No. 273 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P12/1

Telegram from Seán Murphy to Department of External Affairs (Dublin)
(No. 152) (Personal) (Copy)

Vichy, 23 August 1940

After some difficulty and delay succeeded in obtaining permission from German authorities to go to Paris. Cremin and I left here Saturday and returned yesterday Thursday. I saw Father Travers, priest at Avenue Hoche, Father Griffin, Sister Olive and Community. All were safe and well. I saw some of the Irish colony. The majority of them though born in Ireland hold British passports and are now very anxious to obtain Irish passports. Although they are not likely to be interned they have to report daily. I took applications for passports and registration and promised to issue passports valid for one year renewable gratis when registration effected. The majority are living on small savings and will soon be destitute. In most cases relatives in Ireland will not be able to assist; others have no relatives there. Stock of passports exhausted. I consequently propose to have document printed here which will state that it is exchangeable for normal national passport as soon as circumstances permit.

Father Monahan interned at Bordeaux because holder of British passport. Have made representations to German authorities stating that he is Irish and that I am prepared to give him an Irish passport. The Germans, however, do not consider us as having any locus standi vis-a-vis them and anything they may do is an act of grace. Have asked for permission for Cremin to go to Hendaye1 but as yet have no reply.

1 Hendaye, the most south-westerly town in France, is situated on the River Bidassoa, which marks the Franco-Spanish border.

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