No. 62 NAI DFA 227/23

Minute from Frederick H. Boland to Sheila Murphy (Dublin)

Dublin, 26 October 1939

Private Secretary to the Secretary.

I think you said that we had been approached by the Slovak Government with a view to the appointment of a Slovak Consul here.

Other things being equal, there might perhaps be no reason for withholding the de facto recognition of Slovakia which the acceptance of a Consul would imply; but the matter is by no means free from difficulties. In the first place, although so far as I know there has been no declaration of war between Great Britain and Slovakia, relations have obviously been broken off between the two countries, and Britain is apparently treating Slovakia for all practical purposes as a part of Germany. This situation may cause us some embarrassment if we have to approach King George in connection with the exequatur.

Apart from that difficulty, there is the question whether, knowing as we do the views of the British Government about the presence of the German Minister here, it would be prudent on our part to add to our difficulties by receiving a Consul from Slovakia. Whatever the position is between Britain and Slovakia, it would not be difficult for the British to find ground, in such an appointment, for raising difficulties. If Britain and Slovakia are at war, it would be somewhat tactless on our part to choose this particular juncture for establishing relations with Slovakia. On the other hand, if the relation between Britain and Slovakia is not that of belligerents, the Slovak Consul would certainly be charged with acting as a channel of communication for the German Minister. According to recent press reports, the Slovak Consul in London has apparently ceased to act under the instructions of his Government and has denounced Germany for invading Slovakia. The British Consul at Bratislava, who had been exequatured, a few weeks before, was withdrawn by the British Government on the outbreak of war.1 Under the Agreement between Slovakia and Germany, the commission of any consul for Slovakia appointed here would, I gather, be granted by the German Government.2

On the whole, I think that we should try to evade the issue and prevent the appointment of a Slovak Consul here at the present juncture, if it is practicable to do so.

[initialled] F.B.

I agree.
J.P.W. 23/11/39

1 Marginal note by Murphy: 'See Hansard 9/10/39'.

2 Marginal note by unidentified hand: 'No'.

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