No. 95 NAI DFA 227/23

Letter from Frederick H. Boland to Michael MacWhite (Rome)
(227/23) (Copy)

Dublin, 15 December 1939

My dear MacWhite,

Reading over our official minute of the 13th December on the subject of the recognition of Slovakia and the establishment of a Slovak Consulate here,1 I am not sure that the reference to our neutrality in the second paragraph quite explains the nature of our difficulties in this matter.

As you may well imagine our principal difficulty is that a Consul would have to be exequatured and if we were to move for the issue of an exequatur to a Slovak Consul in present circumstances, the effect might be to embarrass political relations between ourselves and the British. That is precisely the kind of thing we want to avoid because, of course, the neutrality policy connotes an effort to keep our relations with both sets of belligerents as free from difficulties as possible. It is in this sense that the reference to our position of neutrality in the official minute of the 13th December is to be understood. On the other hand, of course, nothing can be said to the Slovak Minister about the difficulties connected with the issue of the exequatur. That is why the concluding sentence of the second paragraph of our official minute is worded rather vaguely.

All this emphasises the desirability of avoiding giving any reasons to the Slovak Minister if it is possible to do so.

Yours sincerely,
[stamped] (Signed) F.H. Boland

1 See No. 91.

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