No. 310 NAI DFA Vatican Embassy 14/45/1

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Charles Bewley (Rome)

London, 30 November 1929

(1) The Minister wishes to express his great appreciation of the manner in which you helped to bring the appointment of the Nuncio to a successful issue. He is quite satisfied with Monsignor Paschal Robinson. What you say about him in your report of the 25th instant1 and all that we already knew about him leads the Minister to believe that he will handle carefully the rather delicate situation in Ireland. His well known austerity and holiness of life will very soon acquire for him the good will and co-operation of people who would otherwise be likely to make things difficult for him. You should take the first opportunity of expressing to Monsignor Robinson the very great pleasure which his appointment has caused the Minister. The appointment of the Nuncio is of far greater importance than securing the Cardinal's hat for Dublin. You need therefore have no regrets that you were not able to alter a decision which quite clearly was unalterably made long before you became Minister to the Vatican. No doubt it will be said by some of the Bishops that we exchanged the Hat for a Nuncio, but we must be content to bear with such calumnies.

(2) Will you please make the offer of the Under-Secretary's Lodge2 for the Nuncio. The house is fully furnished and the Nuncio would have no rent to pay. He would be liable merely for the maintenance and for the water and electricity rates. When you have found out that the offer is acceptable we shall send you full details of rooms, grounds, etc. It is rather important that the offer should be accepted. The occupation by a Papal Nuncio to an Irish Government of one of the three principal official residences of the old Regime cannot but strike the imagination of the people as a symbol of a very great change indeed. His position moreover will be very greatly enhanced if he resides beside the King's representative who alone takes precedence of him. You should use every argument to induce the Vatican to accept the Government's offer. The healthy air of the Park would no doubt be an argument which would appeal to Monsignor Robinson himself.

(3) The credentials are presented by the Nuncio to the Governor General who later transmits them to the King. I enclose the form of the credentials used by the American President in Mr. Sterling's case. They are of course entirely unsuitable and it would be much better not to show them to the Vatican authorities at all. The use of the full title including 'Fidei Defensor' and the good wishes for the prosperity of the British Empire are most objectionable. It might be well to suggest that the credentials should follow the lines of the King's credentials (copy enclosed) in your case. I enclose a form modelled on this latter which may be helpful to you when you are discussing the matter with Monsignor Pizzardo. The main points to secure are, first, that the words Irish Free State should appear as frequently as possible in the document and second that if the Cardinal Secretary feels constrained to speak of all the King's territories he should use 'Commonwealth of Nations' and not 'Empire'. The latter usage has been definitely established at this Conference and 'Commonwealth' will replace 'Empire' everywhere throughout the report. These letters will become a public document and will be used as an argument to show the real nature of the relationship between the King and the different States of the Commonwealth, and in this connection you will remember that the several character of that relationship is the aspect that we are most anxious to emphasize.

    If at all possible we should like to get a copy of the credentials while they are still in draft. The Minister is most anxious not to have anything in the forms connected with the appointment which might detract from the great advantages to be derived from it.3

[signed] J.P. Walshe

1 See No. 306.

2 The former residence of the British Under-Secretary for Ireland at Phoenix Park, Dublin.

3 This paragraph is handwritten by Walshe.

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