investments in Russia—resting solely on their faith in the United States’ and Russia’s treaty honor. He said that if it were a new treaty that was being written, the case would be different; he would then consider the Jewish argument of weight. But he said, we had other treaties with other countries who did not always share our views as to what certain sections of the treaties meant, but we have lived and worked under them. He instanced the Italian treaty with regard to the extradition of criminals. He wished to impress on the Jewish ambassadors that they wanted to make an exception of their case, which, of course, they did.
The President then said he would be willing to consider taking some action if he did not believe that in taking action he would be endangering the status the Jews already enjoyed in Russia. If this treaty were denounced, large American interests would be jeopardized (here the President mentioned certain interests, all Gentile).
He said he liked to see Russian Jews come into the country, but added “the more we spread them out in the West, the better I like it.” He ended with a plea for the Jewish ambassadors there present to consider the plight which denunciation of the treaty might involve Russian Jews, and ended with the words—“That is the way it has struck me, gentlemen. That is the conclusion I have reached.”
The Jewish group was plainly taken aback. Simon Wolf, who was always on guard at Washington, said, “Please, Mr. President, do not give to the Press such conclusions,” but Jacob Schiff broke in with a voice vibrant with anger—“I want it published. I want the whole world to know the President’s attitude.”
The discussion then opened, with the President cool and self-contained. Finally, after some useless talk, and having other business to attend to, he gave them a letter just received from the American Ambassador at St. Petersburg, Mr. Rockhill. Mr. Rockhill presented in that letter to the President the whole Russian contention about the Jews—statements which have been confirmed a thousand times by the events that have since occurred.
They then renewed their expostulations and arguments, but to no avail. The President expressed