No. 72 NAI DFA 227/4

Confidential report from William J. B. Macaulay to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(M.P. 19/37) (Confidential)

Rome, 12 August 1937

An Rúnaí,
The position of Franco's Envoy to the Holy See appears to be rather ambiguous. The Cardinal Secretary told me that this Chargé d'Affaires would be merely in charge of the Embassy and representing Franco without Letters of Credence and would be received by the Cardinal Secretary, in fact he was received on Tuesday. The Holy See still insists that this does not mean recognition of Franco - apparently because Letters of Credence have not been accepted. It is natural to conclude that the Holy See is waiting for more definite evidence of Franco's ultimate success before recognising him diplomatically.

I am informed on excellent authority that the letter sent by the Cardinal Primate of Spain to all the Spanish Bishops for their signature was drafted by Franco, or on his behalf, and is merely a propaganda weapon. Some of the Bishops refused to sign it including the Bishop of Vittoria in exile here. The idea is that when this letter or declaration has been signed by all the Spanish Bishops it will be sent to all the Bishops throughout the world and released to the Press by them in their several dioceses. The Italian Press has already referred to this forthcoming document as an example of the unity of the Church in Spain and an indictment of the Reds.

The Vatican has now reached a point as regards Germany where all hope of reconciliation is practically abandoned as indicated by the Holy Father's pointed reference recently to Cardinal Mundelein. The fact that Franco has to accept assistance from Hitler is deplored. The Holy See will make no further overtures to Germany, they are beginning to think they have been too long-suffering already.

His Holiness' health remains fairly good considering how ill he had been. It is said that he will remain at Castelgandolfo until very late in the year.

[signed] W.J.B. Macaulay

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