No. 67 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P104A

Handwritten letter from Thomas J. Kiernan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Holy See, 8 January 1946

Since my talk with Montini last Saturday and my note to you in this bag, I have received Tels 11 and 3.2

As to Tel. 1 (about the Cardinal omission) I left no doubt with either the Holy Father or Mons. Montini about the consternation and disappointment. I told Montini that an explanation such as the H.F. gave, being confidential, could be of no use in public and that it would be impossible for him or for the Holy Father, without being in Ireland, to understand the personal affection in which the H.F. is held by every individual Irish Catholic, and the attachment to the Holy See; and hence the blow was all the more severely felt. It was at this stage that Montini broke in to explain that no hurt was intended. Also I said that I could not understand why the necessary reports for the filling of Armagh had not been pressed for & got. He said just that they had not come. He mentioned en passant that Switzerland & Colombia have got no Cardinals & I asked him if he realised the weakness of comparing these countries with Ireland. His main point was that there is no break in principle in the Cardinal-continuity & that the Archbishop of Armagh will be a Cardinal at the next-after-next3 Consistory.

Re. Tel. 3 When he mentioned about the status of representation being raised to that of Embassy, I was stumped; but in any case I told him I was only giving him private advance information pending an official communication from Dublin. Even if the Australian appointment were announced now (and I have only just decoded the tel. No 3) the position is safeguarded following my conversation last Saturday.

I am sending these notes in an exceptional bag two days in advance so that you can have earliest information.

1 See above No. 64.

2 Not printed.

3 'next-after-next' has been underlined in the text.

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