No. 267 NAI DFA ES Rome 1921-1923

Count P.J. O'Byrne to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin)

(Private) (Copy)

Rome, 10 April 1922

A Chara,
In compliance with request in your letter No. 54 I took the first available opportunity to see the Rector and communicated to him what you wrote me concerning S.T. O'C. He denied emphatically that the latter had ever said that he had resigned. He thinks you are completely misled by those who tell you the contrary as both to him and several times to others in his presence S.T. O'C. during his stay here always said that he had been dismissed and freely mentioned the reason for it which you spoke of in your letter. When I called to see the Rector as above mentioned he had just read in the 'Independent' of Dublin the 'Daily News' paragraph, I spoke to you about in my letter 231, which apparently he had not heard of before. He was rather annoyed at it, put it down to M[a]cW.[hite] on account of the place the news originated from and thought it unfair under present circumstances. He wishes me to draw your attention to the fact that ever since the Dail approved of the treaty tho' he himself was not in favour of it, he has steered an even keel in Rome, not doing anything for or against the treaty. He has always adopted that attitude in all his visits to the Vatican and in a long private audience he had recently from the Holy Father. He expects however in return that there will be no anti-republican propaganda here countenanced by An Dail. That he understood was to be the policy of the Dail Government as long as it existed, and he trusts you will not allow any such propaganda as otherwise he would not feel bound to neutrality here. As a great personal friend of S.T. O'C, though I gather they do not see absolutely eye to eye politically, he resents anything being said to discredit the latter. His influence in Rome is great and I think it would not be wise to alienate him. He has recently had again a slight internal haemorrhage which has laid him up for six or seven days. He is better however to-day and hopes to get about in a few days. As the above is all strictly confidential I am writing it myself instead of having it typed.

Mise le meas mór,
P. J. O'Byrne

1 Not printed.

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