No. 590 NAI DFA 19/1B
Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Charles Bewley (Dublin)
(19/1) (Secret) (Copy)
Vatican City, 6 November 1931
All information relating to the spread of Communism and the attitude of the Holy See thereto will be useful. If any action is taken by the Holy See in relation to the withdrawal of the condemnation of the Nazis the Minister would like to be kept informed in detail.
The Minister is very glad that you have translated portions of the President's speech for the Secretary of State. In further conversation with him you should emphasise the completely Catholic attitude of the President as represented by the later paragraphs of his speech. At the same time it would be well to secure that the 'Osservatore Romano' should know that the country is perfectly peaceful; that the legal means now at the Government's disposal have by their mere existence had a most salutary effect on the violent and Communist elements. At one stage the 'Osservatore' seemed inclined to give the impression that there was a sort of war going on in the Saorstát. There is, in reality, a general feeling of relief everywhere in the country that the gunman has been brought under control.
The Legate should be appointed as soon as possible in order to kill the rumour - which no doubt will be frequently revived - that Cardinal Bourne is to be appointed. It seems ridiculous that an absurd precedent should prevent the appointment being made until six weeks or a month before the Congress. The Committee of the Eucharistic Congress are most anxious that the Legate should come from Italy in a special boat. That would give more dignity and éclat to his arrival, which will of course be the occasion for an extraordinary outburst of enthusiasm and devotion to the Holy See. The Legate should be an Italian. An American Legate would not be popular. Cerretti would no doubt be the best choice. It would be well to use the first opportunity to talk about the special boat and to emphasise the Italian appointment.
(Signed) J.P. Walshe