No. 59 NAI DFA 219/4

Letter from Frederick H. Boland to William Warnock (Berlin)

Dublin, 26 October 1939

Dear Warnock,

I have your letter 43/33 of the 9th October.1

I do not think any of your correspondence to us is missing. We received about a week ago the bags which you despatched round about the time of the outbreak of war. They came to us via New York. I shall have enquiries made and shall let you know if there is any indication that correspondence despatched by you has not been received.

As you surmise in your letter, there are difficulties about accrediting a Minister to Germany in present circumstance. However, the Taoiseach himself is anxious that the Minister-designate (Dr. Kiernan)2 should get to Berlin as soon as possible, and we may find some means of enabling him to take up duty about the end of the year. As we told Herr Hempel at the time, it was not contemplated in any event that Dr. Kiernan would be able to take up duty earlier than about the middle of November. For the moment it is better that you should not say anything to the German people about any constitutional difficulty in the way of accrediting a Minister.

We are going into the question of the Legation building, and I hope to send you a minute about it in the course of the next week or so.

We have read all your reports since the outbreak of war with great interest, and generally speaking, I think I am right in saying that they have given us just what we wanted. What we like to hear about is how the German people themselves – the individual Germans whom you meet casually every day – feel about the war. Secondly, we are always interested to get reports either of press or purely individual comment about this country and its policy in relation to the conflict. In the third place, we welcome information about German foreign policy and the attitude of German opinion towards it, particularly in such contexts as the expansionist tendencies of Soviet Russia, the neutrality of Italy, the position in the Balkans, and so on. Reports about administrative and other measures taken by the German Government in connection with the war – food rationing, war trade agreements, blockade policy and a hundred and one other things – are always of interest.

The great thing is to send plenty of reports. The more information we get the more we like it.

Kindest regards,
Yours sincerely,
[stamped] (Signed) F.H. Boland

1 See No. 50.

2 Dr Thomas J. Kiernan (1897-1967), Director, Radio Éireann (1935-41); Minister, Holy See (1941-46). See biographical details in DIFP IV, p. xxvi.

Purchase Volumes Online

Purchase Volumes Online



The Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series has published an eBook of confidential correspondence on the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty negotiations.

Free Download

International Counterparts

The international network of Editors of Diplomatic Documents was founded in 1988. Delegations from different parts of the world met for the first time in London in 1989.
Read more ....

Website design and developed by FUSIO