No. 454 NAI DFA EA 231/4

Confidential Report from Charles Bewley to Joseph P. Walshe (London)

Vatican City, 17 October 1930

On Wednesday the 15th I had the customary audience with the Pope after my return. He inquired for the Nuncio, and I told him that I had lunched with him and that he seemed in good health and spirits and had made the best possible impression all through the country. I mentioned the preparations being made for the Eucharistic Congress, and the Pope said that the attendance would certainly be very great. He then asked me about the general conditions in Ireland, and specially whether there was an unemployed problem. I explained that we had lighter direct taxation than in England, and said that owing to the predominating agricultural nature of Ireland there was not an unemployment problem of the same kind as in purely industrial countries. I also mentioned the prospect of the development of industries in Ireland, referring in particular to the Ford Works. His Holiness asked me whether there were many agricultural unemployed, referring to the position in Poland when he was Nuncio, where the peasants had no land but worked as agricultural labourers on the big estates and consequently were liable to unemployment, in times of depression. I explained the policy of the Government, in breaking up the big estates, and the Pope said that that was also being done in Poland.

The audience was not very long, as there were a great number fixed for the same morning. The Pope appears to be in good health, and in answer to my enquiry said that he had not felt the heat of the summer to any disagreeable extent.

In reference to the Eucharistic Congress, it seems probable that the Papal Legate will be either Cardinal Lépicier or Cardinal Ceretti, as these are the only two cardinals resident in Rome who talk English fluently. I assume that either would be entirely welcome to the Irish Government and Episcopate.

[signed] Charles Bewley

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