No. 261  NAI DFA Holy See V3/14

Personal code telegram from Joseph P. Walshe to Thomas J. Kiernan (Holy See) (No. 1)

DUBLIN, 19 January 1943

We have been considering the question raised in your telegram 139 of 1942.1 There are difficulties about entrusting interests to a friendly nation. The first is that the Japanese Consul here takes the view that such a step would constitute a slight on himself: second is the difficulty of choosing a suitable protecting power. For example, choice of the Swiss would tend to confusion between our people and British and choice of Italy might be inexpedient to some missions as likely to be resented by the Free Chinese.

As regards the appointment of a Consul it would be impracticable in present circumstances to send anyone from here. The vast majority of our nationals in the Far East are missionaries, lay citizens are few and we know of none who would be suitable as Consul. If we were to appoint Consuls therefore they would have to be missionaries acting as honorary consuls or consular agents. The religious superiors here would be agreeable to the following appointments: for Hong Kong Father Joy, for Korea Monsignore Quinlan, for Bhamo Burma Father Usher, for Philippines Monsignori Heneghan, Kelly or MacHugh. We gather from the Japanese Consul here that there would be no serious objection in principle to such appointments but we have yet to discuss with him what facilities such appointees would have as regards communication with us. Without some such facilities appointments would hardly be much use.

Before we proceed further please discuss the matter with the Secretariat of State on the basis of the foregoing information and ask for their view(s) and counsel which we shall gratefully appreciate. Ask whether they would see any objection to the appointment of missionaries as Consuls and whether we might [words missing] on the good offices of the Apostolic Delegate in Tokyo in making arrangements for the appointments. Telegraph reply.2

1 Not printed.

2 Not located.

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