No. 224 NAI DFA ES Box 34 File 239

Robert Briscoe to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin)


Berlin, 21 January 1922

Re my matter with Mr. Charles Bewley, representative in Berlin for the
Irish Free State.

I made Mr. Bewley's acquaintance in Berlin about two weeks ago and found him as I thought to be an amiable gentleman.1 After three or four meetings with him he visited me at his residence accompanied by Miss Power. We had nothing of a dispute in any shape or form and parted on the best of terms.

To my great astonishment, therefore, was the news I received from the proprietors and staff of the 'Tauenzien Palace' as to Mr. Bewley's behaviour on their premises.

It seems Mr. Bewley arrived there in the evening in a rather advanced state of intoxication, and on my name being mentioned burst forth into a string of most abusive and filthy language. His chief point of argument as an excuse for this attitude was my religion. His expressions about me in connection with my faith were evidently of so strong and so vile a nature as to warrant his forcible ejection. He returned, however, almost immediately and then abused the proprietors until he was again chucked out and forbidden to ever enter their premises again.

As regards my feelings over Mr. Bewley's attack on my person, I feel this is not a matter for anyone else to attend to but myself and which I will certainly look into. What I really want to effect by this, my complaint, is in plain language the immediate removal of this gentleman from his position as representing the Irish people. Such behaviour on the part of a man holding an official position is not conducive to attaining the results intended, nor will it help to bring credit on the people of Ireland. This I wish to emphasise all the more on account of the fact that up to this incident each individual representing Ireland including myself has made it his business by personal behaviour to retain the goodwill and the respect of the German people.

Robert Briscoe

1 Bewley had arrived in Berlin in early December 1921, being appointed as Irish trade representative.

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