No. 521 NAI DFA 19/1B

Letter from Joseph P. Walshe to Charles Bewley (Vatican City)
(E.A. 131) (Copy)

Dublin, 24 February 1931

In connection with your recent reports, the Minister1 would like to receive longer and more detailed accounts of things from you. The following points will give you some guidance as to what constitutes material for a report:-

1. Irish Clergy in Rome. Their views concerning the Government and the legation. Who are the outstanding men amongst them. Are there any of them particularly high in Vatican favour? How often do you meet them? Whom do you most frequently meet amongst them? What do they say about the Irish Bishops? Their views about the Mayo librarian case.2 Their views about the Lenten letter of the Archbishop of Tuam. What sort of cooperation exists amongst them? What are their relations inter se and with the British Clergy?

2. Vatican Views about Ireland, Commonwealth of Nations, Disarmament, Work of the League of Nations, Work of the last Council meeting, Malta, Relations between Episcopacy and Government, especially in countries with small non-Catholic minorities like Ireland. Everything concerning the Vatican is of profound interest to us.

3. Yourself. Your relations with the British legation - with the other legations at the Vatican. Your relations with the British Embassy to the Quirinal, if any. The attitude of individual members of the British legation or Embassy towards you. What are your office hours? Why do you not send very frequent reports on everything of interest direct or indirect to the Government? Does the position suit you or do you feel that another post would give you better scope? The Minister is beginning to fear that the absence of reports from you may be an indication of your dislike for the work. A very complete statement of your own understanding of your work will give the Minister a clear idea of your difficulties.

[stamped] (Signed) J.P. Walshe

1 Document initialled: 'PMcG 24/2'.

2 A reference to the case of Letitia Dunbar-Harrison, a Protestant and a graduate of TCD, whose appointment as county librarian in Mayo in 1931 resulted in protests by some Roman Catholics. The government refused to alter the decision of the Local Appointments Commission in appointing her and she retained her post, but was ultimately transferred to a post in the Military Library, Dublin.

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