No. 330 NAI DFA 19/50A

Extracts from a confidential report from Charles Bewley to
Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Berlin, 1 April 1935

[matter omitted]

The opinion seems to be growing here in diplomatic circles that the German aggression [in the Rhineland] was undertaken with the connivance of England, and that the English Foreign Secretary's speech in which he reminded the House of Commons that England was bound by the Locarno Treaty to give help to France was merely intended to provoke a reaction in English 'public opinion' sufficient to absolve England from keeping her word. To judge by the apparently genuine confidence of the German authorities, it may be conjectured that they have received assurances to this effect, and realize that any apparent protests in England against their breach of Locarno are merely staged for the sake of appearances and will never be translated into action against Germany. This being so, there remain, so far as one can judge, two possibilities: either the French Government will be induced to agree to negotiations on Hitler's proposals without any 'gesture' on his part, which would be a definite triumph for German diplomacy, or the negotiations will not take place, Germany will continue to fortify the Rhineland without opposition except of a verbal nature, and can afford to ignore the consultations of the English and French general staffs, knowing that the British Government will never act - which would also represent a success for Germany.

It is thought here that a British-German air agreement will probably be the next step in the general rapprochement between the two countries, and in this connection it may be recalled that Lord Londonderry visited Berlin about six weeks ago. The Czech Minister told me that he had asked the British Ambassador whether the visit was of any political importance, and had received the answer that (1) Lord Londonderry had been dismissed with some ignominy from the Baldwin Cabinet and represented no one except himself; (2) his visit was purely private; (3) the British Embassy had deprecated his visit and told him that it would not give any entertainments in his honour on account of the official mourning. I suggested that the proofs of the private nature of the visit were so well thought out as to give rise to very great suspicion, and my informant said that the same idea had occurred to him, especially when Lord Londonderry was entertained on a colossal style by the Air Minister, General Goering, who has perhaps less sense than the English for the finer side of diplomacy.

It may possibly be worth while mentioning that the attitude of the British Embassy here, so far as it concerns itself with the question at all, is definitely anti-Irish. To give two quite trifling instances: the President of the Olympic Games, Lewald, told me a day or two ago that he had specially asked the British Ambassador whether the title of the King was not King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Dominions beyond the Seas, to which Sir Eric Phipps replied that the title was King of Great Britain and Ireland and that it was ridiculous to suggest that there had been any change. Similarly the wife of a former German Ambassador told me that she (as a friend of Sir Roger Casement during his stay in Berlin) had asked the British Ambassador whether the poverty in Ireland was not due to the English Government, to which he replied that it was the fault of the Irish themselves, that the Irish who owned the land preferred to spend their money in London and do nothing for their tenants. I said that I did not think even Sir Eric Phipps could be so ignorant as not to know that the land of Ireland had been confiscated by the British Government and distributed among its own supporters. These are of course very trifling instances, but they would appear to show that protestations on the Irish side of goodwill towards England are not likely to find favourable response, and are only taken as a tribute to the superiority of England. Everything that I see leads me to believe that a definite and vigorous anti-English policy would here at least win us far more respect that we at present enjoy. Everything from the President's declaration that Ireland would never be used as a base hostile to England to the adoption by Saorstát Éireann of sanctions against Italy is represented as due to the fact that the Irish people recognize in their hearts that English rule is the best and that English policy will always in the long run be followed by Ireland in times of crisis.

[matter omitted]

I would be much obliged if you would inform me what is the exact position as regards the King's title, as in the official proclamation he was referred to as King of Great Britain and Ireland and of the Dominions beyond the Seas.1

[signed] C. Bewley

1 This sentence has been highlighted by pen in the left hand margin.

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