No. 66 NAI Gavan Duffy Papers 1125/23

Eamon de Valera to George Gavan Duffy

Dublin, 10 March 1921

A Chara:-
Through Paris your very valuable despatches have come to hand.

We have acted on your recommendations as regards Berlin, etc. I am anxiously looking forward to your report on Spain. We are trying to link up our organisation throughout the world.

In Rome you will have perhaps the widest field of all our representatives. I know how energetic you will have to be, and how delicate must be your touch to cope with the deadly skill of our enemies.

It has been urged upon me by several to send Count Plunkett to the Vatican for some time. I felt however that it would be very difficult to co-ordinate the work of you both, and we must not risk anything like friction. If you think that the Count, who has I am sure a pretty wide entrée and is highly respected, could be of assistance, please let me know. He has been already twice to Rome to bring the national government in touch with His Holiness. He knows many of the Cardinals, and a large number of the clergy, especially the heads of the world Orders. He is a 'Roman Citizen', belongs to Papal Orders, and is a member of the Academies of St. Luke and of the Virtuosi of Pantheon.

The question of the advisability of asking the Vatican to receive a specially accredited representative of ours should be considered by you very carefully. Let me know your views on it. Count P.[lunkett] is in favour of doing so, but action on our part will be guided absolutely by your judgement when you have weighed the opinions of our friends, such as Dr. O'Hagan, etc. I know myself but little of the politics of the different Vatican groups. I will have to depend upon you to supply my lack of knowledge, If you could refer me to some books in which the matter is authoritatively dealt with, I could read them to give me the proper background.

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