ameliorer l'etat des paysans.

("Brit. and For. State Papers," vol. xlviii. pp. 77-78.)

* * * * *


Not only were the promises of the Prince of Moldavia not realised, but, during the next twenty years, the Jews of the Principalities were more cruelly persecuted than ever. The persecution extended beyond the frontiers to Servia, and it soon became the leading preoccupation of the Jews throughout the world. Owing to their protests, the Powers frequently intervened.[34] Rumania then took the impudent course of resenting this interference in her internal affairs, on the ground that, by international comity, they were no concern of foreign States. In 1867, this provoked a notable retort from Great Britain. In a despatch sent to Bucharest in that year, the following sentence appears: "The peculiar position of the Jews places them under the protection of the civilised world."[35]

When the Congress of Berlin met in 1878, to reconsider the Eastern Question, the situation of the Jews in Eastern Europe, and more particularly in the Balkans, took its place in the front rank of the preoccupations of the Powers. Several long protocols are entirely devoted to it.[36] The result was that the Treaty of Berlin dealt comprehensively with the whole question of religious liberty, and stipulated separately for such liberty in all the States of the Levant. The Treaty is thus, as the Jewish Conjoint Committee described it, in their important Memorandum of November 1908, "above all a great charter of Emancipation, especially of civil and religious equality."[37] This principle is embodied in no fewer than five of its articles, relating to every political division of the vast region with which it deals, and in each case it is asserted as the fundamental basis of the liberties conferred on the various States.[38] In a word, it made it a principle of European policy that no new State or transfer of territory should be recognised unless the fullest religious liberty and civil and political equality were guaranteed to the inhabitants. Thus it marks the triumph of the principle first tentatively laid down for Holland and Belgium in Article II of the Protocol of June 1814. Though applied to Greece in the Protocol of February 1830, it had had to wait nearly fifty years for universal acceptance.

All the States concerned frankly and honestly accepted this principle, and put it into operation, except Rumania. By a repetition of the specious promises of 1858, she again obtained permission to emancipate her Jews gradually, it being understood that the process would be hastened, and that full emancipation would be accomplished within a reasonable time. Unfortunately the phrasing of the articles embodying the principle left a technical loophole of which Rumania very dexterously availed herself, inasmuch as it did not make provision against the application, under Rumanian law, of the jus sanguinis to the Jews who qua Jews were held to be aliens. The point was not ignored by the Congress, but no attempt was made to satisfy it as the intentions of the Congress were clear enough and reliance was placed on the good faith of Rumania.[39] The result is that for forty years Rumania has evaded both the will of the Congress and her own promises; and to-day the Jews of that country, with the exception of a handful who have been emancipated by individual Acts of Parliament, are the only Jews in Europe who are denied equal rights with their fellow-citizens.


* * * * *


Protocole No. 5.—Seance du 24 Juin, 1878.

M. Waddington donne lecture de deux Articles Additionnels proposes par les Plenipotentiaires de France, et dont voici le texte:—

"Art. I. Tous les sujets Bulgares, quelle que soit leur religion, jouiront d'une complete egalite de droits. Ils pourront concourir a tous les emplois publics, fonctions et honneurs, et la difference de croyance ne pourra leur etre opposee comme un motif d'exclusion.

"L'exercice et la pratique exterieure de tous les cultes seront entierement libres, et aucune entrave ne pourra etre apportee soit a l'organisation hierarchique des differentes communions, soit a leurs rapports avec leurs chefs spirituels.

"II. Une pleine et entiere liberte est assuree aux religieux et eveques Catholiques etrangers pour l'exercice de leur culte en Bulgarie et dans la Roumelie Orientale. Ils seront maintenus dans l'exercice de leurs droits et privileges, et leurs proprietes seront respectees."

Le President dit que ces deux propositions seront imprimees, distribuees, et placees a un ordre du jour ulterieur.

Apres un echange d'observations entre le Comte Schouvaloff et M. Waddington sur la portee des deux propositions de M. le Premier Plenipotentiaire de France, il demeure entendu que la premiere s'applique a la Bulgarie, et l'autre a la Bulgarie et a la Roumelie Orientale ensemble.

("Brit. and For. State Papers," vol. lxix., p. 917.)

* * * * *

Protocole No. 6—Seance du 25 Juin, 1878.

L'ordre du jour appelle ensuite les deux propositions Francaises inserees dans le Protocole 5, et relatives a la liberte des cultes.

Sur la premiere, M. Desprez demande la substitution des mots "habitants de la Principaute de Bulgarie" a ceux de "sujets Bulgares"; cette modification est admise, et la proposition acceptee a l'unanimite. Sur la seconde proposition particulierement relative aux eveques et religieux Catholiques, le Comte Schouvaloff propose de substituer a ces mots, "les ecclesiastiques et religieux etrangers."

Lord Salisbury desirerait que la meme legislation fut, sous ce rapport, etablie pour la Roumelie, et pour les autres provinces de la Turquie.

Caratheodory Pacha declare qu'en effet une proposition concernant le libre exercice du culte dans la province de Roumelie Orientale parait tout-a-fait superflue, cette province devant etre soumise a l'autorite du Sultan, et, par consequent, aux principes et aux lois communs a toutes les parties de l'Empire, et qui etablissent la tolerance pour tous les cultes egalement.

M. Waddington, prenant acte de ces paroles, annonce l'intention d'introduire quelques changements dans la redaction de sa proposition, et demande l'ajournement de la discussion a demain.

(Ibid., p. 935.)

* * * * *

Protocole No. 7—Seance du 26 Juin, 1878.

Le President soumet au Congres l'Article Additionnel presente par les Plenipotentiaires Francais dans une seance precedente, et relatif aux religieux Catholiques etrangers en Bulgarie et en Roumelie Orientale.

Lord Salisbury regrette que les Plenipotentiaires de France ne donnent pas suite a leur proposition en etendant sa portee a toute la Turquie d'Europe. Son Excellence y aurait vu un important progres realise.

M. Waddington repond que le progres dont parle Lord Salisbury a ete obtenu par l'acceptation dans la seance d'hier, de la premiere proposition Francaise qui consacre l'entiere liberte des cultes.

Lord Salisbury ayant fait remarquer que cette proposition ne concernait que la Bulgarie, le President dit que, pour sa part, il s'associe au desir que la liberte des cultes soit reclamee pour toute la Turquie, tant en Europe qu'en Asie, mais il se demande si l'on obtiendrait sur ce point l'assentiment des Plenipotentiaires Ottomans.

Caratheodory Pacha declare, qu'en repondant hier a M. Waddington, il s'en est simplement rapporte a la legislation generale de l'Empire Ottoman ainsi qu'aux Traites et Conventions. Son Excellence ajoute que la tolerance dont jouissent tous les cultes en Turquie ne fait aucun doute, et qu'en l'absence d'une proposition plus etendue sur laquelle il aurait alors a s'expliquer, il se croit en droit de considerer comme superflue une mention speciale pour la Roumelie Orientale.

Le President constate que l'unanimite du Congres s'associe au desir de la France de prendre acte des declarations donnees par la Turquie en faveur de la liberte religieuse. Tel etait le but des Plenipotentiaires Francais, et il a ete atteint. Lord Salisbury desirerait aller au dela, et faire etendre la proposition primitive non seulement a la Bulgarie et la Roumelie, mais a tout l'Empire Ottoman. En ce qui concerne l'Allemagne, le Prince de Bismarck, qui a donne son adhesion a la proposition Francaise, aurait aussi volontiers admis celle de Lord Salisbury, mais la discussion d'une question aussi complexe detournerait le Congres de l'objet de sa seance presente. Son Altesse Serenissime demande toutefois a Lord Salisbury s'il entend presenter a cet egard une motion speciale.

M. le Second Plenipotentiaire de la Grande Bretagne se reserve de revenir sur ce point a propos de l'Article XXII du Traite de San Stefano.

Le Comte Schouvaloff ajoute que le desir de Lord Salisbury de voir etendre la liberte religieuse autant que possible en Europe et en Asie lui semble tres justifie. Son Altesse desirerait qu'il fut fait mention au Protocole de son adhesion au v[oe]u de M. le Plenipotentiaire d'Angleterre, et fait observer que le Congres ayant cherche a effacer les frontieres ethnographiques, et a les remplacer par de frontieres commerciales et strategiques, les Plenipotentiaires de Russie souhaitent d'autant plus que ces frontieres ne deviennent point des barrieres religieuses.

Le President resume la discussion en disant qu'il sera inscrit au Protocole que l'unanimite du Congres s'est ralliee a la proposition Francaise, et que la plupart des Plenipotentiaires ont forme des v[oe]ux pour l'extension de la liberte des cultes. Ce point sera compris d'ailleurs dans la discussion de l'Article XXII du Traite de San Stefano.

(Ibid., pp. 942-943.)

* * * * *

Protocole No. 8.—Seance du 28 Juin, 1878.

Lord Salisbury reconnait l'independance de la Serbie, mais pense qu'il serait opportun de stipuler dans la Principaute le grand principe de la liberte religieuse.

M. Waddington admet egalement l'independance de la Serbie, mais sous le benefice de la proposition suivante identique a celle que le Congres a acceptee pour la Bulgarie:—

"Les habitants de la Principaute de Serbie, quelle que soit leur religion, jouiront d'une complete egalite de droits. Ils pourront concourir a tous les emplois publics, fonctions et honneurs, et exercer toutes les professions, et la difference de croyance ne pourra leur etre opposee comme un motif d'exclusion.

"L'exercice et la pratique exterieure de tous les cultes seront entierement libres, et aucune entrave ne pourra etre apportee soit a l'organisation hierarchique des differentes communions, soit a leurs rapports avec leurs chefs spirituels."

Le Prince Gortchacow craint que cette redaction ne s'applique surtout aux Israelites, et sans se montrer contraire aux principes generaux qui y sont enonces, son Altesse Serenissime ne voudrait pas que la question Israelite, qui viendra plus tard, fut prejugee par une declaration prealable. S'il ne s'agit que de la liberte religieuse, le Prince Gortchacow declare qu'elle a toujours ete appliquee en Russie; il donne pour sa part a ce principe l'adhesion la plus complete et serait pret a l'etendre dans le sens le plus large. Mais s'il s'agit de droits civils et politiques, son Altesse Serenissime demande a ne pas confondre les Israelites de Berlin, Paris, Londres, ou Vienne, auxquels on ne saurait assurement refuser aucun droit politique et civil, avec les Juifs de la Serbie, de la Roumanie, et de quelques provinces Russes, qui sont, a son avis, un veritable fleau pour les populations indigenes.

Le President ayant fait remarquer qu'il conviendrait peut-etre d'attribuer a la restriction des droits civils et politiques ce regrettable etat des Israelites, le Prince Gortchacow rappelle qu'en Russie, le Gouvernement, dans certaines provinces, a du, sous l'impulsion d'une necessite absolue et justifie par l'experience, soumettre les Israelites a un regime exceptionnel pour sauvegarder les interets des populations.

M. Waddington croit qu'il est important de saisir cette occasion solennelle pour faire affirmer les principes de la liberte religieuse par les Representants de l'Europe. Son Excellence ajoute que la Serbie, qui demande a entrer dans la famille Europeenne sur le meme pied que les autres Etats, doit au prealable reconnaitre les principes qui sont la base de l'organisation sociale dans tous les Etats de l'Europe, et les accepter comme une condition necessaire de la faveur qu'elle sollicite.

Le Prince Gortchacow persiste a penser que les droits civils et politiques ne sauraient etre attribues aux Juifs d'une maniere absolue en Serbie.

Le Comte Schouvaloff fait remarquer que ces observations ne constituent pas une opposition de principe a la proposition Francaise: l'element Israelite, trop considerable dans certaines provinces Russes, a du y etre l'objet d'une reglementation speciale, mais son Excellence espere que, dans l'avenir, on pourra prevenir les inconvenients incontestables signales par le Prince Gortchacow sans toucher a la liberte religieuse dont la Russie desire le developpement.

Le Prince de Bismarck adhere a la proposition Francaise, en declarant que l'assentiment de l'Allemagne est toujours acquis a toute motion favorable a la liberte religieuse.

Le Comte de Launay dit qu'au nom de l'Italie il s'empresse d'adherer au principe de la liberte religieuse, qui forme une des bases essentielles des institutions de son pays, et qu'il s'associe aux declarations faites a ce sujet par l'Allemagne, la France, et la Grande Bretagne.

Le Comte Andrassy s'exprime dans le meme sens, et les Plenipotentiaires Ottomans n'elevent aucune objection.

Le Prince de Bismarck, apres avoir constate les resultats du vote, declare que le Congres admet l'independance de la Serbie, mais sous la condition que la liberte religieuse sera reconnue dans la Principaute. Son Altesse Serenissime ajoute que la Commission de Redaction, en formulant cette decision, devra constater la connexite etablie par le Congres entre la proclamation de l'independence Serbe et la reconnaissance de la liberte religieuse.

(Ibid. pp. 959-961.)

* * * * *

Protocole No. 10—Seance du 1er Juillet, 1878.

M. Waddington declare que, fideles aux principes qui les ont inspires jusqu'ici, les Plenipotentiaires de France demandent que le Congres pose a l'independance Roumaine les memes conditions qu'a l'independance Serbe. Son Excellence ne se dissimule pas les difficultes locales qui existent en Roumanie, mais, apres avoir murement examine les arguments qu'on peut faire valoir dans un sens et dans l'autre, les Plenipotentiaires de France ont juge preferable de ne point se departir de la grande regle de l'egalite des droits et de la liberte des cultes. Il est difficile, d'ailleurs, que le Gouvernement Roumain repousse, sur son territoire, le principe admis en Turquie pour ses propres sujets. Son Excellence pense qu'il n'y a pas a hesiter que la Roumanie, demandant a entrer dans la grande famille Europeenne, doit accepter les charges et meme les ennuis de la situation dont elle reclame le benefice, et que l'on ne trouvera, de longtemps, une occasion aussi solennelle et decisive d'affirmir de nouveau les principes qui font l'honneur et la securite des nations civilisees. Quant aux difficultes locales, M. le Premier Plenipotentiaire de France estime qu'elles seront plus aisement surmontees lorsque ces principes auront ete reconnus en Roumanie et que la race Juive saura qu'elle n'a rien a attendre que de ses propres efforts et de la solidarite de ses interets avec ceux des populations indigenes. M. Waddington termine en insistant pour que les memes conditions d'ordre politique et religieux indiquees pour la Serbie soient egalement imposees a l'Etat Roumain.

Le Prince de Bismarck faisant allusion aux principes du droit public en vigueur d'apres la Constitution de l'Empire Allemand, et a l'interet que l'opinion publique attache a ce que les memes principes suivis dans la politique interieure soient appliques a la politique etrangere, declare s'associer, au nom de l'Allemagne, a la proposition Francaise.

Le Comte Andrassy adhere a la proposition Francaise.

Lord Beaconsfield dit qu'il donne une complete adhesion, au nom du Gouvernement Anglais, a la proposition Francaise. Son Excellence ne saurait supposer un instant que le Congres reconnaitrait l'independance de la Roumanie en dehors de cette condition.

Les Plenipotentiaires Italiens font la meme declaration.

Le Prince Gortchacow, se referant aux expressions par lesquelles a ete motivee la proposition Francaise et qui donnent la plus grande extension a la liberte religieuse, se rallie entierement a cette proposition.

Le Comte Schouvaloff ajoute que l'adhesion de la Russie a l'independance est cependant subordonnee a l'acceptation par la Roumanie de la retrocession reclamee par le Gouvernement Russe.

Les Plenipotentiaires Ottomans n'elevent aucune objection contre les principes presentes par les Plenipotentiaires Francais, et le President constate que le Congres est unanime a n'accorder l'independance a la Roumanie qu'aux memes conditions posees a la Serbie.

Le Baron de Haymerle lit une motion relative a la liberte des cultes dans le Montenegro:—

"Tous les habitants du Montenegro jouiront d'une pleine et entiere liberte de l'exercice et de la pratique exterieure de leurs cultes, et aucune entrave ne pourra etre apportee soit a l'organisation hierarchique des differentes communions, soit a leurs rapports avec leurs chefs spirituels."

Le Congres decide le renvoi a la Commission de Redaction.

(Ibid., pp. 982-983, 989, 990.)

* * * * *

Protocole No. 12—Seance du 4 Juillet, 1878.

Le President fait mention des petitions de la liste No. 9, et notamment de la communication adressee au Congres par M. Ristitch, faisant savoir au Congres que le Prince Milan l'a autorise a declarer que le Gouvernement Serbe saisira la premiere occasion, apres la conclusion de la paix, pour abolir par la voie legale la derniere restriction qui existe encore en Serbie relativement a la position des Israelites. Son Altesse Serenissime, sans vouloir entrer dans l'examen de la question, fait remarquer que les mots "la voie legale" semblent une reserve qu'il signale a l'attention de la haute assemblee. Le Prince de Bismarck croit devoir constater qu'en aucun cas cette reserve ne saurait infirmer l'autorite des decisions du Congres.

Le Congres passe a l'Article XXII du Traite de San Stefano relatif aux ecclesiastiques Russes et aux moines de Mont Athos.

Le Marquis de Salisbury rappelle qu'avant la seance il a fait distribuer a ses collegues une proposition tendant a substituer a l'Article XXII les dispositions suivantes:—

"Tous les habitants de l'Empire Ottoman en Europe, quelle que soit leur religion, jouiront d'une complete egalite de droits. Ils pourront concourir a tous les emplois publics, fonctions et honneurs, et seront egalement admis en temoignage devant les Tribunaux.

"L'exercice et la pratique exterieure de tous les cultes seront entierement libres, et aucune entrave ne pourra etre apportee, soit a l'organisation hierarchique des differentes communions, soit a leurs rapports avec leurs chefs spirituels.

"Les ecclesiastiques, les pelerins, et les moines de toutes les nationalites, voyageant ou sejournant dans la Turquie d'Europe et d'Asie, jouiront d'une entiere egalite de droits, avantages et privileges.

"Le droit de protection officielle est reconnu aux Representants Diplomatiques et aux Agents Consulaires des Puissances en Turquie, tant a l'egard des personnes sus-indiquees que de leurs possessions, etablissements religieux, de bienfaisance, et autres dans les Lieux Saints et ailleurs.

"Les moines du Mont Athos seront maintenus dans leurs possessions et avantages anterieurs, et jouiront, sans aucune exception, d'une entiere egalite de droits et prerogatives."

Lord Salisbury explique que les deux premiers alineas de cette proposition representent l'application a l'Empire Ottoman des principes adoptes par le Congres, sur la demande de la France, en ce qui concerne la Serbie et la Roumanie; les trois derniers alineas ont pour but d'etendre aux ecclesiastiques de toutes les nationalites le benefice des stipulations de l'Article XXII speciales aux ecclesiastiques Russes.

Le President fait egalement remarquer que la portee de la proposition Anglaise est la substitution de la Chretiente tout entiere a une seule nationalite, et commence la lecture du document par alineas.

Sur le premier alinea, Caratheodory Pacha dit que, sans doute, les principes de la proposition sont acceptes par la Turquie, mais son Excellence ne voudrait pas qu'ils fussent consideres comme une innovation, et donne lecture, a ce sujet, de la communication suivante qu'il vient de recevoir de son Gouvernement:—

"En presence des declarations faites au sein du Congres dans differentes circonstances en faveur de la tolerance religieuse, vous etes autorise a declarer, de votre cote, que le sentiment de la Sublime Porte a cet egard s'accorde parfaitement avec le but poursuivi par l'Europe. Ses plus constantes traditions, sa politique seculaire, l'instinct de ses populations, tout l'y pousse. Dans tout l'Empire les religions les plus differentes sont professees par des millions de sujets du Sultan, et personne n'a ete gene dans sa croyance et dans l'exercice de son culte. Le Gouvernement Imperial est decide a maintenir dans toute sa force ce principe, et a lui donner toute l'extension qu'il comporte."

Le Premier Plenipotentiaire de Turquie desirerait, en consequence, que, si le Congres se rallie a la proposition Anglaise, il fut, du moins, constate dans le texte que les principes dont il s'agit sont conformes a ceux qui dirigent son Gouvernement. Son Excellence ajoute que, contrairement a ce qui se passait en Serbie et en Roumanie, il n'existe dans la legislation de l'Empire aucune inegalite ou incapacite fondees sur des motifs religieux, et demande l'addition de quelques mots indiquant que cette regle a toujours ete appliquee dans l'Empire Ottoman non seulement en Europe, mais en Asie. Le Congres pourrait, par exemple, ajouter "conformement aux declarations de la Porte et aux dispositions anterieures, qu'elle affirme vouloir maintenir."

Lord Salisbury n'a pas d'objections contre la demande de Caratheodory Pacha, tout en faisant observer que ces dispositions se rencontrent, en effet, dans les declarations de la Porte, mais n'ont pas toujours ete observees dans la pratique. Au surplus, son Excellence ne s'oppose point a ce que le Comite de Redaction soit invite a inserer l'addition reclamee par les Plenipotentiaires Ottomans.

(Ibid., pp. 1002-3, 1009-10.)

* * * * *

Protocole No. 17.—Seance du 10 Juillet 1878.

Le President invite le Rapporteur de la Commission de Redaction a lire le travail preparatoire du Traite.

M. Desprez fait connaitre a la haute assemblee que le texte du preambule n'est pas encore arrete, mai lui sera soumis dans la prochaine seance. Article V, qui a pour objet l'egalite des droits et la liberte des cultes, a donne lieu a des difficultes de redaction; cet Article, en effet, est commun a la Bulgarie, au Montenegro, a la Serbie, a la Roumanie, et la Commission devait trouver une meme formule pour diverses situations; il etait particulierement malaise d'y comprendre les Israelites de Roumanie, dont la situation est indeterminee au point de vue de la nationalite. Le Comte de Launay, dans le but de prevenir tout malentendu, a propose, au cours de la discussion, l'insertion de la phrase suivante: "Les Israelites de Roumanie, pour autant qu'ils n'appartiennent pas a une nationalite etrangere, acquierent, de plein droit, la nationalite Roumaine."

Le Prince de Bismarck signale les inconvenients qu'il y aurait a modifier les resolutions adoptees par le Congres et qui ont forme la base des travaux de la Commission de Redaction. Il est necessaire que le Congres s'oppose a toute tentative de revenir sur le fond.

M. Desprez ajoute que la Commission a maintenu sa redaction primitive, qui lui parait de nature a concilier tous les interets en cause, et que M. de Launay s'est borne a demander l'insertion de sa motion au Protocole.

Le Prince Gortchacow rappelle les observations qu'il a presente, dans une precedente seance, a propos des droits politiques et civils des Israelites en Roumanie. Son Altesse Serenissime ne veut pas renouveler ses objections, mais tient a declarer de nouveau qu'il ne partage pas, sur ce point, l'opinion enoncee dans le Traite.

(Ibid., pp. 1058-1059.)

* * * * *


XLIV. En Roumanie la distinction des croyances religieuses et des confessions ne pourra etre opposee a personne comme un motif d'exclusion ou d'incapacite en ce qui concerne la jouissance des droits civils et politiques, l'admission aux emplois publics, fonctions, et honneurs, ou l'exercice des differentes professions et industries dans quelque localite que ce soit.

La liberte et la pratique exterieure de tous les cultes seront assurees a tous les ressortissants de l'Etat Roumain aussi bien qu'aux etrangers, et aucune entrave ne sera apportee, soit a l'organisation hierarchique des differentes communions, soit a leurs rapports avec leurs chefs spirituels.

Les nationaux de toutes les Puissances, commercants ou autres, seront traites en Roumanie, sans distinction de religion, sur le pied d'une parfaite egalite.

* * * * *

[Articles V, XXVII, and XXXV, relating respectively to Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Servia, are in the same form with the exception of the last alinea, which only appears in the above quoted article.]

* * * * *

LXII. La Sublime Porte ayant exprime la volonte de maintenir le principe de la liberte religieuse en y donnant l'extension la plus large, les Parties Contractantes prennent acte de cette declaration spontanee.

Dans aucune partie de l'Empire Ottoman la difference de religion ne pourra etre opposee a personne comme un motif d'exclusion ou d'incapacite en ce qui concerne l'usage des droits civils et politiques, l'admission aux emplois publics, fonctions et honneurs, ou l'exercice des differentes professions et industries.

Tous seront admis sans distinction de religion a temoigner devant les tribunaux.

La liberte et la pratique exterieure de tous les cultes sont assures a tous, et aucune entrave ne pourra etre apportee, soit a l'organisation hierarchique des differentes communions, soit a leurs rapports avec leurs chefs spirituels.

Les ecclesiastiques, les pelerins, et les moines de toutes les nationalites voyageant dans la Turquie d'Europe ou la Turquie d'Asie jouiront des memes droits, avantages et privileges.

(Ibid., pp. 764, 766-767.)

* * * * *


No. 115. Mr. White to the Marquis of Salisbury. (Rec. November 4.)

BUCHAREST, October 25, 1879.

MY LORD,—I have the honour to forward to your Lordship an authorized French translation of the Constitutional amendment concerning naturalization and religious equality as promulgated by a Decree this morning.

I have, &c.,



* * * * *


Article Unique.—A la place de l'Article 7 de la Constitution soumis a la revision, on mettra le suivant:—

Article 7. La distinction de croyances religieuses et de confessions ne constituera point en Roumanie un obstacle a l'acquisition des droits civils et politiques et a leur exercice.

Sec. 1. L'etranger pourra, sans distinction de religion, et qu'il soit soumis ou non a une protection etrangere, obtenir la naturalisation sous les conditions suivantes:

(a) Il addressera au Gouvernement sa petition de naturalisation, par laquelle il fera connaitre le capital qu'il possede, la profession ou l'industrie qu'il exerce, et la volonte d'etablir en Roumanie son domicile.

(b) A la suite de cette demande il habitera le pays pendant dix annees, et il prouvera, par ses actions, qu'il est utile au pays.

Sec. 2. Pourront etre dispenses du stage:

(a) Ceux qui auront introduit dans le pays des industries, des inventions utiles, ou qui possederont des talents distingues, ceux qui auront fonde de grands etablissements de commerce ou d'industrie.

(b) Ceux qui, nes et eleves dans le pays, de parents y etablis, n'auront jamais joui, ni les uns ni les autres, d'une protection etrangere.

(c) Ceux qui auront servi sous les drapeaux pendant la Guerre de l'Independance, lesquels pourront etre naturalises d'une maniere collective, sur la proposition du Gouvernement, par une seule Loi et sans autre formalite.

3. La naturalisation ne peut etre accordee que par la Loi, et individuellement.

4. Une Loi speciale determinera, le mode d'apres lequel les etrangers pourront etablir leur domicile en Roumanie.

5. Les Roumains ou ceux qui seront naturalises Roumains pourront acquerir des immeubles ruraux en Roumanie. Les droits deja acquis seront respectes. Les Conventions Internationales actuellement existantes restent en vigueur, avec toutes leurs clauses et jusqu'a l'expiration de leur duree.

(Ibid., lxxi. 1176-77.)

* * * * *


English Text of Identic Note presented to the Roumanian Government, February 20, 1880.

The Undersigned, British Representative at Bucharest, has the honour, by order of his Government, to convey to M. Boeresco, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Roumania, the following communication:—

Her Britannic Majesty's Government have been informed, through the Agent of His Royal Highness the Prince of Roumania at Paris, of the promulgation, on the 25th October, 1879, of a Law, voted by the "Chambres de Revision" of the Principality, for the purpose of bringing the text of the Roumanian Constitution into conformity with the stipulations inserted in Article XLIV of the Treaty of Berlin.

Her Majesty's Government cannot 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 fulfilment of the views of the Powers signatories of the Treaty of Berlin.

Trusting, however, to the determination of the Prince's Government to approximate more and more, in the execution of these provisions, to the liberal intentions entertained by the Powers, and taking note of the positive assurances to that effect which have been conveyed to them, the Government of Her Britannic Majesty, being desirous of giving to the Roumanian nation a proof of their friendly sentiments, have decided to recognize the Principality of Roumania as an independent State. Her Majesty's Government consequently declare themselves ready to enter into regular diplomatic relations with the Prince's Government.

In bringing the decision come to by his Government to the knowledge of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Undersigned, &c.


BUCHAREST, February 20, 1880.

(Ibid., p. 1187.)

* * * * *


It must be confessed—and, indeed, it has been avowed by prominent Rumanians themselves[40]—that Rumania's evasion of the Treaty of Berlin has been a monument of resourceful duplicity and bad faith. Accomplished by pretending to regard the native Jews as foreigners, it actually placed them in a far worse position than they had held in 1858, when at any rate their national character as Moldavians or Wallachians was not contested. But, not only have they been refused emancipation and stamped as foreigners, but, in their character of foreigners, without a State to protect them, they have been made the victims of special and cruel disabilities, which in practice do not and cannot affect other foreigners.

One peculiarly barbarous act of persecution of this kind which was attempted in 1902 nearly brought about a serious intervention by the Great Powers to compel Rumania to observe her Treaty obligations. An Act was passed by the Rumanian Parliament forbidding foreigners to exercise any handicraft in Rumania unless Rumanians were assured similar privileges in the parent States of such foreigners. The result of this Act would have been to deprive all the Jewish artizans in Rumania of the means of earning their livelihood, as, being foreigners without a parent State of their own, they could not prove the reciprocity required by the law. Prompt steps were taken to bring this project to the notice of the Great Powers, chiefly by the late Lord Rothschild in London and Mr. Jacob Schiff in Washington. Lord Rothschild was the first to move. In June 1901 he forwarded to His Majesty's Government an elaborate Memorandum setting forth the intolerable situation of the Rumanian Jews and especially emphasising its international dangers as a stimulus of undesirable immigration in other countries.[41] At the same time he brought all his great influence to bear privately on individual members of the Government. From Lord Lansdowne he received the warmest sympathy, and the Foreign Office at once set inquiries on foot with a view to ascertaining whether combined action by the Powers signatory of the Berlin Treaty would be practicable. The responses, however, were not encouraging.[42] Meanwhile the action of the London Jews had been communicated to Mr. Oscar Straus in New York, and he persuaded Mr. Schiff to bring the question to the knowledge of President Roosevelt. The President, deeply moved by Mr. Schiff's story, acted with characteristic energy. In July 1902 the Secretary of State, Mr. John Hay, under the guise of a despatch giving instructions to the United States Minister at Athens in regard to certain negotiations then pending for a Naturalisation Treaty with Rumania, formulated a powerful indictment of the persecutions. Three weeks later the American Ambassadors in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Rome, and Constantinople were instructed to communicate this despatch to the Governments to which they were accredited, and to ascertain from them whether it might not be possible to take some steps to secure from Rumania the fulfilment of her obligations under Article XLIV of the Treaty of Berlin.[43] Thus supported, Lord Lansdowne no longer hesitated. In September he despatched a Circular to the Great Powers definitely proposing combined representations at Bucharest.[44]

As soon as this demarche got wind Rumania hastened to annul the offending law, and otherwise to restrain her anti-Semitic zeal. Nothing more was heard of the proposed collective intervention, but it is now known that Lord Lansdowne's proposal never took final shape because the Russian and German Governments refused to associate themselves with it.


* * * * *



July 17, 1902.

Charles S. Wilson, Esquire, etc., etc., etc., Athens.

SIR,—Your legation's despatch No. 19, of the 13th of February last, reported having submitted to the Roumanian Government, through its diplomatic representative in Greece, as the outcome of conference had by Mr. Francis with him on the subject, a tentative draft of the naturalization convention, on the lines of the draft previously submitted to the Servian Government, and Mr. Francis added that His Excellency the Roumanian Minister had informed him of his hearty approval of the project, which he had forwarded to his Government with his unqualified endorsement. Minister Francis was instructed on March 4 that his action was approved. No report of progress has since been received from your legation, but it is presumed that the matter is receiving the consideration due to its importance.

For its part, the Government of the United States regards the conclusion of conventions of this character as of the highest value, because not only establishing and recognizing the right of the citizens of the foreign State to expatriate themselves voluntarily and acquire the citizenship of this country, but also because establishing beyond the pale of doubt the absolute equality of such naturalized persons with native citizens of the United States in all that concerns their relation to or intercourse with the country of their former allegiance.

The right of citizens of the United States to resort to and transact affairs of business or commerce in another country, without molestation or disfavor of any kind, is set forth in the general treaties of amity and commerce which the United States have concluded with foreign nations, thus declaring what this Government holds to be a necessary feature of the mutual intercourse of civilized nations and confirming the principles of equality, equity and comity which underlie their relations to one another. This right is not created by treaties; it is recognized by them as a necessity of national existence, and we apply the precept to other countries, whether it be conventionally declared or not, as fully as we expect its extension to us.

In some instances, other governments, taking a less broad view, regard the rights of intercourse of alien citizens as not extending to their former subjects who may have acquired another nationality. So far as this position is founded on national sovereignty and asserts a claim to the allegiance and service of the subject not to be extinguished save by the consent of the sovereign, it finds precedent and warrant which it is immaterial to the purpose of this instruction to discuss. Where such a claim exists, it becomes the province of a naturalization convention to adjust it on a ground of common advantage, substituting the general sanction of treaty for the individual permission of expatriation and recognizing the subject who may have changed allegiance as being on the same plane with the natural or native citizens of the other contracting State.

Some States, few in number, be it said, make distinction between different classes of citizens of the foreign State, denying to some the rights of innocent intercourse and commerce which by comity and natural right are accorded to the stranger, and doing this without regard to the origin of the persons adversely affected. One country in particular, although maintaining with the United States a treaty which unqualifiedly guarantees to citizens of this country the rights of visit, sojourn and commerce of the Empire, yet assumes to prohibit those rights to Hebrew citizens of the United States, whether native or naturalized.[45] This Government can lose no opportunity to controvert such a distinction, wherever it may appear. It cannot admit such discrimination among its own citizens, and can never assent that a foreign State, of its own volition, can apply a religious test to debar any American citizen from the favor due to all.

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