No. 177 NAI DFA 5/7

Letter from Charles Bewley to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(B 21/33) (B 5/33) (Secret)

Rome, 4 March 1933

Cardinal Pacelli repeated to me yesterday practically what Monsignor Ottaviani had already told me, expressing the hope that the President's visit would not take place at a time when feelings between Ireland and England were particularly excited. I told him that on the Irish side there would certainly be, as there had been, no unnecessary bitterness, though Governments had the duty of defending their national interests when attacked. I pointed out that the provocation could not be considered to have come from the Irish side, and as an instance of this showed him the now notorious article in the Tablet of February 4, which I had brought with me in case the opportunity offered itself to refer to it. After going through the article with the Cardinal, I pointed out that, though not official, the Tablet has as one of its proprietors the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and that this fact, combined with the general tone of the article, which has not in any way been retracted or apologized for, was likely to give considerable offence in Ireland. I further pointed out that Cardinal Bourne had been received most cordially at the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, and expressed my surprise that any person sincerely desirous of improving the relations between the two countries should not intervene to prevent the publication of articles of so deplorable a character, and to modify the extremely objectionable tone of the review.

The Tablet, as I understand, was some time ago reprimanded for its attitude on the Malta question, which was more English than strictly Catholic. However, my main object in submitting the article to the Cardinal was the general one of showing the tone of even English Catholic opinion on the Irish question, and by implication to justify such counter-measures, whether verbal or legislative, which it may be necessary to adopt in the future. The accumulation of instances of provocation on the English side should, I think, have a gradual effect on Vatican opinion, even in the highest quarters.

[signed] C. Bewley
Minister Plenipotentiary

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