No. 264 NAI DFA ES Box 33 File 234

John Chartres to George Gavan Duffy (Dublin)

(M.F.A.-28/1922. (Berlin series) Personal)

Berlin, 5 April 1922

A Chara,

Charles Bewley

Your letters of 27th1 and 29th2 March.

In a sense there can scarcely be said to have been friction where there has been no contact. The last time I saw Mr Bewley was in Paris during the sitting of the Congress, where he spoke to me on the subject of the incident I have reported. Believing that it must be a difficult interview for him I was at pains to treat him in our conversation with every consideration. Since then I have never seen him. He refused my requests to come and discuss matters with me or to accept my hospitality, the consequence being a unilateral interruption of official relations. On the evening of the day of my departure - having first ascertained by inquiry that I was gone - he called on Miss Power, as already recorded in this correspondence.

I have no personal feeling against Mr Bewley. I did what I could to give him a helping hand when he came to Berlin. He, on his part, has given me no personal offence. The main difficulty with him is that he allows his words and actions to be influenced by personal feeling without regard to the limitations placed upon them by his official position. This explains the unfortunate incident which is within your knowledge. It was the same disregard of official considerations which led him to stay away from the Legation in breach of his public duty and although the public interest must suffer in consequence. I did my best to prevent the situation from being noticed by persons outside, but eventually it became too obvious not to be perceived.

The facts here referred to and others have satisfied me that Mr Bewley is unfamiliar with the canons of conduct to be observed by public men entrusted with the representation of Irish national interests abroad.

I am glad of your decision in the matter. I might have suspended Mr Bewley pending inquiry; instead, I followed the milder course of recommending his transfer. It is obvious that my own transfer to Paris and Mr Bewley's appointment in my stead would have created a situation in which I should have been compelled to make a strong official remonstrance. I fear also that other criticisms would have been evoked which, on all grounds, it were best to avoid.

Should I return to Berlin I will do what I can in the direction you indicate. I still think that it would be to the national interest, as well as to Mr Bewley's own personal advantage, if he could be given a fresh start in another quarter where he might profit by the lessons of early mistakes without being dogged by the consequences of them.

If this is not feasible, I will endeavour to smooth over the trouble Mr Bewley has caused in Berlin. I suggest, however, that it would facilitate matters if a hint on the lines of this letter were conveyed to him from Dublin.

Mise, le meas mór,
John Chartres

1 Not printed.

2 Above No. 258.

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