No. 311 NAI DFA Secretary's Files S28A

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

Rome, 2 December 1929


I did not wire after my visit to the Vatican on Friday, as there was nothing urgent to report and both I and the Secretary (who has been laid up with a severe cold and cough) were extremely busy. Cardinal Gasparri was in fact not receiving, owing to a cold, but Mgr. Pizzardo got me the formal document from him, of which you have been sent a copy.

Mgr. Robinson came to see me on Saturday morning, and discussed his position in general. He says that in consequence of his work on the four congregations already mentioned to you and also of the Maltese question (which is still far from being settled) it will be impossible for him to leave before Christmas, and that therefore his present intention is to arrive in Ireland about the first week in January. I told him that I thought the Government would be quite satisfied with this date. He then asked me if I thought there was any objection to his going through London. I said that I did not think so, but that it might be better not to stay long enough to receive any visitors there, e.g. Cardinal Bourne. He agreed, and suggested that he might arrive at the Grosvenor Hotel in the evening and leave the next morning by the Irish Mail or else go by Liverpool, according as the time of arrival in Dublin might suit the arrangements made for reception. I should therefore be glad if you would let me know when convenient whether you agree with this course, and what time he had better arrive. He also suggested the alternatives of going from France to Cobh, or flying from Paris to Dublin. I told him that I did not think either of these courses would be necessary or advisable. I do not think it advisable to go into details of our conversation, but you can be assured that in the remainder of his stay in Rome he will not be likely to come in contact with anyone who could be suspected, even by the most rigid republican, of being a sinister or alien influence. He was greatly pleased at the congratulations received from the Irish Bishops and from the Irish Clergy in Rome and especially Mgr. Hagan and Fr. Maginnis. I presented him with a copy of the Dáil debate on External Affairs.


As soon as you are in position to let me know anything about the lodge, its state of furniture, etc., you might inform me, as I could see that he was naturally interested in the subject. I do not know yet whom he is taking as a secretary, but shall find out and let you know.

At Mgr. Robinson's request, I have deferred issuing invitations to a dinner in his honour, as he is anxious that Fr. Maginnis should be asked, but entirely agrees that I should not invite him until he has taken the first step. However, there is a dinner at St. Isidore's on Tuesday, and I shall there issue invitations.

I was on Saturday (St. Andrew's Day) at a dinner in the Scotch College, where I sat next the Archbishop of Birmingham, and met a number of English and Scottish priests. Their attitude is one of great satisfaction at the appointment of a Nuncio to the Irish Free State, on the ground that it is the first appointment to any Dominion, and may be followed in Canada or Australia, eventually possibly even in England. This is also Randall's attitude so far as one can gather it (I thought it well to telephone the news to him before it appeared in the Press). Chilton, who has just arrived back, regards the whole matter, I fancy, as one of these Roman Catholic affairs which he can never hope to understand.

Mgr. Pucci, the Vatican correspondent of American syndicated papers, asked me for my impressions of the various 'Joyeux evenements' which have just taken place with regard to Ireland. I took the opportunity of suggesting to him that, while we were delighted of having an Irish Cardinal, still we had hoped for the possibility of a second. He suggested politely that there might be another after the Eucharistic Congress in 1932, which seems to be a good line to take. It will also fit in quite well with my previous representations on the subject. I am to see Mgr. Pucci's interview before it is despatched for publication.

[signed] Charles Bewley

1 Handwritten marginal notes: 'For the Minister to see, Seán Murphy, 9.12.29.' 'PMcG, 9/12/29'.

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