No. 116 NAI DFA Paris Embassy 19/34

Extract from a memorandum by Art O'Brien, on the recognition of the King of Italy as Emperor of Abyssinia, to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(P19/34) (P5/1) (Copy)

PARIS, 31 December 1937

Friends of Ireland on the continent have been very much interested and elated by the decision to appoint a Minister to the Quirinal accrediting him to the King of Italy as Emperor of Abyssinia. That fact that we have not on this occasion waited for England to make the first move has created a very satisfactory impression. Even our best friends were a little surprised that we should have made this move independently, and they are gratified by this illustration of our cutting away from dependence on England in our foreign relations. It would be to them a further gratifying step if we proceed now to recognise the Franco Government in Spain without waiting for England to do so in the first instance, as she will undoubtedly before very long. The remark has been made to me that here also it is a question of the recognition of a de facto situation.

In an article which appeared in l'Action Française of the 26th inst. advocating the recognition by France of the Italian Sovereign as Emperor, much prominence is given to Ireland's decision in the matter. The writer, relying on an article in regard to that demarche which appeared in the Manchester Guardian and to which much prominence has been given in the Belgian and French press, stresses the point that England will shortly accord official recognition of the King of Italy as Emperor. The article is another instance of the publicity which Ireland's decision in this matter has received in the continental press.

Most of the newspaper articles which have come to my notice deal with the question of Irish recognition of the King of Italy (as Emperor) from the point of view of European politics generally; the matter is treated as one of first rate importance, and has had a considerable effect on opinion here because of the fact that it shortly preceded (and is by some brought into line with) the publication of the representations with a view to recognition made by the Netherlands Foreign Minister to the Oslo Powers.

[matter omitted]

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