Leeper’s Romania

An extraordinary amount of rancour infected relations between the Powers and Romania, their ally, during the Peace Conference’s examination of that country’s claims in 1919.  Her ambitious and implacable demands infuriated the peacemakers.  But it was the disagreeable personality of Romania’s Prime Minister, Ionel Brătianu, which did most to poison the atmosphere.  Colossal gains were made despite his leadership and his status as the man who won Greater Romania is largely if not wholly undeserved.  It will be argued here that one of Britain’s regional experts, Allen Leeper, merits a substantial share of the credit usually given to Brătianu.

Leeper was a young (32 on 4 January 1919) Australian who finished his education at Balliol College, Oxford, worked in the Egyptian and Assyrian Department of the British Museum, failed his medical for the army in 1914 and was seconded to the  Home Office in 1915. In 1918, he entered the Political Intelligence Department of the Foreign Office and in December he was chosen to join the British delegation in Paris to assist with the Balkans treaties.  Harold Nicolson, his close colleague, later paid affectionate tribute to him as “a man of high ideals, the purest Wilsonism, some philological ambition, intermittent health, unfailing energy, and unashamed curiosity”.[1]  Assailing “The Myth of Incompetent Experts”, Robert Seton-Watson lauded his “quite remarkable knowledge of men and events in Danubian Europe”.[2]  In a tongue-in-cheek reference, James Headlam-Morley wrote that “Leeper and Nicolson determine for them [the leaders] what they ought to wish, but they do it very well.”[3] 

Leeper’s principal area of expertise was Romania.  He had learnt Romanian, which would come in useful when he went to the country for the first time in September 1919.  His partisanship was declared in his pamphlet, The Justice of Rumania’s Cause, in 1917 and he was the Honorary Secretary and co-founder of the Anglo-Romanian Society.  He mixed with leading Romanians and Také Ionescu and Nicolae Mişu were his personal friends: “Take” was one of very few who got first-name billing in his diary and Mişu – “my old friend Mişu”[4] – was familiar to him as the Romanian ambassador to London.  Ionescu left Romania to go to London and Paris in July 1918 and in October 1918 he established the National Council of Romanian Unity, a group of exiles which Leeper called “the only body that ever did, does, or can at this moment represent the whole Roumanian race”.[5]  During the difficult negotiations of 1919, Leeper would continue to look to Ionescu, who had little popular support, as the true voice of Romania. 

Romania, defeated in 1916-17, had withdrawn from the war in May 1918, not rejoining it until the last moment (10 November), and most Allied opinion held that Romania’s withdrawal invalidated the Treaty of Bucharest which had brought her into the war in August 1916.  Prime Minister Brătianu strongly disagreed, blaming Romania’s defeat and withdrawal on the broken promises of the British, French and Russians, who had left her isolated against her enemies (the Bulgarians, Austro-Hungarians and Germans), and insisting that all of the treaty’s territorial pledges to Romania must be honoured.  This line of argument, and Brătianu’s haughty and expectant manner, did not go down well in Paris, where he was seen as “a forceful humbug” and “a most unpleasing man”.[6] 

Leeper was always clear on the distinction between the alleged “bribes” of the treaty and the true essence of Romania’s claim, “the principle of nationality and the rights of small peoples”.[7]  In November and December 1918, he welcomed the fact that Romanians abroad (meaning Ionescu’s circle) were “learning to base their case for national union not on any legal rights of Rumania to annex the territories granted by the Treaty [of 1916], but on the wish of the populations of the bulk of these territories to unite with her.”[8]  This acknowledgement of the importance of the desire of Romanians to be united within Romania is significant – it would eventually yield Greater Romania regardless of the treaty question – and Leeper was one of the first to distinguish between “pretentions” (sic) based on a discarded treaty and “our support of the cause of the union in one state of the whole Rumanian race”.[9] 

The territorial agenda

The Romanians wanted Transylvania and the Banat (from Hungary) and Bukovina (from Austria), as promised by the Treaty of Bucharest, the recovery of Southern Dobrudja (from Bulgaria), which was implicit in the treaty, and the Russian province of Bessarabia, which had not been stipulated in the treaty.  During 1918, the Romanians had occupied most of these territories and representative bodies voted for union with Romania, notably Bessarabia’s National Council (Sfatul Ţării) on 27 March 1918 (confirmed on 27 November 1918) and the Grand National Assembly at Alba Iulia, Transylvania’s historic capital, on 1 December 1918.  In Paris, the first difficulty arose when Yugoslavia claimed the western part of the Banat, where Serbs predominated.  Most observers felt that the  

Yugoslavs made a more favourable impression than Brătianu when both parties presented their claims to the Council of the Peace Conference on 31 January 1919.  Leeper, present as part of the support team for Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Balfour, considered the Romanian “quite a fish out of water here, I think, & the way he stated his case was absolutely suranné [outmoded], though cleverly done after a fashion.  Last night I went to a big (70 people) Anglo-Roumanian dinner at Laurent’s.  Také [Ionescu] made a perfectly wonderful speech – he is eloquent.”[10]   

The Council set up a Commission on Romanian Affairs to assess Romania’s claims, with Sir Eyre Crowe and Allen Leeper serving as Britain’s representatives.  The British and Americans both planned to give the Romanians most of the territory they wanted.  A preliminary report by Leeper and Nicolson in December 1918 and the American Inquiry report of 21 January 1919 had proposed to award Romania:

  1. All of Transylvania.
  2. The Romanian part of Bukovina, but this amounted to only half of Bukovina and did not include the capital, Czernowitz.
  3. All (or almost all) of Bessarabia (the Americans said all, deeming “unwise” the British proposal to detach small Ukrainian parts).
  4. About two-thirds – two of the three counties – of the Banat.
  5. Neither report favoured Romania’s recovery of Southern Dobrudja.[11]

Leeper worked closely with his American counterparts, notably historian Charles Seymour and geographer Douglas Johnson, to convert this broad agreement into a fully-fledged settlement.  As early as 6 February, before the Commission formally met on the 8th, Leeper drew up “our joint recommendations” – a misnomer, but the document was one with which “the Yanks are practically (except on one or two points) in full agreement” (Leeper).[12]  Seymour, too, was delighted with the “very pleasant” working relationship with the British, “the only people here who are not playing chauvinistic politics…  I am much impressed by their capacity, strength of character, and honesty.”[13]  Brătianu’s appearance before the Commission on 22 February failed to move opinion on the Banat and did not make a positive impression on Crowe:

[H]e plays his game very unskilfully here.  Neither his manner nor the tone of his vehement representations are impressing the conference or the Roumanian committee in favour of the Roumanian claim, which everyone is agreed could be enforced only at the price of a war with Serbia.[14]

On the same day, Brătianu was reported as feeling “very lonely and dejected in Paris,” unable to get “satisfactory conversations with anyone” and “very miserable in consequence”.[15] 

The report of the Commission (6 April 1919) gave almost one third of the Banat to Serbia (Yugoslavia) and Hungary was to retain a small north-western portion.  The rest of the Banat would go to Romania.[16]  In the other territories, the Commission gave Romania almost everything she wanted.  She got all of Transylvania and a broad swathe of territory to the west, Bessarabia and all of Bukovina (except two small border areas – containing 85,000 Ruthenes and only 300 Romanians).[17]  Southern Dobrudja, seized by Bulgaria in the war, was to be returned to Romania.

The remarkably generous (to Romania) settlement seemed to set at nought the omens of the previous months, when Brătianu made such a bad impression.  The Dobrudja decision emerged when, despite the fact that Bulgarians greatly outnumbered Romanians in the territory, the British and French held that only with Romanian consent could it be given to Bulgaria.  It was Leeper who urged this idea within the British delegation: the Romanians “should be a consenting party…  Romanians should not be left with the feeling that they have been “robbed” by their Allies to placate their enemies.”[18]  In the document written for the Commission on 7 February, he held that “moderate Roumanian feeling” would support the change and that it should “insistently be urged” on Romania as soon as her other claims had been “fairly satisfied”.[19]  The Commission duly reported that it was not authorised to recommend ceding “an integral part of an Allied State” to “an enemy State”, and any departure from this was conditional on “the event of Rumania admitting of her own accord [“spontanément”] the possibility of a concession of this kind”.[20]  Leeper naively expected, in fact, that Romania would agree to cede Southern Dobrudja: consent was “probable”.[21]  This was more pious wish than viable plan.  He overestimated “moderate” opinion in Romania, which may in turn have reflected his inordinate confidence in Ionescu’s influence and prospects.  Towards the end of April, having heard that Romania would not be awarded western Banat, Romania’s Deputy Premier said that “the Roumanian Government were determined to retain the whole of South Dobrudja now that they had lost the Torontal.”[22]  On 23 May, Stephen Pichon (France’s Foreign Minister) and André Tardieu were clear that, because of the Banat decision, it was now “impossible” (Pichon) to ask Romania to concede Southern Dobrudja.[23]  

Transylvania went to Romania because of its Romanian majority.  The Commission estimated (based on the census of 1910) that there were 1,472,021 Romanians and only 918,217 Magyars out of a total population of 2,678,376 in Transylvania.[24]  The biggest concentration of Magyars was the half a million Székelys of south-eastern Transylvania; surrounded by Romanians, their inclusion in Hungary was not a realistic option.[25]  In the area to the west of Transylvania (the Partium), the British and French emphasis on economic viability (largely a question of keeping the railway network intact) gave Romania a sizeable strip including the Magyar towns of Arad, Nagyvárad (Oradea Mare) and Szatmár (Satu Mare); each of these towns lay in one of the valley routes from the Transylvanian highlands and the three were joined by a north-south railway line leading to the Maros at Arad.  The decision on Bessarabia reflected the fact that the people, two-thirds Romanian, were, as Leeper put it, “racially & linguistically one” with the Romanians; “the one hope of progress for the province lies in union with Rumania”; “the fact that the population is little developed & content with its old lazy undisturbed mode of existence does not affect this: nor does the bad behaviour of certain Rumanian officials there.”[26] 

With regard to Bukovina, Ruthenians (300,000) outnumbered Romanians (280,000), but the British contended that “the whole basis of cultural life in Bukovina is Roumanian” and that all of the economic and communication links were with Romania.  Mirroring Leeper’s view of Bessarabia’s peasantry, the British and French thought that Romanian rule would be beneficial to the people of Bukovina, where “the Ukraine [Ruthenian] population is little developed culturally or politically” – “population peu avancée,” as Laroche put it in the Commission.[27]  In the Banat, although the Romanians felt thwarted, the Commission’s reading of the demographic picture led it to put the demarcation line further west than the Serbs wanted; they received only Torontal and part of Temés.  The area given to Romania encompassed 516,371 out of the total of 592,049 Romanians in the Banat.[28]

Fledgling leap

This settlement may have shown complete disregard for the interests and wishes of Bulgarians, Magyars and Germans, and little respect for the Ruthenian population (“peu avancée), but it was a fair and objective treatment of the most troubling issue, that between the Entente’s allies, Serbia and Romania.  It is difficult to see it as an achievement of Brătianu’s diplomatic genius, his arguments were certainly not acknowledged by the Commission, and the most that can be said of him was that his faults, his tendency to annoy delegates, did not damage Romania’s cause. 

Other personnel matters might have been important.  A French friend of Romania, celebrity geographer Emmanuel de Martonne, who served on the sub-committee of the Commission, provided maps on which Magyar and German towns appeared as mere specks of colour in the sea of burgundy that represented the Romanian-majority rural areas.[29]  Such depictions complemented the French and Romanian argument that the rooted and stable rural population merited more consideration than the shifting and “artificial” majorities in the towns.[30]  And Allen Leeper clearly had a major role.  In January, he had “a long & most satisfactory talk” with Nicolae Mişu in which they “worked out together a formula for stating certain difficult controversial questions”[31] – a form of collusion that would disqualify modern civil servants from involvement.  His part in reshaping the policy on Dobrudja is noted above, but this was only one aspect of the contribution made by Leeper, “whose subject it is”.[32]  He wrote the document which outlined Britain’s position on Romania’s claims and boasted that “Crowe accepted my detailed recommendations yesterday [7 February] en bloc.”[33]  He proceeded to attend every meeting of the Commission and represented Britain on the sub-committee established to finalise the new frontiers.  He “managed to reach an agreement with the American delegates as to the frontiers still in question” and by 21 February he was “very hopeful” that they would “be able to establish a common measure between the American, French and British proposals”.[34] 

[We] got through a great deal of work, practically finishing off the Jugoslav & entirely completing the Rumanian frontiers…  The British, French & American delegates are now in practically entire agreement though it meant a good deal of give & take.  I carried some & lost others of my proposals.  The Italians remain extremely difficult, almost impossible on certain subjects.  I’m delighted with the French.[35]

He then suffered some setbacks.  “In Transilvania I’m content except that I failed to get the Csáp-Nagy Károly [railway] line for Rumania.”[36]  Above all, the French defeated him on the frontier in the Banat.  Confident at one stage – he thought he had “talked over Tardieu & the other French delegate to the line I suggested, which seems to us much the fairest to both Rumanians & Serbs,” and he wrote of his “great success: e.g. my Banat line has now been adopted by all the Delegations.”  “My Banat line finally accepted”[37] – he found in mid-March that the French insisted on being more generous to the Serbs:

I am sorry to say at the last moment the territorial line drawn in the Banat which, as I told you, was the one I suggested, had to be upset because the French were frightened by various attempts the Serbs made to blackmail them, and yesterday afternoon in consequence we spent three hours drawing an alternative line which has now been adopted.  I am not satisfied with it, but all the same we were bound to accept it.[38] 

“[L]ook out in the Daily Mail & Mirror for a photograph of our room here taken a few days ago as an example of industry in the Astoria. I’m not sure if the photographer got me in but Harold & the typist are certainly included.”[39]

Within the British delegation, it was Leeper who assessed and rebutted, with evident expertise, the anti-Romania petitions emanating from Bessarabia during March and April 1919.[40]  Of course, Leeper did not work in an intellectual vacuum.  His advocacy of Romanian interests reflected his association with New Europe, proponents of national self-determination, led by Robert Seton-Watson.  Nicolson recalled that Leeper and he “never moved a yard without previous consultation with experts of the authority of Dr. Seton-Watson…”[41]  However, the latter’s proposals for Hungary had included extensive “grey zones”, where the ethnic factor was inconclusive – they included Szatmár, Bihar and Arad to the west of Transylvania, much of the Banat, and (disputed between Hungary and Yugoslavia) the Bačka and parts of the Baranja – and it was in the territorial commission that these lands were allocated, almost always at the expense of Hungary.[42]  Leeper’s well-informed persuasiveness was probably more effective in convincing the Americans than the French tendency to rely on crude identification of friends and enemies.  Although Leeper lost some battles, it is an interesting possibility that this obscure young Australian achieved more for Romania than her celebrated leader.[43] 

Except in relation to Bessarabia, the Council accepted the recommendations of the Commission with only minor changes and limited discussion.  Brătianu denounced the frontier proposals and the idea of a Minorities Treaty to protect Romania’s minorities, but he succeeded only in antagonising the Allied leaders, one of his protests inducing Lloyd George to comment, “This damned fellow; he cannot even get coats for his soldiers without us.”[44]  His threat to resign, rather than accept the proposed settlement, was widely welcomed.  When the British chargé d’affaires in Bucharest suggested strengthening a new ministry by making concessions “which Roumanians might be glad to understand were accorded to the new Government as a direct result of their more enlightened views,” Leeper approved of this “very valuable suggestion.  If a pro-Entente & pro-British Govt., such as a Maniu-Take Ionescu-Averescu Ministry would be, came into power, it would be not only politic but just to give them a chance of securing more generous treatment than M. Brătianu has deserved.”[45]  This readiness to reward amenable Romanians with a generous settlement was more “politic” than principled.

Bela Kun and Hungary

Leeper: “Kun is one of the most hideous creatures I have ever seen, a rather bad edition of a small pig and more Mongol than Jewish in type, though I believe he is a Jew … a rather unintelligent pupil of Lenin.”[47]

In August 1919, developments in Hungary generated new levels of tension and mutual recrimination.  Indeed, it was Hungary that produced the true crisis of the alliance between Romania and the Powers.  After Bela Kun and the Communists took control of the country in March 1919, the Allied leaders, uncertain how to respond, sent General Jan Smuts (accompanied by Nicolson and Leeper) to Budapest to open talks at the start of April, but the mission failed because of Kun’s insistence on Romania’s return to the armistice line of the Maros.  Leeper was delighted about his own mission’s failure: “this is the best result that one could desire, for it ought to go far in convincing people of the futility of these flirtations with the Bolsheviks…  I am glad to think the Mission had no result.”[46]  The Romanian and Czech armies advanced on the Hungarians on 16 April 1919.  This caused mixed emotions in the West, with Romania appreciated as a vital “barrier against Bolshevism” (Lloyd George) but also suspected of wishing to exploit the opportunity to advance beyond the frontiers decided in Paris.  Leeper was solidly behind the Romanians.  Early in June, after the Czechs were driven back, he was confident that the Peace Conference would condemn the Hungarians – “I think at last Bela Kun & co. are to be taken sternly in hand – I hope so, anyhow – what a lot of time we’ve wasted.”[48]  The Conference duly condemned Hungary’s “violent and unjustified attacks” on Czechoslovakia, but the message sent to Budapest also said that the Allies were “on the point” of inviting the Hungarian government to send envoys to Paris to be told about Hungary’s new frontiers.  This apparent recognition of Bela Kun’s regime was considered a ghastly mistake by Leeper: he was “frightfully depressed”, pouring out his anguish in three short letters in which he packed in the words “disastrous”, “absolute mess”, “lamentable”, “ignorance”, “putrid”, “insensate & heart-breaking” and “things are going bloody badly”.[49] 

Things did not go less “bloody badly” on 9 June, when Lloyd George declared that “the fault lay entirely with the Roumanians” and Wilson agreed that the Romanians were “the main culprits”.[50]  These remarks showed more sympathy for Hungary, an enemy under the control of Communists, than for their Romanian ally!  The heat was taken out of the situation, briefly, with a ceasefire at the end of June (and Brătianu’s departure from Paris on 4 July).  During July, however, there was a growing determination in Paris to destroy Bela Kun.  Leeper was keen on military action: “It is now perhaps a more difficult military problem to overthrow Bela Kun than it was two months ago, but the need for such decisive action remains the same.”[51]  Foreign Secretary Balfour contended that it would be “a great humiliation” if the Allies were “too weak to deal with one recalcitrant power” and was concerned that, “The wave of disturbance [Bolshevism] might go west as well as east…”  When the Romanians failed to withdraw from the Tisza, a defensible line, to the new frontier between Romania and Hungary, Lloyd George protested: “If the decrees of the Peace Conference are to be enforced they must be enforced against friend and foe alike.”[52]  But Lloyd George was on holiday at Criccieth in north Wales, a long way (in every sense) from Paris, where Balfour was telling Mişu that the Romanians “would be in a very dangerous position after they withdrew” from the Tisza.[53]  

Clemenceau shared the British Premier’s concerns.[54]  Nevertheless, in the Heads of Delegations the Allies planned military action to make Hungary disarm according to the armistice of December 1918.  There was a broad consensus at the 17 July meeting in favour of a return to war: no politician opposed it (the only dissentient was America’s General Bliss) and there was much discussion of what would follow the successful invasion.[55]  Balfour duly recommended the war plan to Lloyd George, pointing to “our duty” to see the armistice respected and to Foch’s expectation that there would be no “military difficulty”.[56] 

These deliberations were suddenly made irrelevant by the Hungarian attack on the Romanians, the Red Army crossing the Tisza on 20 July.  The Romanians quickly recovered and on the night of 29-30 July they crossed the river and began the march on Budapest.  The Hungarian army disintegrated, Kun resigned on 1 August, fleeing into Austria, and the Romanians entered Budapest on 3 August 1919.

The spoils of victory

The prospect of Romania’s conquest of Hungary, with Romanian self-interest seemingly confirmed by a despoiling armistice, transformed attitudes in Paris.  All of the chief representatives – Balfour, Frank Polk of the U.S. and Clemenceau – denounced the pillaging Romanians, and, from Washington, Wilson gave first voice to a thought that soon gathered momentum, the possibility of depriving Romania of her promised territorial gains: “Rumania is acting in a perfectly outrageous manner.  Do you [Secretary Lansing] not think that it might be well to authorize our representatives at Paris to notify the Rumanians that we shall not only not support but shall oppose every claim of theirs to territory or sovereignty anywhere if they continue their present course of outlawry?”[57]  One wonders if the victory of an ally has ever been less celebrated.  Even Romanophile Leeper, responding to a rumour that Brătianu sought a union between Hungary and Romania (under the Romanian king), deemed Brătianu “quite capable of toying with this idea”.[58]  But Leeper also commented, regarding Romanian looting, that, “It is a pity that reports like this, based entirely on Hungarian propaganda, are sent [to] us & that the American representative apparently neither studies the Rumanian point of view nor sees the necessity for insisting on the disarmament of the Hungarian forces” – a reference to the new Hungarian army that Admiral Horthy was building in western Hungary.[59]

The Allies were slow to formulate a definite policy.  Supplies to Romania were cut off on 25 August.  On 4 September, the Council decided to send Sir George Clerk, a career diplomat, as special envoy to Bucharest.  Leeper, brought along as Secretary of the Mission (and expert on Romania), described the purpose to “clear up the awful mess in Hungary” by presenting a formal Note which he called “a sort of ultimatum though couched in friendly terms”.[60]  Clerk and Leeper reached Bucharest on 11 September.  Brătianu’s long-awaited resignation came at noon the next day, but, pending the appointment of new ministers, it was Brătianu whom the visitors met several times between 12 and 29 September.  Leeper gave his stepmother a light-hearted (and rather too optimistic) account of the visit: he “hope[d] the misunderstandings that had arisen are now in a fair way to be removed” and enjoyed meeting opposition leaders (including Ionescu), speaking Romanian, and visiting places like the royal retreat at Sinaia (“a jolly place in the Carpathians”).  “I had already so many friends here that it was not like coming to a strange place…  I do so much like the people for all their faults & uncertainties.”[61]

The Clerk mission achieved nothing and Clerk’s report to the Council attacked the Romanian seizures and “polite lies”.[62]  At least as influential was Leeper’s report, presented on his return to Paris at the end of September.  Crowe told Curzon that he “propose[d] to be guided largely by the views expressed in this memorandum, with which I am in general agreement,” and Curzon, soon to be Foreign Secretary, concurred.[63]  Leeper did not close the door on the possibility of territorial adjustments, saying only that any reconsideration of the frontier should be conditional on Romania’s “complete acceptance and loyal execution” of Allied decisions on Hungary and the Minorities Treaty.  On the latter, he thought that minor modifications could be made to show that the Conference was “friendly and conciliatory” – “provided always that the principle” be accepted as “unconditionally binding”.[64]  He finished with an expression of confidence that a full resolution of the issues could be effected with the “accession of a Coalition Maniu-Take Ionescu Government”.  Ionescu, he understood, considered the Minorities Treaty to be “in no way prejudicial to Roumanian sovereignty and interests” and objected only to specific parts which Leeper thought “may be quite easily removed from the Treaty without impairing its force”.[65]

The ultimatum 

Attributing firmness and conciliatoriness, respectively, to the Americans and French, Leeper told his father on 15 October that “the Hungarian & Rumanian question” was “now on right lines & I feel I’ve rather scored a win between the extreme American & extreme French point of view.  I’ve had rather a series of congratulations.”[66]  This referred to the 11 October telegram to the Romanian Government – formally attributed to Clerk and France’s Philippe Berthelot, but Leeper’s diary entry read, “Very busy on Rumn. telegram”[67] – in which (after some soft-soaping about how happy they were to find that the Romanians “still adhere firmly to the Alliance”, which the Allies “never doubted”) the Council announced its decisions on “the principal subjects of divergence between Roumania and the Allies to-day”: “the principle underlying the Minorities Treaty” must be upheld, but “modifications” in the subsidiary clauses would be considered; the outflow of goods from Hungary would be monitored and Romania could be required to return goods; finally, Romania was asked to give an assurance “that the Roumanian forces will at once evacuate the country”.[68]

By “evacuate the country”, they meant that the Romanians were expected to go to the frontier in Transylvania that was communicated to them in June.  When the Romanian delegation expressed the desire to see their troops withdrawn from Hungary, Leeper was delighted – “The tone of this is admirable & it is to be hoped that the Rumanian Govt. will behave accordingly” – but he was rightly concerned by the suggestion that they would withdraw only as far as the Tisza, “whereas a sine qua non for the reestablishment of peace & order in Hungary would be the acceptance of the new frontiers & a Rumanian withdrawal behind them (as demanded by the Supreme Council).”[69]  By 5 November, Leeper understood that “M. Brătianu has obviously no intention either of evacuating Hungary (apart from Budapest) or of signing the Minorities Treaty.”[70]  The Romanians’ formal reply to the 11 October note agreed to the regulation of requisitioning, but the minorities question was not addressed, and the pledge to withdraw all forces stated that they would go only as far as the Tisza.[71]

Crowe and Leeper played a large part in devising the Council’s next move, a proper ultimatum, at last.  Leeper’s diary entry read “Rumanian reply received: talked to Crowe & drafted tel[egram] to F[oreign] O[ffice] proposing ultimatum” – in Crowe’s words, “an ultimatum requiring immediate and unequivocal compliance”.[72]  And the Council on 12 November expressed its readiness to consider withholding the territories promised to Romania.  Berthelot drafted an appropriate letter (“the Peace Conference shall cease to sustain the territorial claims of Rumania”) and (dated 15 November) it was despatched to Bucharest with a demand that compliance with all of the 11 October requirements must be agreed to within eight days.[73]  The Romanian evacuation of Budapest was completed on 14 November, but this fell far short of what was demanded by the Peace Conference.    

Admiral Horthy leading the Hungarian National Army into Budapest: “We shall forgive this sinful city.”

The Romanian reply to the ultimatum on 29 November amounted to outright rejection.  It omitted any comment on the requirement to withdraw further eastwards than the Tisza and briefly restated the national-sovereignty objection to the Minorities and Austrian treaties (the latter contained a minorities clause).  However, the political demise of Brătianu seemed to admit a chink of light.  His Liberals were trounced in the Romanian general election at the beginning of November and a new coalition government, devoid of “Bratianoists”, was formed in the first week of December, led by Alexandru Vaida-Voevod from Transylvania.  Relieved to be free of “the perfidy of M. Bratiano” (Clemenceau), the Council granted an extension of six days, until 8 December, to allow the new government to be finalised.  Leeper wrote on 7 December, “Rumania – to whom we have been sending ultimatums & indulging in every sort of negotiation – I hope now at the last moment she will be wise.”[74] 

In fact, the outcome was more complex and untidy than a simple question of accepting (or not) the ultimatum.  The Minorities Treaty was amended, omitting specific protections for the Jews, and Romania signed that treaty (and the Austrian and Bulgarian treaties) on 10 December 1919.  But no reply to the ultimatum was offered, Leeper noting on 15 December that, “We have not yet, so far as I know, received the Rumanian answer to the ultimatum (except in so far as they have signed the treaties).  We have no news at all as to their attitude in Hungary.”[75]  Crowe, Clemenceau and (in the House of Commons) Lloyd George all struck a conciliatory note in mid-December, the trade embargo on Romania was lifted, and the Council gave its final approval to the decision that Bukovina should go to Romania (which Crowe hoped would “strengthen the government of Mr Vaida Voevod”).[76]  The Foreign Office’s Gerald Spicer and Frederick Adam seemed quite relaxed about the situation: “the present position is simply that no one has insisted on an answer being sent to the Allied ultimatum” (Adam).[77]  Without Brătianu to confront, the Allies no longer felt the compulsion to crush the upstart. 

On 20 January 1920, Vaida-Voevod told the International Council of Premiers (the latest manifestation of the Supreme Council) that Romania’s evacuation of Hungarian territory was proceeding and would be complete by 1 March.  Lloyd George and Clemenceau gave him a roasting (“your troops must be withdrawn without delay from Hungarian territory…  By your actions you will either keep or forfeit the sympathy of the Conference” – Clemenceau).[78]  But Leeper and Lord Hardinge, after meeting Vaida-Voevod, prompted Curzon’s acknowledgement that the Romanian government had “done its best” to honour its commitment but been hampered by transport, accommodation and weather-related (snow) difficulties, as well as the recalcitrance of the Romanian General Staff.  The Romanians completed their withdrawal at the end of March to the new frontier between Hungary and Romania.[79] 

Leeper’s moment 

In December 1919, Leeper learnt of his appointment to a permanent post at the Foreign Office, but this was not confirmed until March and he continued, shuttling between Paris and London, to work as a peacemaker in the early months of 1920.  He was heavily involved in both the Yugoslav negotiations of January 1920 and wrapping up the decisions on Bessarabia and the frontiers of Hungary.  In February and March 1920, a number of doubters, including Lloyd George, began to question the harshness of the treatment of Hungary.  Frank Polk (from Washington) wondered if plebiscites might be held in parts of Transylvania, including “certain purely Magyar cities situated only a few miles back” from the frontier, and Sir Thomas Hohler, the new British High Commissioner in Budapest, and a number of peers and MPs in the British Parliament voiced their dissent from a settlement which would put so many Hungarians under foreign rule.[80]  The “main burden of mounting the counterattack against the critics of the Trianon Treaty was placed on Leeper, who remained steadfast in his commitment to the peace settlement he had done so much to shape.”[81]  Hohler’s intervention prompted Leeper’s memorandum of 11 February 1920 in which he countered the Hungarians’ ethnographic case and upheld Romania’s (and Czechoslovakia’s) claims.[82]  In a minute to colleagues, he explained that the Peace Conference had decided “that these territorial questions should be settled on ethnic principles, modified only where strictly necessary by economic requirements”.[83]  As Leeper noted in his diary, it was Lloyd George who caused him particular concern:   

Meeting of the Supreme Council at 10 Downing Street in the afternoon [of 25 February].  Discussion of the Hungarian observations.  I had spoken to Ld Curzon about the whole thing beforehand & had got him quite to agree that it was impossible to make any changes now in the territorial clauses of the treaty.  I was to have seen Lloyd George at 3.30 before the meeting, but there was no time.  Consequently without any coaching he plunged right into the subject & committed himself to various observations in favour of the Hungarian case.  He was strongly supported by Nitti & opposed by Berthelot.  Ld Curzon was in the difficult position of being unable to oppose Ll. G. publicly.  Finally, however, the matter was referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers so it shd be all right.[84]

Leeper also commented that “L.G. merely said the opposite to M. Millerand out of momentary annoyance” after the new French Premier declared that “the frontiers are fixed and no discussion is possible; L.G. at once said, ‘Oh well, I don’t know about that; we must consider that matter carefully.’”[85]  On 25 February and 3 March 1920, Lloyd George and Italy’s Francesco Nitti advocated re-examination of a treaty that would see 2,750,000 Magyars “handed over like cattle” (Lloyd George) to foreign rule (or handed over to “people more ignorant and less advanced,” as Nitti put it in his memoirs).[86]  But the French and, as Leeper expected, the Foreign Ministers as a body refused to countenance alterations.  On 8 March, billed as “the British expert”, Leeper presented a lengthy memorandum to the Foreign Ministers contending that if the Conference went back on their “publicly announced” decisions they would be seen in Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia “to have been guilty of a serious breach of faith” and that these countries would consider themselves “no longer bound” by either the minorities clauses of the various treaties or their agreement to evacuate Hungarian territory.  Indeed, he warned, they would “be likely to go to the other extreme and again advance into Hungary”.[87]  His diary entry stated that he “spoke for about ten minutes…

The Italians gave a little trouble & put in more arguments in favour of Hungary but finally everyone accepted a proposal contained in a memo. of mine which Curzon had caused to be circulated to all the Delegns. before the meeting which urged that no change cd now be made in the Treaty but that to guard against any conceivable injustice the Demarcation Commissions shd be authorized to present reports to the League of Nations on any subjects of this kind.  This was finally accepted & I felt very pleased.[88]

With Curzon failing to sustain Lloyd George’s objection, the Foreign Ministers rejected Hungary’s demand for a plebiscite (the “oppressed populations” had already spoken), adhered to the Hungarian frontiers as settled in June 1919, and adopted Leeper’s suggestion that post-settlement mediation by the League could settle any border disputes.[89]  The frontiers, including those between Romania and Hungary and between Romania and Yugoslavia in the Banat, were enshrined in the Treaty of Trianon of 4 June 1920.  Having noted that Lloyd George’s interest was not sustained, Thomas Sakmyster’s concluding comment pointed to Leeper’s malign influence: “the only people in Britain who had the time to concern themselves with the fate of Hungary were Allen Leeper and his colleagues, and the imprint of their Hungarophobia was to be found on the Treaty of Trianon.”[90]  In a straight contest over land, Romanophilia and Hungarophobia inevitably looked like the same thing, but Leeper was surely more guilty of the former and there is no evidence in his writings of animus against the Hungarians.

Leeper has been described as “the person who seems to have had the greatest influence over the formulation of the British policy on Bessarabia”.[91]  The transfer of Bessarabia to Romania had been held up as a result of Woodrow Wilson’s objection that the Conference “could not adjudicate on territory belonging to a State [Russia] with whom the powers represented were not at war” (Lansing) – and Allied frustration with Romania’s conduct and presence in Hungary caused Lloyd George (“We cannot grant you what you ask…”) and Clemenceau (“your disobedience … prevents us from giving you satisfaction”) to give Vaida-Voevod an uncomfortable time regarding Bessarabia in the Council in January 1920.[92]  Leeper, however, never wavered – “The Rumanian claim to Bessarabia is a perfectly good one on ethnic & geographical grounds”[93] – and in February 1920 he proposed “a treaty of recognition” of “the reunion” of Bessarabia with Romania.  Curzon approved Leeper’s “most valuable” paper and “submit[ted] that his recommendations sd. be given effect to”.[94]  Leeper drove home his argument in another memorandum on 28 February and Curzon duly proposed on 3 March that, with the evacuation of Hungary under way, “the Council might now agree to the incorporation of Bessarabia in Roumania.”[95] 

The intended union of Romania and Bessarabia was announced by the Council of Premiers (of France, Britain and Italy) on 9 March and specified in a separate treaty.  When the Americans gave notice that they “would not be a party to the proposed Bessarabian Treaty,” Leeper commented that this “matters very little.  General courtesy towards the United States, & American “touchiness” on such questions” had led to their opinion being sought, but America’s signature “seems of little importance”.  Curzon initialled Leeper’s advice to express “regret” at “America’s abstention” and proceed.[96]  Ionescu, now Romania’s Foreign Minister, signed the treaty, joining Bessarabia to Romania, on 28 October 1920, but it was never signed or approved by the United States or the Soviet Union. 

The man who did so much to devise the settlement, Allen Leeper, had become a driving force in securing its execution.  In February 1919, as part of the Romanian Commission, he had felt “a midget to be in such an exalted position”.[97]  Now he was working closely with Lloyd George and Curzon (“very unpopular in the Office & elsewhere” but “kind & agreeable to me & very amenable to argument”) and even Clemenceau (“easily the most impressive man I’ve ever met personally”).[98]  His role on 8 March, when he spoke about Hungary before the Foreign Ministers, caused even this modest individual to boast of his success:

[I]t has all been intensely interesting as the Peace Conference, in addition to Turkey (in which question I am involved only in part), has been discussing Hungary, the Adriatic, Rumania & all my other subjects.  I have been present at a great many of the meetings & seen a lot of all the people concerned in consequence.  I’ve also felt particularly pleased over the way several of my proposals both in regard to the Hungarian treaty, Bessarabia, the Adriatic correspondence with Wilson, Montenegro & other things have been adopted by the Conference.  On Monday, for practically the first time, Ld Curzon called on me to make a statement to the Conference, so I had a ten minutes talk which was fun.[99]

He was also proud of the fact that his contribution was recognised by Bessarabian Romanians: one of their leaders, Ion Pelivan, visited Leeper on 12 April “to thank me for the “help” I had given in obtaining the Council’s recognition of Bessarabian reunion with Rumania.  Asked me for a photograph to be hung up in all the Bessarabian schools.”[100]

It was suggested above that Leeper might have done as much as Brătianu to make Greater Romania, the settlement proposed by the territorial Commission in April 1919 owing nothing to the Romanian’s clumsy advocacy.  The case seems even stronger when subsequent events are weighed in the balance, the diplomatic war (and a small real war) that Brătianu waged in the autumn, opening a deep rift with the Allies, and his fall from power before the problem was resolved – while, on the other hand, Leeper can be credited with helping to bring Romania back into the fold and playing a lead role in confirming Romania’s acquisition of Transylvania and Bessarabia.  Whether credit is the right word, when Greater Romania was to have a troubled history, is another question.

On some of the problems of Greater Romania, see ‘After Trianon’.

[1] Harold Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919 (London, 1933), 105.  See also Harold Nicolson, ‘Allen Leeper’, The Nineteenth Century and After, Volume CXVIII (October 1935), 473-83.

[2] R. W. Seton-Watson, Treaty Revision and the Hungarian Frontiers (London, 1934), 22.

[3] Sir James Headlam-Morley, A Memoir of the Paris Peace Conference 1919, edited by Agnes Headlam-Morley et al (London, 1972), 44, Headlam-Morley to Edwyn Bevan, 5 March 1919.

[4] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/9, Leeper to Alexander Leeper (father), 26 January 1919. 

[5] Foreign Office Papers, FO 371/3141, 385, note by Leeper, 2 November 1918.  Ionescu had an English wife.

[6] Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 135-36, 243, 248, Diary, 20, 25 January 1919.

[7] A.W.A. Leeper, The Justice of Rumania’s Cause (London, 1917), 24.

[8] FO 371/3141, 476, 485, notes by Leeper, 24 November 1918.

[9] Ibid., 548, note by Leeper, 14 December 1918.  Robert Seton-Watson, who may have influenced Leeper, wrote in The New Europe of 5 December that Romania’s “natural ethnographic frontiers” provided “a far sounder basis” than the “abrogated” treaty.  In similar vein, he later regretted Brătianu’s “tendency to imitate Sonninian methods and to rely upon discreditable secret bargains … instead of upon a just cause, which all reasonable men admitted.”  Hugh Seton-Watson, R.W. Seton-Watson and the Romanians 1906-1920 (Bucharest, 1988), I, 444, Robert Seton-Watson to R. Rosetti, 22 August 1919; ibid., II, 750-51, The Roumanians of Hungary, 5 December 1918.

[10] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Allen Leeper to Rex Leeper, 31 January, 2 February 1919.  Brătianu, “much cast down and worn out by the afternoon” (31 January), knew he had failed.  Charles Seymour, Letters from the Paris Peace Conference by Charles Seymour , edited by Harold B. Whiteman, Jr. (New Haven and London, 1965), 142-46, 156, Seymour to Mr and Mrs Thomas Watkins, 2, 8 February 1919, enclosing Memorandum of conversation with Brătianu on 31 January 1919.  See also Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 253-57, Diary, 31 January, 1, 3, 5 February 1919.

[11] FO 371/4355, 27-28, South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans, December 1918.  David Hunter Miller, My Diary at the Conference of Paris, With Documents privately printed, 1918, IV, 233-34, Outline of Tentative Report and Recommendations Prepared by the Intelligence Section, 21 January 1919.

[12] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Allen Leeper to Rex Leeper, 5, 6, 8 February 1919.  British Delegation, correspondence and papers relating to South and South-East Europe, 1919, FO 608/49, 24, British recommendations for Romanian Commission, 7 February 1919; FO 608/30, 592, Memorandum on Future Frontiers of Rumania, 8 February 1919, with note by Crowe, 9 February 1919.

[13] He found the French “not trustworthy” and the Italians “selfish”.  Letters from Charles Seymour, 152-53, 157, Seymour to Mr and Mrs Thomas Watkins, 8 February 1919. 

[14] FO 608/49, 210, note by Crowe, 23 February 1919.  Seymour thought Brătianu “rather testy and morose”.  Letters from Charles Seymour, 173, Seymour to Mr and Mrs Thomas Watkins, 24 February 1919.

[15] FO 608/48, 39, Malcolm to Balfour, 22 February 1919.

[16] FO 608/49, 76, Report by the Committee for the Study of Territorial Questions relating to Rumania and Yugoslavia: Rumanian Frontiers, 6 April 1919.

[17] Ibid., 73-77.  Francis Deák, Hungary at the Paris Peace Conference: The Diplomatic History of the Treaty of Trianon (New York, 1942), 419-30.   

[18] FO 608/34, 230, note by Leeper, [6] February 1919; FO 608/48, 383, note by Leeper, 25 January 1919.  See also FO 608/31, 333, note by Leeper, 31 March 1919; FO 608/34, note by Leeper, 22 February 1919.

[19] FO 608/49, 37-38, British recommendations for Romanian Commission, 7 February 1919.

[20] Ibid., 76, Report by the Committee for the Study of Territorial Questions relating to Rumania and Yugoslavia: Rumanian Frontiers, 6 April 1919.  Commission des Affaires Roumaines et Yougo-Slaves, FO 374/9, Procès-Verbal No. 20 (Annexes), 196, Frontières de la Roumanie, 6 April 1919.

[21] FO 608/31, 254, note by Leeper, 6 May 1919.  

[22] FO 608/34, 309, 316, Rattigan to Curzon, 25, 28 April 1919.  

[23] Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States: The Paris Peace Conference 1919 (FRUS), IV, Council of Foreign Ministers, 749-50, 23 May 1919. 

[24] Conférence de la Paix 1919, Commission des Affaires Roumaines et Yougo-Slaves, FO 374/9, Procès-Verbal No. 20 (Annexes), 204, Tableaux Statistiques.   

[25] Hugh and Christopher Seton-Watson, The Making of a New Europe: R.W. Seton-Watson and the last years of Austria-Hungary (London, 1981), 400.

[26] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 8, 13 March, 24 May 1919.  FO 608/30, 395, 420, 438, notes by Leeper, 3, 25 March, 18 April 1919. 

[27] British recommendations for Romanian Commission, FO 608/49, 28, 7 February 1919.  Commission des Affaires Roumaines et Yougo-Slaves, FO 374/9, Procès-Verbal No. 1, 13, 8 February 1919 (Laroche); ibid., Procès-Verbal No. 20 (Annexes), 204-5, Tableaux Statistiques.  FO 608/49, 75, Report, 6 April 1919.

[28] Eugene Boia, Romania’s Diplomatic Relations with Yugoslavia in the Interwar Period, 1919-1941 (Boulder, 1993), 44.  Almost 76,000 Romanians were consigned to Serbia.

[29] See his ethnographical map of Romania in ‘After Trianon’.

[30] Gilles Palsky, ‘Emmanuel de Martonne and the Ethnographical Cartography of Central Europe (1917-1920)’, Imago Mundi (January 2002), Vol. 54, 115.

[31] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 20 January 1919; ibid., 1/2, 7, Leeper’s Diary, 19 January 1919.

[32] Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 254, Diary, 31 January 1919.

[33] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 8 February 1919.

[34] Ibid., Leeper to Rex Leeper, 13, 21 February 1919.

[35] Ibid., Leeper to Rex Leeper, 2 March 1919.

[36] Ibid., Leeper to Rex Leeper, 8 March 1919.  See also ibid., 1/2, 19, Leeper’s Diary, 2 March 1919.  He was defeated by America’s Charles Seymour, who was concerned that the proposal to give Romania the Csáp-Nagykároly line would transfer an almost exclusively Hungarian area.  Ignác Romsics, The Dismantling of Hungary: The Peace Treaty of Trianon, 1920 (Boulder, 2002), 82.

[37] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 13 February, 1 March 1919; ibid., 1/2, 18, Leeper’s Diary, 28 February 1919. 

[38] Ibid., 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 13 March 1919.

[39] Ibid., 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 4 February 1919.  The Daily Mirror, 3 February 1919.

[40] FO 608/30, 395, 420, 438, notes by Leeper, 3, 25 March, 18 April 1919. 

[41] Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 126.

[42] Hugh Seton-Watson, R.W. Seton-Watson and the Romanians, II, 746-49, Hungary: Frontier Delineation between Hungary and Her Neighbours, 13 December 1918.  Hugh and Christopher Seton-Watson, The Making of a New Europe, 324.

[43] Erik Goldstein had a similar view of Leeper’s importance.  Erik Goldstein, Winning the Peace: British Diplomatic Strategy, Peace Planning, and the Paris Peace Conference, 1916-1920 (Oxford, 1991), 254-56.

[44] Papers of Sir James and Agnes Headlam-Morley, Account 727/1, Political Diary, 1 June 1919 (Headlam-Morley, A Memoir of the Paris Peace Conference 1919, 136).

[45] FO 608/49, 238, 240, Rattigan to Curzon, 15 June 1919, note by Leeper, 8 July 1919.

[46] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/9, Leeper to Alexander Leeper, 15 April 1919; ibid., 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 10 April 1919.  See also Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 300-1, Diary, 4 April 1919.  

[47] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 10 April 1919.  Temperley, Nicolson and Bonsal all wrote in similar vein.  H.W.V. Temperley, ed., A History of the Peace Conference of Paris (London, 1921), IV, 159.  Nicolson, Peacemaking 1919, 298, Diary, 4 April 1919.  Stephen Bonsal, Unfinished Business (London, 1944), 119.

[48] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 7 June 1919. 

[49] FRUS, VI, 246-7, Council of Four, 7 June 1919 (Appendix I).  Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 9, 10, 11 June 1919.  Crowe concurred.  FO 608/13, 386, note by Crowe, 11 June 1919. 

[50] Paul Mantoux, The Deliberations of the Council of Four (Princeton, 1992), II, 350-54, 9 June 1919.  FRUS, VI, 255-8, 260-1, Council of Four, 9 June 1919.  See also T. G. Otte, ed., An Historian in Peace and War: The Diaries of Harold Temperley (Farnham and Burlington, 2014), 433-34, 8, 9 June 1919. 

[51] FO 608/13, 52, note by Leeper, 11 July 1919.

[52] Lloyd George Papers, F/24/1/1, Lloyd George to Bonar Law (by telephone, n.d.) and Balfour, 13 July 1919.  FO 608/13, 58, telephone messages from Lloyd George to Bonar Law, 11 July 1919; FO 608/14, 55, Balfour to Curzon, 9 July 1919.  E.L. Woodward and Rohan Butler, eds., Documents on British Foreign Policy 1919-1939 (London, 1956), First Series, Vol. VI, 76, telephone messages from Lloyd George to Bonar Law (11 July) and Kerr (13 July 1919). 

[53] FO 608/14, 88, Note by Kerr of conversation with Mişu, 16 July 1919.  Lloyd George spent the holiday with his wife but assured his mistress that “the last few days have been terrible to go through”.  Papers of Frances Stevenson, FLS/4/11, 199, Diary, 18 July 1919. 

[54] Heads of Delegations, CAB 29/69, 25-28, 185, 5, 15 July 1919 (also in FRUS, VII, 24-26, 129).

[55] Ibid., 145-53, 254-64, 269-75, 11, 17 July 1919 (also in FRUS, VII, 103-8, 177-83, 187-90).  Arno J. Mayer, Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking: Containment and Counterrevolution at Versailles, 1918-1919 (New York, 1967), 840-42.

[56] Balfour Papers, Add MS 49751, f27, Balfour to Lloyd George, 18 July 1919.

[57] Arthur S. Link, ed., The Papers of Woodrow Wilson (Princeton, 1989), Volume 62, 235-36, Wilson to Lansing, 8 August 1919.  See also, ibid., 428, Memorandum by Robert Lansing, 20 August 1919.

[58] FO 608/13, 112, note by Leeper, 19 August 1919.

[59] FO 608/15, 182, note by Leeper, 27 August 1919.  The Romanians had moved west and north from Budapest but did not attempt to conquer all of Hungary; they took a little over half of the country.

[60] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/9, Leeper to Alexander Leeper, 7 September 1919.  It was not an ultimatum, but Balfour had written in distinctly unfriendly terms.

[61] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/9, Leeper to Mary Elizabeth Leeper, 19 September 1919.

[62] FO 371/3516, 425, Clerk’s Report, 7 October 1919. 

[63] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 1/2, 79, Leeper’s Diary, 28, 29 September 1919.  FO 371/3516, 394, Crowe to Curzon, 6 October 1919, with note by Curzon, 10 October 1919.

[64] This tactic did not originate with Leeper.  Rattigan in Bucharest told the Romanians that the Allies “might possibly waive or considerably modify” the minorities clause and, although the Foreign Office disapproved of his action, the Council in Paris expressed its willingness “to make certain concessions on points of detail”.  FO 371/3569, 116, Rattigan to the Foreign Office, 6 September 1919, with notes by Howard-Smith and Tilley, 11 September 1919; ibid., 125, Balfour to Rattigan, 15 September 1919.

[65] FO 371/3516, 395-96, 397, Memorandum by Leeper, 29 September 1919, with addendum on 1 October 1919.  Leeper presented a slightly different version to the Council (the Heads of Delegations) on 10 October.  Heads of Delegations, CAB 29/73, 297-9, 10 October 1919 (also in FRUS, VIII, 561-62).

[66] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/9, Leeper to Alexander Leeper, 15 October 1919. 

[67] Ibid., 1/2, 82, Leeper’s Diary, 11 October 1919.

[68] Heads of Delegations, CAB 29/73, 332-37, 11 October 1919 (also in FRUS, VIII, 583-6).  Deák, Hungary at the Paris Peace Conference, 517-20.

[69] FO 608/14, 351, note by Leeper, 24 October 1919. 

[70] Ibid., 369, note by Leeper, 5 November 1919.

[71] Heads of Delegations, CAB 29/75, 76-7, 12 November 1919 (also in FO 371/3517, 27 and FRUS, IX, 136-8). 

[72] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 1/2, 91, Leeper’s Diary, 11 November 1919.  FO 371/3569, 243, Crowe to Curzon, 12 November 1919.  FO 371/3517, 27, Crowe to Curzon, 11 November 1919. 

[73] Heads of Delegations, CAB 29/75, 54-61, 76-7, 90-3, 108-10, 113, 144-50, 156-8, 12, 13, 14, 15 November 1919 (also in FRUS, IX, 124-8, 136-8, 145-7, 154-7, 159, 176-9, 182-4).

[74] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/9, Leeper to Mary Elizabeth Leeper, 7 December 1919.

[75] FO 608/14, 407, note by Leeper, 15 December 1919.

[76] FO 371/3517, 633, 656, Parliamentary answers, 15, 18 December 1919.  Parliamentary Debates, Fifth Series, Volume XII, 31, 662, 15, 18 December 1919.  Heads of Delegations, CAB 29/77, 30-31, 83-4, 18, 22 December 1919 (also in FRUS, IX, 596-7, 632).

[77] FO 371/3518, 232, notes by Adam, Spicer and Hardinge, 22 January 1920.

[78] FRUS, IX, 911-14, International Council of Premiers, 20 January 1920.

[79] FO 371/3519, 140, 234, 502, notes by Leeper, 15, 19 February, 1 March 1920; ibid., 503, Vaida-Voeved to Lloyd George, 23 February 1920; FO 371/3520, 17, Meeting of Allied Conference of 26 February 1920; FO 371/3569, 398, Memorandum by Leeper, 19 February 1919; ibid., 420, note by Hardinge, n.d.; ibid., 422, Memorandum by Leeper, 23 February 1919.  Deák, Hungary at the Paris Peace Conference, 244-5, quoting the Earl of Crawford, who spoke in Parliament for Curzon, 25 February 1920.

[80] Link, Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 64, 447-48, 464-66, Polk to Wilson, 19, 24 February 1920.  FO 371/3518, 181, 214, 641, Hohler to Curzon, 5, 12 January, 1 February 1920; ibid., 652, 659, Hohler to Oliphant, 15, 24 January 1920.

[81] Thomas L. Sakmyster, ‘Great Britain and the Making of the Treaty of Trianon’ in Béla K. Király, Peter Pastor and Ivan Sanders, eds., War and Society in East Central Europe, Vol. VI.  Essays on World War I: Total War and Peacemaking, A Case Study on Trianon (New York, 1982), 122-23.

[82] FO 371/3569, 399, Leeper’s Minute on Hohler’s Despatch, 11 February 1920 (also in FO/3518, 638, with additional note by Leeper (651) also on 11 February). 

[83] FO 371/3519, 256, note by Leeper, 20 February 1920.

[84] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 1/3, Leeper’s Diary, 26 February 1920. 

[85] Seton-Watson Collection, SEW/17/16/5, Seton-Watson to Thomas Masaryk, 1 March 1920.

[86] DBFP, First Series, Vol. VII, 248-9, 384-9, Meetings of Allied Conference, 25 February, 3 March 1920.  Romsics, The Dismantling of Historic Hungary, 128, quoting Francesco S. Nitti, Peaceless Europe (London, 1922), 164-65.

[87] DBFP, First Series, Vol. VII, 440-44, Meeting of Conference of Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers, 8 March 1920, including Memorandum by the Foreign Office (Leeper) on the Hungarian Peace Treaty, 8 March 1920. 

[88] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 1/3, Leeper’s Diary, 8 March 1920.

[89] DBFP, First Series, Vol. VII, 440-9, Meeting of Conference of Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers, 8 March 1920.

[90] Sakmyster in Béla K. Király et al, War and Society in East Central Europe, 125.

[91] Marcel Mitrasca, Moldova: A Romanian Province Under Russian Rule (New York, 2002), 171.

[92] FRUS, IV, 672, Council of Foreign Ministers, 8 May 1919 (Lansing).  Link, The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 62, 206-7, Lansing to Wilson, 7 August 1919.  FRUS, IX, 915-16, International Council of Premiers, 20 January 1920.

[93] FO 608/30, 552, note by Leeper, 30 September 1919.

[94] FO 371/3569, 397, note by Curzon, n.d.; ibid., 400, Leeper’s Draft of Proposed Statement on Bessarabia.

[95] FO 371/3576, 269, Leeper’s Memorandum on Bessarabia, 28 February 1920.  DBFP, First Series, Vol. VII, 379-80, Meeting of Allied Conference of 3 March 1920. 

[96] FO 371/3576, 346, Derby to Foreign Office, n.d., with note by Leeper, 21 June 1920.  The formal response to the Americans followed the reasoning in Leeper’s note.  Ibid., 348, Oliphant (for Curzon) to Derby, 24 June 1920. 

[97] Papers of Allen Leeper (LEEP), 3/8, Leeper to Rex Leeper, 15 February 1919. 

[98] Ibid., 3/11, Leeper to Alexander Leeper, 17, 25 January 1920.  Millerand replaced Clemenceau in late January 1920.

[99] Ibid., Leeper to Alexander Leeper, 11 March 1920.  Leeper wanted to impress his father: “I’ve lunched & dined twice with Venizelos, four or five times with Vaida-Voevod (the Rumanian Prime Minister) & various other people.”  Ibid..

[100] Ibid., 1/3, Leeper’s Diary, 12 April 1920.