No. 220 NAI DFA ES Rome 1921-1923

M.J. Curran to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin)

Rome, 11 January 1922

My dear Mr. Gavan Duffy,
Congratulations on your appointment. No more suitable one could have been made and all old friends here will be very pleased, including I am sure Mauri who never forgets to enquire for you.

There are some people here who are taking a malicious interest in making known in Vatican circles the new appointment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At any rate it is a great advantage to us here that the responsible minister is one who so understands the situation here.

Count O'Byrne will acquaint you with the recent state of affairs and I take it the Rector will let him or you know of the history of the latest telegram. The Italian or rather the Rome-Milan Press did not show themselves very friendly - except the Tempo - during the Dail proceedings. The Messaggro and Tribune, and I presume the Journale d'Itali are the worst. The silence of the Messaggro in the closing days was indicative of the disappointment of their London chiefs as to the evolution of events despite the final result.

Although I think we could have got de Valera's terms by coming home and holding on, I am not worrying over the future. What I dreaded was the ratification by a large majority, or any display of pleasure at this particular settlement. I have too much faith in the ...1 and the younger generation to think they will put up for long with a subordinate status. To what extent is all this a game?

De Valera could not have done otherwise than he did. I had hoped that he could have remained in the Dail as head of an integralist party, but he has done well to retire though his absence is deplorable. I hope it won't be long until he is called back to resume his proper place.

Please convey to the new President my good wishes. I have great faith in him, though he won't make such a magnetic leader as de Valera. But he has the capacity, foresight and tenacity that we want and few have suffered so much for principle or merited success as he. Give my regards to Dick Mulcahy and Collins. I never met Mr. Duggan.

You heard that Banca It. di Venito failed. Financially the future looks dark for Italian industries and banks. There are good hopes of resurrecting the Venito and repaying the deposition money.

With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
M.J. Curran

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